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Twitch viewership stagnates for the first time as its competitors gain ground

Twitch vs YouTube is still a one-sided fight, but the latter's not down yet

July 15, 2019 More reports suggest Twitch’s competitors are catching up.

If you plan to watch somebody streaming a videogame, you’re probably going to do it on Twitch. There’s no doubt that Amazon’s streaming service is the biggest name in the space, and all its competitors have a lot of catching up to do – but a new report on the state of streaming puts hard numbers on where all the services stand, and Twitch might’ve peaked.

In the second quarter of 2019, Twitch viewers watched 2.706 billion hours of content on the platform, down from 2.762 billion in the previous quarter, according to a report from Streamlabs and Newzoo. A 2% decrease may not sound like much, but it’s the first decline for the platform after years of growth. Twitch is still up year over year in terms of hours viewed, and it looks like the flatline can be attributed to the relative decline of Fortnite streaming.

Streamers broadcast 10% fewer hours of content this quarter, and 4.8 million new channels started in this period – a decrease of one million compared with the previous three months. Average viewers per channel have similarly decreased by 9.5% this quarter.

Meanwhile, YouTube’s game streaming has kept getting bigger – even if it’s still in a distant second place. Hours viewed are up 10%, hours streamed are up 4%, and average viewers using the platform at once are up 9% this quarter.

That backs up what we’ve heard from other reports, which suggest that viewers watched roughly 3.8 billion hours worth of game streams across the four biggest platforms. According to a breakdown from StreamElements, Twitch viewers watched 2.7 billion hours, YouTube streaming viewers tuned in for 736 million, while Facebook Gaming and Mixer round out the numbers with 198 million and 112 million hours viewed, respectively.

That means Twitch has 72.2% viewer share, while YouTube has 19.5%, Facebook has 5.3%, and Mixer has 3%. Facebook overtook the third place spot from Mixer this quarter, and while their positions are both way behind the top two services, hundreds of millions of hours watched certainly make for some notable statistics.

Read more: Stay current with the best new PC games

YouTube hit a new record in May, with 284 million hours viewed – the biggest month for the platform so far. YouTube Live was already showing impressive growth in the previous quarter, as Q1 2019 had grown 35% over Q1 2018.