Streaming

State of the Stream December and 2020 Year in Review

State of the Stream December and 2020 Year in Review: Twitch and Facebook Gaming hit new milestones, xQcOW is top streamer of the year, and new games set notable peaks

2020 started off slowly in Q1, but the rest of the year was a rocket ship in terms of hours viewed across the livestreaming space due to stay-at-home mandates. The following report outlines the latest narratives from StreamElements with data courtesy of our friends at Arsenal.gg.

Click here to download a pdf of the report.

Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and DLive all had significant traffic after Q1, while YouTube Gaming had unique milestones of their own

Twitch 2020
Facebook Gaming 2020
DLive 2020

Twitch and Facebook Gaming both ended 2020 with a milestone month for hours watched. In December, Twitch achieved 1.7B hours watched while Facebook Gaming had 388M hours. Both had significant growth for overall hours watched in 2020 vs 2019 with Twitch growing 83% and Facebook Gaming a whopping 166%. Although DLive did not set a record in December, they did grow significantly after Q1. In terms of collective data across live and videos on demand, YouTube Gaming had an impressive year, celebrating 100B watch time hours and over 40M active gaming channels in 2020.

Just Chatting was the #1 category of 2020, Valorant had the highest peak viewership, and indie games made their presence known

Top games and peaks of 2020
Top games of December 2020
Top new IP of 2020

When it comes to the categories chart on Twitch, there are several big takeaways. Just Chatting cemented itself as the top category collectively for the year and month-over-month. Valorant was the most dominant new IP both in overall hours watched and peak moments in time. And Fall Guys and Among Us illustrated that indie games with the right formula could crack the top 5 list in terms of peak hours watched when looking at the leaderboard for each month. The formula, which can also been seen in the successful launch of Phasmophobia, is gameplay reminiscent of television game shows. This includes short rounds, easy to learn rules, and plenty of room for social interaction for maximizing the entertainment value among streamers, viewers, and gamers.

Top streamers of December and 2020

xQcOW was a streaming tour de force, ending the year as the most popular streamer on Twitch based on hours watched. Gaules also had an impressive year clocking in not too far behind xQcOW. Illustrating the global appeal of the platform were top yearly and monthly streamers from countries outside the US or who broadcast in other languages, such as Gaules, auronplay, ibai, Pestily, and Rubius.


State of the Stream December and 2020 Year in Review was originally published in StreamElements – Legendary Live Streaming on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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