State of the Stream for April 2021

State of the Stream for April 2021: Twitch continues to break its own records and their Sports category is rapidly growing

There are not a lot of surprises in April as many of the growth trends from Q1 continue, but one new area we’re spotlighting is the growing Sports category on Twitch. The following report outlines the latest livestreaming narratives crafted by StreamElements based on data courtesy of our friends at

Click HERE to download a pdf and hi-res slides of the report.

Twitch continues to climb in hours watched

Month-over-month hours watched on Twitch and Facebook Gaming

The biggest takeaway in terms of platform growth is that Twitch continues to beat its own records in terms of hours watched. In addition to a record-setting 2.1+ billion hours watched in April, it experienced 29% year-over-year growth. While Facebook Gaming dipped a little in April, it still boasts a 27% year-over-year increase in hours watched.

Just Chatting and Grand Theft Auto V top the charts and highlight the success of casual gamers

Top 10 categories on Twitch in April 2021 based on hours watched + Top 10 categories in Dec 2012

Just Chatting, which is Twitch’s category for creators to casually socialize with viewers, and Grand Theft Auto V, a game whose current popularity is rooted in popular streamers role-playing as characters in the GTA universe, took the #1 and #2 spots on the chart respectively. The takeaway is that creators with highly engaging personalities can thrive as much as skilled professional gamers.

We also took this month to look back at Twitch’s top 10 in December 2012 since it was the first chart they published on their blog and it was interesting to see which games managed to survive the test of time at the top. League of Legends, Minecraft, and Dota 2 are all still attracting huge viewership numbers, as is the Call of Duty franchise.

The Sports Category on Twitch is rapidly growing with new programs and partnerships in the works

Top 10 sports streamers on Twitch in April 2021 based on hours watched and streamed + monthly data

In July, Twitch launched its Sports category and has seen impressive month-over-month growth through most of its first 10 months. Illustrating a commitment to the category, Twitch recently announced its Sports Accelerator Program which includes monetary incentives for sports-streaming creators who take part. In addition, NBC Olympics announced they are partnering with Twitch to deliver live content surrounding the Tokyo Olympics. The takeaway is that based on these initiatives, sports are an important part of Twitch’s content roadmap.

juansguarnizo cracks the top 10 charts after role-playing in GTA V

Top 10 streamers on Twitch in April 2021 based on hours watched

The top 10 on Twitch tends to feature a lot of familiar faces with xQcOW regularly at the very top, so it is always exciting when a new name enters the list. For the last two months that name was ludwig, but an even more recent addition to the top 10 chart is juansguarnizo. He is a Spanish-language streamer from Mexico who spent a lot of hours role-playing in GTA V in April and that time paid off. His hours watched increased 89%, going from 4.4 million to 8.3 million month-over-month. The takeaway is that no streamer has a lock on staying in the top 10 as new stars appear each month to reshuffle the deck.

Click here to view previous State of the Stream reports.

State of the Stream for April 2021 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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