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Amazon’s Twitch Drops Sharp after YouTube, Microsoft Say ‘Game On’

According to new industry data, the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming platform is beginning to feel the effects of the ongoing streaming wars.

  • New streaming industry data for Q4 2019 published by Streamlabs.
  • Twitch noted a decline in hours watched and concurrent viewership.
  • YouTube Gaming Live rapidly encroaching on Twitch’s share of the market thanks to high profile streamer deals.

According to new industry data published by streaming software startup Streamlabs in association with analyst firm Newzoo, the Twitch streaming platform is beginning to feel the effects of the ongoing streaming wars.

Twitch in Decline

The number of hours watched on Twitch declined by 9.8% in Q4 2019 compared to Q3 2019. In Q4, viewers tuned in for 2,299.6 million hours compared to 2,551.4 in Q3. The figure equates to the lowest number of hours watched since Q3 2018.

Source: Streamlabs

Mirroring this, Twitch’s average concurrent viewership has plummeted by 9.4% between Q3 and Q4 from 1.16 million to 1.05 million. In keeping with this downward trend, hours streamed also dropped from 87.3 million to 82.7 million, suggesting streamers are spending less time on the platform overall.

In comparison, YouTube Gaming Live has surged forward. Total hours watched grew by a staggering 46% to 909.1 million in Q4 2019 from 675.9 million in Q3 2019. Average concurrent viewers saw an equally impressive leap of 33.8% from 313,702 in Q3 to 419.627 in Q4.

Source: Streamlabs

As for Microsoft owned Mixer, its fortunes mimic those of Twitch. Total hours watched have dropped 8.5% from Q3 to Q4 and average concurrent viewer by 8% from 40,873 in Q3 to 37,584 in Q4.

Platforms Lock Horns in Streamer Shopping Spree

Twitch’s relative decline can be attributed to the acquisition of celebrity streamers by rival platforms. Last year, Mixer kick-started the trend by securing the services of popular Fortnite streamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, before picking up erstwhile Twitch streamer Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek.

Streaming platform Twitch is losing viewers and viewing hours and the bleed is more pronounced after the loss of high-profile streamers like Ninja (pictured).| Source:

Until recently, the repercussions of the bidding wars for streamers weren’t felt too strongly on Twitch. The latest figures suggest this is no longer the case.

Interestingly, despite Mixer picking up the most prominent names, YouTube Gaming Live is the clear winner thanks to deals with Jack ‘CouRageJ’ Dunlop, Lannan ‘LazarBeam’ Eacott, Elliott ‘Muselk’ Watkins and Rachell ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:30 PM

Thomas Bardwell

UK-based writer covering the video game industry. Email me | Bug me on Twitter