Twitch viewership declines for first time in more than a year

The second quarter of 2019 was a time of change for video game streaming services, ushering in dramatic growth for some streaming services and games and newfound decline for others. According to streaming platform Streamlabs, despite Mixer and YouTube’s growth, there was a Twitch viewership decline during Q2 2019, marking the company’s first audience decrease in more than a year.

According to Streamlabs‘ Q2 2019 report, compiled using Twitch, YouTube and Mixer data from Newzoo, total Twitch hours watched declined from 2.762 billion in Q1 2019 to 2.706 billion in Q2 2019 — a decline of 2%, or 56 million hours. That Twitch viewership decline might seem like a relatively small drop, but the platform’s hours watched previously grew from 2.544 billion in Q4 2018 to the Q1 2019 total, and Twitch has experienced similar growth quarter over quarter since Q1 2018. Similarly, Twitch’s hours streamed also saw it’s first decline in some time. The platform’s hours streamed decreased by 10% since Q1 2019, dropping from 105.8 million to 94.7 million. This could be at least partially due to the fact that a million fewer channels streamed on Twitch than did in Q1 2019.

ALSO: VidCon ‘influencer apology video’ costume goes viral

A large contributor to Twitch’s decline in growth could be a continued decline of Fortnite viewership. Fortnite had almost 4oo million hours watched in Q2 2018, but that stat has steadily decreased from that point. In Q2 2019, the game reached 294.2 million hours watched compared to Q1 2019’s 304.6 million hours. This was actually a slower decline than in previous quarters, but still a decline nonetheless. Although Fortnite remained the top-watched game on Twitch, Riot Games overtook Epic Games as the most-watched publisher, with the sum of League of Legends‘ and Teamfight Tactics‘ hours watched eclipsing Fortnite‘s.

Unlike the Twitch viewership decline, YouTube Gaming saw all-time highs for its various viewership stats in Q2 2019, according to Streamlabs. YouTube’s total hours watched increased from 635.4 million in Q1 2019 to 701.6 million in Q2 2018, a 10% increase. The platform’s hours streamed, while still quite low compared to Twitch, grew from 12.7 million to 13.2 million. Like Twitch, the number of channels streaming on the platform also decreased, this time by 4% to 1.17 million in Q2 2019. YouTube, however, had the highest viewer per channel rating of any of the major streaming platforms, coming in at 53 viewers per channel (compared to Twitch’s 28.6 viewers).

Mixer, Microsoft‘s streaming platform and the smallest of the three listed here, also saw growth in the quarter, according to Streamlabs. The platform’s hours watched continued to increase, jumping from 90.4 million in Q1 2019 to 119.1 million in Q2 2019, and Mixer’s hours streamed saw a leap from 8.4 million hours in Q1 to 12 million hours in Q2, lifting the platform out of a year-long streaming decline. Since early 2018, Mixer’s hours watched has increased by 357%.