Gaming stream viewership has decreased in 2022 so far, report finds
by Adam Fitch ·
The findings: Stream Hatchet provides regular data-based reports on the gaming industry.
- Live video game stream viewership has decreased year-on-year when combining data from all major platforms. In Q1 2021, 9.3B hours were watched. In Q1 2022, hours watched decreased slightly to 8.8B.
- Grand Theft Auto V was the most-watched game across Facebook Gaming, Twitch, and YouTube with 534M hours watched. The Rockstar game was followed closely by League of Legends at 517M hours watched with VALORANT, another Riot Games title, landing in third place.
- Former Overwatch competitor xQc was by far the top streamer in terms of hours watched across the big three Western platforms, sitting at 62.8M hours — 26.6M more hours than Brazilian former CS:GO competitor Gaules.
- In the realm of esports viewership, total hours watched only dropped 0.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. Twitch accounted for 80% of the 473M hours that were spent watching gaming tournaments.
The reasonings: Nothing looks particularly untoward in the aforementioned findings from the report.
- With regard to the decrease in total video game stream viewership, it could well be partially a result of much of the world opening up again following an easing of restrictions relating to the global health situation. Such streams received huge boosts as a result of lockdowns and now they're stabilizing, which makes sense.
- GTA V was released in September 2013 and it still remains a popular game, especially when it comes to live streaming. The reason for this? The title re-emerged based on the astronomical popularity of large creators role-playing in the game, maintaining their chosen in-game personas and identities for hours on end while streaming on Twitch and YouTube.
- With esports viewership, it's promising that it's managed to (mostly) hold on to the viewership boost it saw from the pandemic. The industry would prefer to have sustained insane levels of growth, of course, but it's truly positive that people have stuck around to watch players compete against each other despite many major countries opening back up. It has a new foundation to build off of.
- However, Twitch remaining as the prominent platform for esports viewing isn't promising for the industry when you consider that it doesn't have to pay to obtain the rights to broadcast most events. Media rights is the largest driver of revenue in the biggest sports titles, and it's sorely missing in esports.