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What just happened? The pandemic hasn’t just resulted in more people buying games; we're also spending more time watching others play them. According to a new report, Twitch and Facebook Gaming more than doubled their number of viewing hours last month compared to the same period in 2020.
A report on the state of the livestreaming industry from StreamElements and Rainmaker.gg shows that Twitch and Facebook Gaming viewing hours increased 117 percent YoY in January 2021.
Both platforms saw a massive jump in viewership last March, around the same time most of the world went into lockdown. After breaking their hours-watched records in December, new all-time highs were reached during January.
Twitch exceeded over 2 billion hours watched last month, while Facebook Gaming passed 439 million hours, up 13 percent Month-over-Month.
Twitch’s non-gaming Just Chatting category was its most popular in January, racking up 242 million hours in views. This was followed by Rust (189 million), League of Legends (163 million), and Escape from Tarkov (108 million). Every category saw a monthly increase, though none came close to Rust’s 1,226 percent jump.
xQcOW was the month’s most popular streamer by far, boasting 25 million hours of views. He was followed by auronplay and TheGrefg. “While non-English speaking streamers have been a part of the top 10 for some time, they now make up a majority of those who dominate the chart,” writes StreamElements.
It’s not just game streaming that’s keeping more people on Twitch; the Music category saw over 24 million hours of views in January 2021, compared to 4.6 million in January 2020. The shuttering of many live venues likely contributed to the rise, and growth is expected to continue this year.