TL;DR: Not only are we buying more games, we're also spending more time watching others play them. According to a new report, both Twitch and Facebook Gaming saw their viewer numbers jump more than 100% YoY; the former platform set a new record in March with over 2 billion hours watched. And it’s not just games that are grabbing people’s attention: sleep streaming is becoming increasingly popular.

The latest State of the Stream report notes that while livestreaming platforms experienced a slight dip in viewing numbers in February after setting records the previous month, March was Twitch’s biggest month to date with over 2 billion hours watched. Facebook Gaming, meanwhile, saw just under 400 million hours—more than February but fewer than the record-setting 439 million hours in January.

The figures suggest that streams remain as popular as ever, even as more countries relax Covid restrictions and people return to outdoor activities.

Grand Theft Auto V was the most popular game on Twitch with 181 million hours watched in March. It was followed by League of Legends (143 million) and Fortnite (107 million). GTA V saw the largest rise in viewership (+34% MoM), an increase attributed to the growth in character role-playing streams in which players can act out their own stories. Interestingly, Rust, which was the top game in January with 189 million views, has fallen off the chart.

The report highlights the increasing number of streamers grabbing views while they sleep. Ludwig Ahgren and Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo gained more than 2 million hours watched while they dozed. Ahgren's “subathon” involved broadcasting for another 20 seconds every time his channel received a new subscriber. He started streaming on March 14 and intends to continue until April 13.

Ahgren's constant stream helped him secure the second spot in the top-ten streamers chart, though his 16+ million hours watched in March were still around half those of top streamer Félix “xQc” Lengyel, who had over 30 million.

Masthead credit: bodnar.photo