- The last such decline was in June 2021
- Hours watched on Twitch directly correlate to the many Covid lockdowns
- The platform’s most-watched month was April 2021
Twitch has lost more than 10% of its viewership in the last month, a significant drop from the average plateau of this year.
Twitch Viewership Drops
When somebody wonders what are the top streaming platforms, Twitch often comes to mind. The platform has been a staple of streaming services for over a decade and has seen significant growth over the past couple of years. However, recent statistics suggest the exponential growth might have come to an end as Twitch suffered the biggest drop in viewership it has seen in years.
With the platform as a whole racking in less than 1.7 billion hours watched in November 2022, according to TwitchTracker, this marks a 10% drop. The previous such massive drop was in June 2021, when the platform suffered a similar decline in viewers. While it’s normal for the platform to have varying viewership based on external factors, like current esports tournaments or newly released games, it seems the latest viewership drop is directly related to the Covid pandemic.
It's safe to say that the growth Twitch has seen over the past couple of years was due in large part to the many lockdowns people were subjected to. Being cooped up inside all day with not much else to do besides work and browse the internet. Watching streams is one of the best ways to pass the time, so Twitch had a huge spike in viewership starting around April 2020 – around the time when the first mass lockdowns in North America and Europe happened.
Considering Twitch’s total viewership hours went from 1.36 billion hours watched at the beginning of 2020, to 2.5 billion in April, it’s safe to say the initial stages of the Covid pandemic played a huge part. The number dropped in the summer of 2020 when restrictions were falling for the first time, only to climb again later in the year when governments around the world once again tightened restrictions.
2021 also saw a huge growth in Twitch’s viewership base, marking the highest number of hours watched in April at 3.11 million. The rest of the year saw a significant drop, however, until early 2022, when the metric once again reached almost 3 million hours watched.
However, the platform once again suffered a drop in its popularity, averaging about 2.5 million hours watched per month for the rest of the year. But this autumn saw the largest drop in popularity since 2021, with Twitch marking “just” 2.14 million hours watched. This could be attributed not only to the ending of lockdowns around the globe but also to the fact that Twitch allowed its partners to stream on other platforms. A lot of esports circuits have also ended last month, further taking away from the content viewers can watch.
Although this drop in popularity is significant, with the release of new popular games like CoD: Modern Warfare II or Warzone 2, it’s likely Twitch will soon reach its previous plateau of viewership.