YouTube is closing the gap with Twitch on live streaming, report finds

Twitch continues to dominate the live streaming market, with approximately 2.5 billion hours watched by viewers in the third quarter of 2018, according to a new industry report out this morning. While YouTube still trails, its begun to close the gap with Twitch, it appears. YouTubes live streaming platform, YouTube Live, started the year with 15 percent of the overall live streaming markets viewership, but by September 2018, it had grown to roughly 25 percent of all live streaming hours viewed.
These findings, and more, were the subject of a state of the industry report released today by StreamElements, which also dug into whats making these live streaming sites tick.
Of course, Twitch is still the market leader, with around 750 million monthly viewers, on average, who watched over 813 million hours in September. YouTube Live, by comparison, saw over 226 million hours that month, and Microsofts Mixer saw just 13+ million.
YouTube is closing the gap with Twitch on live streaming, report finds

Also of note is that Twitchs growth is now coming from the long tail, the report claims. Its top 100 channels havent grown much since the beginning of the year in fact, theyre down a bit, according to the findings. In January 2018, viewers watch around 262 million hours on the top 100, which dropped to 254 million in September.
In addition, Twitch is growing viewership thanks to its expanded focus outside of gaming content. IRL streaming meaning, watching creators in real life going about their day, vlogging, or participating in other activities, for example is now one of the sites most consistently growing categories, with 41 million more hours watched in Q3 2018 than in Q1.
This growth likely impacted Twitchs recent decision to do away with the overarching IRL category to instead break down the content into subcategories like music, food & drink, ASMR, beauty, and more, and other organizational changes to its site.
YouTube is closing the gap with Twitch on live streaming, report finds

StreamElements also claims that game streams and other content but not the competitions known as esports are whats attracting viewers.
Esports viewership now makes up 9 to 17 percent of overall Twitch viewership, the report says. (This is consistent with findings Newzoo has reported in past years, as well.)
YouTube is closing the gap with Twitch on live streaming, report finds

The reports data, however, is not first-party it comes from StreamElements position as a production and community management solutions provider for live streamers, which allows it some insight into live streaming trends. The company also partnered with streaming analystsStreamHatchetto compile this report, it says.
That being said, its not the only one to point to YouTubes more recent growth. In StreamLabs Q2 report this year, it also found that YouTubes live gaming streams were on the rise, as was viewership. But StreamLabs tends to look at concurrent streams and viewership, so its not a direct comparison.
YouTube recently did away with its standalone YouTube Gaming app, and incorporated gaming content more directly into its main site. This could impact its future growth even more than is reflected in this Q3-focused report.
Finally, the report also found that Fortnites popularity may have peaked its still the most watched game on Twitch, but since reaching over 151 million hours watched in July, its been shedding viewers. The game saw 20 million fewer hours viewed in August, then dropped by another 25 million hours in September.
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