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    Live game streaming surged by 80% and hit 8.8bn hours watched in Q1 2021

    The year 2020 was quite a year for live streaming platforms, as lockdown rules and COVID-19 restrictions made live broadcasts even more attractive to millions of people.

    Last year, the top three video game platforms hit almost 30 billion hours watched, 78% more than before the pandemic. However, it seems like 2021 could set a new record.

    According to data presented by, Twitch, Youtube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming hit a total of 8.8 billion hours watched in the first quarter of 2021, an 80% jump year-over-year.

    Twitch hit a record 6.3bn hours watched in Q1

    Last year, eSports fans spent a record number of hours watching the gaming titles on the popular video-sharing platforms. The Streamlabs and Stream Hatched data showed viewers worldwide watched 27.9 billion hours of content across all platforms in 2020, up 78.5% from 15.6 billion hours in 2019.

    The total hours watched on YouTube Gaming doubled in 2020 and hit 6.19 billion. Facebook Gaming nearly tripled the number of hours watched last year, with the figure rising to 3.1 billion, up from 1.09 billion in 2019.

    Focused on broadcasting shows and sports content, Twitch led the audience in live broadcasts, with a total of 18.4 billion hours watched in 2020. Last year, the popular streaming platform set another record for most hours watched in one quarter with 5.4 billion hours watched in Q4 2020, or 65% of the total hours watched on all platforms in that period.

    However, in the first quarter of 2021, the figures skyrocketed even higher. Statistics show that viewers worldwide watched 6.3 billion hours of content on Twitch between January and March, up from 3.2 billion in 2020, the highest number so far. Also, the popular streaming platform accounted for more than half of all battle royale streams in this period. 

    Facebook Gaming audience surged 83% YoY

    Although the Amazon-owned live streaming platform widened the gap between itself and the other platforms, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming also witnessed impressive growth in the first quarter of the year.

    The Stream Hatched data show YouTube Gaming hit 1.4 billion hours watched between January and March, up from 1.1 billion in the same period a year ago. 

    Although Facebook Gaming lags behind the two leading platforms, statistics show its audience surged by 83% year-over-year. In Q1 2021, Facebook Gaming had a total of 1.1 billion hours watched, up from 600 million in 2020.

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