Home Streams The State of Streaming: Key Insights from Stream Hatchet’s 2021 Annual Report

The State of Streaming: Key Insights from Stream Hatchet’s 2021 Annual Report


Stream Hatchet has released its Annual report 2021 this weekrevealing plenty of insights and data analysis the company has gathered over the past year of streaming. Flux Hatchet is a data analytics company that creates reports on gaming brands and online streaming. Their 2021 report highlights some of the biggest watch trends across streaming platforms Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming so you can be informed about the overall state of the streaming industry.

Here are some of the key insights revealed by Stream Hatchet in their latest report!

Live game streaming growth healthy, but down from 2020

Overall live stream watch time increased 21% year-over-year in 2021 across Facebook Gaming, YouTube Gaming and Twitch. This is down from the unprecedented 81% growth seen in 2020 amid pandemic shutdowns and the pivot to native online content. While the peak of COVID-19 appears to be waning, 21% growth across the industry is still remarkable.

Source: Stream Hatchet
Source: Stream Hatchet

Twitch hours watched increase by 31.6% in 2021

Twitch has seen above-average growth, averaging 6 billion hours watched across four quarters, a 97% increase in Q1 2021, over 20% growth in Q2 and Q3, and down to just 5% growth in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year, in 2020, Twitch saw 18.5 billion hours watched per year, while in 2021, 24.3 billion hours were watched, an overall increase of 31. 6%.

Stream hatchet also reported that the Twitch platform is seeing growth outside of the gaming space, with 12% of total Twitch hours now devoted to non-gaming streaming content.

Hours watched on YouTube decrease by -19% in 2021

YouTube also had a strong first quarter of 2021, growing 26% to 1.4 billion hours watched, but then saw losses in the last three quarters, ending the fourth quarter with -37% viewing hours at 1.2 billion. Overall, YouTube actually lost 1.2 billion views year over year, falling to 5 billion in 2021, despite signing huge creators like Ludwig to their platform.

Devin Nash explained that the reason YouTube Gaming saw less growth last year is because YouTube’s algorithm focuses on short films instead of promoting live content. YouTube Gaming is also in a tough spot for future growth, after YouTube Gaming head Fwizz left this year for a Web 3.0 company.

Facebook Gaming grows 52% in 2021

Facebook Gaming, while not on everyone’s radar, competes firmly with YouTube Gaming streams, averaging around 1.2 billion hours watched in each full-fledged quarter, and strong growth of 87% in the first quarter, with its lowest growth rate being 35% in Q4. Overall, Facebook Gaming is roughly the size of YouTube Gaming with 4.8 billion views in 2021.

Facebook Gaming’s numbers demonstrate that it’s a myth to claim that Facebook or Facebook Gaming is irrelevant in 2022. If their growth continues on its current trajectory, it will actually be a bigger streaming platform than YouTube Gaming. .

The most popular streamers in 2021 include xQc in the lead, alongside several non-English streamers

Top 10 streamers by watch time in 2021

The Luminosity xQc streamer blew everyone out of the water last year in terms of raw hours watched. It recorded 272.9 million total hours watched, a number witnessed by insane streamers 151 full days of streaming last year, or 3,629 hours.

After xQc, the Brazilian streamer Gaules with 165 million hours of viewing, the Spanish-speaking streamer auronplay with 118 million hours of viewing and the Spanish-speaking streamer ibai with 103 million hours of viewing. This shows significant growth in the market for non-English speaking streamers. IN total, 50% of the top ten streamers by watch time are non-English speaking channels.

Top games included Grand Theft Auto V with 2.7 billion hours watched, League of Legends with 2.01 billion views and mobile game title Garena Free Fire with 1.23 billion views. PUBG Mobile, VALORANT, Warzone, and Minecraft, all sitting at over a billion, look ours a piece.

Esports teams watch hours dominated by content creators

Top 10 Streaming Content Creator Networks in 2021

Source: Stream Hatchet

According to Stream Hatchet, watch time for content creator networks included eight esports teams, with only OTK and Tribo Gaules being creator networks with no esports competitors.

The top content creator network was Luminosity Gaming, although their views were strongly supported by the aforementioned insane numbers from xQc, accounting for 76% of their total views. Similarly, T1 views were supported by Tyler1 who recently left the organization and accounted for 60% of their 2021 streaming views, while Nick Mercs accounted for 45% of FaZe Clan’s total views and Valkyrae accounted for 25. % of 100. Total views of thieves.

Overall, the numbers show that streaming success for esports teams is at least partly dependent on signing and promoting dedicated streaming content creators, as opposed to competitive success or even professional gamers. streaming esports for the team. The biggest exception to this principle is Team Liquid, whose views are the most scattered, with their top streamer Midbeast making up just 7% of their total views.

The income gap between mega streamers and micro streamers continues to grow

While small streamers make up about 93% of total streamers on Twitch, they only make up 56% of total subscription revenue. The top 1.2% of influencers generate a disproportionate amount of total revenue, at more than 15%, generating approximately $841,000 annually in subscription and bit revenue according to Stream Hatchet. They further clarified that only 50 influencers fall into that 1.2% bracket, and that it took them an average of five years to reach that level, playing against the myth that a streamer can start streaming on Twitch. and become ultra-rich in a year or less. .

Gender gap in streaming remains an issue

Another key insight from the Stream Hatchet report was that live streaming continues to be male-dominated. Of the top 200 creators in 2021, only 5% were women, compared to just 3% women in 2020. Of the total top 1,000 channels by platform, 11.3% of Twitch are female streamers, 8 .3% from YouTube, and 7.4 from Facebook Gaming.

“While each platform has made efforts to address misogyny and hate speech with policy changes made throughout 2021, the distribution of female video game creators among top creators has only changed from 2 percentage points,” the report said.

The report highlighted female Facebook Gaming creators and virtual dating as an effort to combat misogyny in gaming, while Twitch updated its misconduct policy several times in 2021 to try to address cases like the infamous Hate Raids and YouTube promoted Valkyrae as a role model for female creators. Despite these efforts, creators like Pokimane, Valkyrae, and Amouranth have all experienced widespread abuse and harassment on their respective platforms.

Devin Nash argued that the reason for the continued underrepresentation of women in the game is a cultural issue, where women have to work harder and face more obstacles and harassment than men to even be in the game. conversation.

He said in a video on Wednesday, “Being an influencer is a hellscape of constant objectifying comments and harassment. And successful people have done it with great difficulty, and are pounding the pavement to get around that harassment and difficulty. to get to that level.”

You can see Stream Hatchet’s full 2021 Annual Report here.