Gaming’s Live-Streaming Audience Will Hit One Billion Next Year & 1.4 Billion by 2025
Live-streamed video content for games rose to prominence as an entertainment medium in the early 2010s, when Twitch.tv launched as a dedicated platform (a spin-off of Justin.tv).
The market has come a long way since then. This year, the games live-streaming audience will grow by +13.8% year on year to reach 921.2 million — almost doubling the esports market’s audience.
Streaming’s audience will cross the billion mark by 2023, increasing with a CAGR of +16.3% from 2020 to reach 1.4 billion in 2025.
Twitch Is Currently the West’s Biggest Platform
Boasting almost 20 billion live gaming hours watched, Twitch remains the West’s most popular live-streaming platform for games in 2021, registering a +26% increase year on year.
More than 15 million gaming channels broadcasted over 720 million live gaming hours on the Amazon-owned platform, marking a +20% increase over 2020.
Twitch dominance in the West seems there to stay, but YouTube’s recent signing of high-ticket English-speaking content creators might shake the status quo in the coming years.
Looking for other platforms’ data? Our full 2022 Global Esports & Live Streaming Report also includes:
- 2021 data for YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming
- Twitch viewership by broadcast language
- YouTube viewership by channel countries
Amazon’s latest figures reveal that more than 31 million people visit Twitch every day. Thanks to an ever-growing offering of non-gaming content — including TV series, music, and sports events — Twitch is a viable avenue for non-endemic brands wanting to reach gamers (more on that later).
That said, Twitch is considering decreasing the revenue split for its top creators, bringing the creator share down from 70% to 50%, hoping to convince creators to run more ads.
While Twitch is also reportedly allowing partnered streamers to stream outside of Twitch, the reality is that Twitch is the go-to platform for console and PC streaming in the West. Therefore, many streamers’ hands are tied.
YouTube is more suitable for VOD content and mobile streaming, but there aren’t many viable alternatives to Twitch for other segments. Not even Ninja, who was at the time Twitch’s top streamer, could convince the bulk of his audience to follow him to the now-defunct Mixer.
If the reported policies come to fruition, Twitch would create more opportunities for competing platforms like YouTube and even TikTok. Outside the West, Twitch is typically not the market leader.
Emerging Markets Will Drive Growth for the Games Live-Streaming Market
Speaking of emerging markets, regions like Latin America and the Middle East & Northern Africa will account for the most game live-streaming audience growth.
In fact, the games live-streaming audience in emerging markets will grow by +24.5% year on year to reach 202.3 million. And even more growth is coming toward 2025.
Mobile gaming is becoming more popular in these emerging markets, attracting a new gamer segment to watch live streaming.
Nevertheless, China remains the world’s largest market in terms of live-streaming audience. It will continue to grow with a CAGR of +7.6% from 2020 to reach 267.5 million in 2025.
Download this free report for data on 2022’s live-streaming audience for Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.
Consumer Insights: Who Are the Viewers Powering the Game Live-Streaming Market?
Every year, we at Newzoo survey 70,000 consumers across the globe for our Consumer Insights, including more than 30,000 people in the game-related live-streaming audience. The 2021 results revealed valuable insights.
Roughly 58% of the audience is 30 years old or younger, giving brands, game publishers, and other sectors a key opportunity to reach young people with high disposable income.
In fact, the live-streaming audience is disproportionately affluent compared to the general population, with 79% reporting a middle-to-high income, up +5% from last year.
Needless to say, the game-live streaming opportunities for consumer brands are especially abundant. Our full 2022 Global Esports & Live Streaming Report zooms into how brands can find success in games viewing, touching on important factors like how:
- Understanding which games are popular in which markets is the first step toward a successful brand activation.
- A compelling narrative ensures the audience doesn’t see the activation as too corporate or forced.
- Not having authentic and genuine messaging could potentially anger the audience.
- The last step in developing a successful activation is choosing the right influencers to partner with.
While the opportunities are abundant, the live-streaming space remains skewed towards men. Roughly 61% of the audience identifies as male. But we expect that share to grow.
After all, there is less stigma around gender in younger gaming circles, and more content appealing to diverse groups is hitting Twitch, YouTube, and other platforms.
Want to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the games space? Check out this article.
All in all, the games live-streaming market has become a key pillar of the wider games market, and it’s presenting opportunities for brands across multiple sectors.
Worried that you missed the boat? Not to worry: it’s never too late to enter this exciting market, which will add 600 million new fans by 2025.
Want some support to see where you fit in? Whether you’re new to game-related streaming or want to bolster your current strategy, reach out to us here. We have the data, insights, and expertise to help.