2019 has been a year of decline for Twitch, although it is still leading in the video game streaming market by a wide margin.
Video game streaming giant Twitch remains the king of the block despite losing some momentum in 2019, but key competitors made significant strides, according to a new market report.
Streamlabs and Newzoo released their Q4 Year in Review Live Streaming Industry Report on Thursday (January 16), revealing that, though Twitch is still leading in the video game streaming market by a wide margin, 2019 has been a year of decline.
Total hours watched on Twitch, operated by Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) subsidiary Twitch Interactive, dropped in Q4 2019 to 2.3 billion from 2.55 billion in Q3 2019, a decrease of 9.8 percent and a year-over-year low, the report indicated.
Streaming for Twitch has also been down since the start of 2019. In Q4, Twitch streamed 82.7 million hours of content, down from the 100.2 million recorded in the first quarter of 2019.
The popular streaming platform has some growing competition from YouTube’s gaming offering, Youtube Gaming Live, as well as Mixer, a streaming service owned by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
“The streaming wars are heating up. We are starting to see how exclusivity deals from competitors are affecting Twitch,” the report from Streamlabs and Newzoo reads.
Of the three streamers, Youtube Gaming Live was the only platform to see increases in hours watched, hours streamed and concurrent viewership during Q4.
Mixer, for its part, has tripled the amount of unique users channels compared to Youtube Live and more than doubled its hours watched and streamed in 2019 over 2018. Total hours watched in Q4 for Mixer was 82.5 million, while total hours streamed were 28.4 million.
As the streaming wars rage on, a flurry of exclusive deals struck by its rivals have dug into Twitch’s market share and its talent pool.
Last week, Youtube — owned by Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) signed on three popular gaming influencers to work exclusively on its gaming platform. Together, Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott, Elliott “Muselk” Watkins and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter have a viewership of 21 million YouTube subscribers. Along with the all-star lineup, Youtube’s Head of Gaming Ryan Wyatt noted that the gaming app has benefited from streaming a majority of the top esports events.
For its part, the Microsoft platform has proven capable of attracting top talent from Twitch as well.
One of the biggest signings last year took place in August when Mixer snatched Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a popular Fortnite streamer and the top personality for Twitch at the time.
A couple months later, Mixer also got its hands on Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, a former Twitch streamer who had over 6.9 million followers at the time, in another exclusive deal.
Twitch was dealt another blow in November when Jack “CouRageJD” Dunlop announced his move to YouTube Gaming Live.
Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has also thrown its hat into the streaming ring with Facebook Gaming.
Despite the recent entry from the social media platform in 2018, Facebook Gaming has seen a 400 percent increase in the number of live streams broadcast to the service in 2019, from over 504,000 in Q1 to over 2.5 million in Q4.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.