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People are watching a lot more Twitch during the pandemic

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Facebook Gaming is growing quickly, too

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitch viewership has been way up since the pandemic started. Viewership grew to 5 billion hours watched between April and June, which is a huge increase no matter how you look at it: it’s up more than 50 percent from the first quarter of 2020, and it’s up more than 60 percent over the same three months in 2019. The metrics come from the latest streaming industry report by StreamElements and

Last quarter’s report hinted that this increase was coming. In May, the companies reported a 45 percent leap in viewership for the whole live-streaming industry between just March and April. But this latest report shows that those large gains were sustained in the following months, even as people started having more flexibility to go outside and had a lot more to pay attention to in the world.

A chart showing Twitch viewership by hours watched from January through June.
Hours watched on Twitch according to data.
Image: StreamElements and

Facebook Gaming saw an even larger increase than Twitch, though it remains a much smaller service overall. Viewership was up 75 percent quarter over quarter and 200 percent year over year. It’s still about a fifth the size of Twitch in terms of overall hours watched, though. It’s possible viewership will increase even more next quarter, with Mixer shutting down and directing streamers and viewers over to Facebook.

One other sign that Twitch has become a respite during the pandemic: StreamElements points out that the service’s “Travel & Outdoors” category close to tripled in terms of hours watched in June compared to January.