Number of the Day

Twitch Streaming Surges — But Is Anyone Watching?

The number of streamers on the livestreaming platform more than doubled during the pandemic, but viewership has not increased proportionally

Marker Editors
Marker
Published in
2 min readDec 15, 2020

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Marker # of the Day — 155% The increase in active streamers on livestreaming platform Twitch in 2020 Source: Twitchtracker
Photo illustration, source:

155%: That’s how much the number of active streamers on video game livestreaming platform Twitch has grown in 2020, from 3.3 million streamers in December 2019 to 8.5 million in November 2020, according to Twitchtracker.com, a website that tracks statistics on Twitch.

Most of that growth happened between February and April this year, when the number of active streamers on the platform nearly doubled amid Covid lockdowns. Marker Deputy Editor Bobbie Gossage wrote in Debugger about one of those new streamers: her brother, who built a 480 square-foot replica of Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road racetrack in his basement.

While the number of streamers on Twitch has skyrocketed this year, neither the number of viewers nor the time spent watching livestreams have grown proportionally (though time spent watching Twitch is nothing to sneeze at: Viewers collectively watched nearly 1.8 billion hours of Twitch in November alone).

This means that a large number of Twitch streamers are broadcasting themselves playing video games to no audience at all. As Bobbie pointed out in a recent issue of Marker’s newsletter Buy/Sell/Hold (subscribe!), a sympathetic software engineer built a website called Nobody.live, allowing curious individuals to drop in on these lonely streams at random, giving some of them an audience of at least one.

Looking forward to livestreaming my indoor house party to no one once we get a vaccine.

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