Live Totals on Twitch
last month average
last month average
categories last month
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitch experienced a significant surge in both viewership and broadcaster numbers. As global stay-at-home measures were implemented, people worldwide searched for digital platforms like Twitch to find entertainment, resulting in a record-breaking viewership spike on the platform, most noticeably from March/April 2020 onwards.
So far in 2024, Twitch has held a strong engagement with its user base, maintaining an average viewership of
2,642,552 and achieving a peak viewership of
The number of creators streaming on Twitch also grew during the pandemic. As global unemployment rates spiked, many individuals seized the opportunity to transform their passion for livestreaming into potentially profitable ventures. This shift contributed to Twitch’s rising popularity and expanded the variety of content on the platform.
So far in 2024, Twitch consistently hosts an average of
108,630 streamers live at any given moment.
English remains the majority language used by broadcasters on Twitch, recent years have seen a significant rise in the diversity of languages on the platform. Notably, there has been a substantial surge in creators from
Spanish speaking regions, as well as an increase in
This growing diversity in streaming languages on Twitch shows the platform’s broad appeal, attracting both viewers and streamers from around the globe.
Over the years, the average viewers per streamer has seen a gradual decline. A recent study showed a significant portion of viewership is concentrated among a small fraction of broadcasters:
- The top 10,000 streamers represent 76% of hours watched.
- The top 1,000 streamers represent 46% of hours watched.
- The top 100 streamers represent 20% of hours watched.
This data underscores both the competitive nature of gaining viewership and the immense influence top Twitch personalities hold.
The current average number of viewers per streamer on Twitch is
Introduced by Twitch in 2018, the
Just Chatting category has consistently been a chart-topper in terms of viewership. This non-gaming space lets streamers interact directly with viewers, fostering personal connections and thriving communities that contribute significantly to Twitch’s success.
So far, the total watch time on Twitch this year is
1,963,416,265 hours watched.
On average this year, Twitch has
8,362,023 unique streamers going live each month, showcasing the platform’s vibrant and active content-creator community.
Introduced in 2017, the Twitch Affiliate program provides streamers with initial monetization options, while the subsequent Partner program offers enhanced benefits for high-performing creators. These programs embody Twitch’s commitment to rewarding content creation and fostering a vibrant ecosystem for its streamers.
Twitch is currently home to
37,760 Partners and an impressive
1,011,105 Affiliates, reflecting the platform’s expansive and thriving creator community.
Top Live Channels on Twitch
Top Live Categories on Twitch
Top 20 Twitch Streamers This Year
Top 10 Twitch Categories This Year
The History of Twitch
From its humble beginnings as a small-scale project to its evolution into a global phenomenon, Twitch has redefined the landscape of live streaming. This platform has not only given gamers a place to share their passion but also transformed the way we consume online content.
March 19, 2007
The Birth of Gaming Livestreams
The story of Twitch started back in 2007 when Justin Kan and Emmett Shear launched Justin.tv. This ambitious project was a 24/7 live broadcast of Justin Kan’s life, which was one of the first attempts at life-streaming or what is now known as IRL streaming. Justin.tv as a platform allowed anyone to broadcast their livestreams, but it was the gaming content that stood out and gained popularity.
June 6, 2011
Justin.tv → Twitch.tv
Recognizing the potential of gaming livestreams, Kan and Shear decided to create a spin-off platform dedicated solely to gamers. In June 2011, Twitch.tv was born. The name ‘Twitch’ was inspired by the term ‘twitch gameplay,’ a type of video game scenario that tests players’ reaction times.
Twitch was an instant success. Within a few months, it had significantly more traffic than Justin.tv. The platform offered a unique experience by allowing viewers to interact with streamers in real time, creating a sense of community that was absent from traditional gaming media.
July 27, 2011
The Partner Program
In July 2011, Twitch took a significant step in supporting its content creators by launching the Partner Program. This initiative allowed popular streamers to share in ad revenue generated from their streams.
Additionally, it introduced a subscription model where Twitch users could support their favorite streamers by subscribing to their channels for $4.99 a month. In return, subscribers received a range of perks, including exclusive emotes, live chat privileges, and more. From each subscription, $2.50 went directly to the partnered streamer, with Twitch retaining the remaining $2.49.
February 12, 2014
Twitch Plays Pokémon
In February 2014, Twitch Plays Pokemon became a groundbreaking event in the history of Twitch. Developed by an anonymous Australian programmer, this unique livestream turned the platform’s chat into a crowdsourced game controller for the classic ‘Pokemon Red’ Game Boy game. Twitch users inputted commands into the chat, which were then executed in the game.
This innovative approach attracted a staggering 1,165,140 participants, earning a Guinness World Record for the most participants on a single-player online video game. The channel amassed over 6.5 million total views and maintained an average concurrent viewership between 60,000 and 70,000, with at least 10% actively participating.
May 18, 2014
YouTube Acquistion Interest
The success of Twitch did not go unnoticed. In early 2014, rumors started swirling about a possible acquisition of Twitch by Google, more specifically, by its subsidiary YouTube. The deal was reportedly worth $1 billion, a sum that would have made it one of the biggest acquisitions in the digital video sector at the time.
The acquisition seemed like a logical step. YouTube was, and still is, the dominant platform for pre-recorded video content, while Twitch was rapidly becoming the leader in livestreaming. The merger would have created an unrivaled powerhouse in the online video industry.
However, the deal fell through due to potential antitrust issues. Google already had a significant presence in the online video market through YouTube, and adding Twitch to its portfolio might have raised concerns about market monopoly.
August 25, 2014
When the Google deal did not materialize, Amazon swooped in, acquiring Twitch for $970 million and marking a significant milestone in the livestreaming platform’s history. This move allowed Twitch to continue growing while maintaining its unique identity and community, separate from the pre-existing, pre-recorded content giants. The acquisition was seen as a strategic move by Amazon to expand its presence in the gaming industry and to compete with other tech giants.
Amazon’s acquisition brought significant benefits to Twitch. The platform received a massive influx of resources, allowing it to improve its infrastructure, introduce new features, and expand its reach. Amazon Prime members were granted access to Twitch Prime, providing a monthly free subscription to support any streamer of choice, alongside the luxury of ad-free viewing and complimentary gaming content. This strategic integration not only enhanced the value of an Amazon Prime membership but also enriched the Twitch experience.
January 14, 2015
Not Just Gaming
Twitch expanded beyond its gaming roots to introduce its first non-gaming category, Music. Launched as a beta experiment, the Music category provided a platform for musicians to create, perform, and present original music.
September 25, 2015
The first-ever TwitchCon took place over two days, from September 25 to 26, 2015, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. TwitchCon became a biannual fan convention dedicated to the world of Twitch and the broader culture of video game streaming.
April 24, 2017
The Affiliate Program
In April 2017, Twitch unveiled its Affiliate Program, expanding revenue opportunities to smaller channels. This program, which included access to multi-priced subscription tiers, offered participants a selection of the benefits enjoyed by Twitch Partners.
June 9, 2020
In June 2020, Twitch faced a significant wave of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) strikes. These strikes were primarily targeted at archived streams and clips featuring copyrighted music, leading to a mass removal of affected content. This event underscored the importance of copyright compliance on the platform and prompted Twitch to enhance its guidelines and support for streamers navigating copyright laws.
October 6, 2021
The 2021 Data Leak
On October 6, 2021, a significant security breach occurred when an anonymous hacker leaked proprietary and confidential information from Twitch. This data included the platform’s entire source code as well as payout details of nearly 2.4 million streamers dating back to August 2019.
October 18, 2022
Twitch banned the streaming of certain gambling games such as slots, roulette, and dice games being played on gambling websites that are not licensed in the United States.
March 16, 2023
October 20, 2023
Multistreaming / Simulcasting
Twitch changed its policy to allow creators to simultaneously stream on multiple platforms, enabling streamers to diversify their audience without breaching any exclusivity agreements.
Today, Twitch is much more than just a platform for gamers. It hosts a variety of content, including music, art, fitness, talk shows, and cooking. However, at its core, it remains a community for gamers, by gamers.
The journey of Twitch, from a small section of Justin.tv to a global platform, is a testament to the vision of its founders and the power of the community who have helped shape it. As livestreaming continues to evolve, Twitch is poised to remain at the forefront of the medium.