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Twitch Viewers More Than Double to 45 Million in 2013

The game streaming service grew immensely last year.

News by Mike Williams, .

It's safe to say that game streaming site Twitch.tv blew way up last year, but until now we didn't know specifics about the service's growth over 2013. Today, Twitch has released its statistics for last year, including how much those numbers grew over 2012.

In 2013, Twitch reached 45 million unique viewers and more than 900,000 unique broadcasters per month, up from 20 million viewers and 300,000 broadcasters in 2012. The service has already surpassed those numbers in 2014, with a million unique broadcasters this month. Users are watching 12 billion minutes of video per month, with the average user watching 106 minutes of content per day.

"When video game historians look back on gaming a decade from now, 2013 will be the year they cite as the tipping point of streaming," said Twitch vice president of marketing Matthew DiPietro explained. "Every major event, publisher, developer, and media outlet in the gaming industry had a presence on Twitch, and streaming became an ever-present piece of the gaming experience. And it's only going to get bigger."

The average age of Twitch's viewers is 21, and 76 percent of its audience is between the ages of 18 and 49. What are they watching? Livestreams still take the cake, including shows from popular broadcasters include LethalFrag, MANvsGAME, Justin Fylan, and Hafu. Publishers and developers have gotten into the streaming game as well, with Riot, Mojang, 2K, Capcom, Ubisoft, ArenaNET and more showing off their games exclusively on Twitch.

Twitch viewing is also split out in other community-focused events, like eSports matches and championships, live speedrunning, and the odd Salty Bet phenomenon.

Integrated Twitch is already live on PlayStation 4, which contributed to a large part of Twitch's growth in the latter part of 2013. According to Twitch earlier this month, 20 percent of Twitch broadcasters are streaming from the PlayStation 4 system. Integrated Twitch streaming is also supposed to be coming to the Xbox One, but players should not expect that until right before E3.

A full version of the report can be found on Twitch's website here.

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Comments 3

  • Avatar for weevilo #1 weevilo 3 years ago
    I think this started happening around two months ago, and it has been pretty negative on the experience overall. Most of the streamers I watch have around 100-500 average viewers and the delay between their end and what we see is usually around 30s up to around a minute in the worst cases. If there's a big LoL or DotA event going on it can get even worse. I haven't seen for myself, but a lot of people claim that the the top view count streamers have only a tiny delay like it used to be for everyone, which suggests they're prioritizing their encoding based on view count.

    The problem is, the more viewers there are, the less important community and chat interaction are. In fact, very few streamers with more than a few thousand viewers ever seem to interact with their chat, save for a few like Man and LethalFrag.

    I don't usually participate in chat, but it does add to the experience provided a reasonable stream delay, but the recent change has been pretty frustrating for a lot of smaller streamers that like to have real time interaction with their streamers. Twitch still hasn't commented on the change or any plans to fix it, and as long as the bulk of their revenue comes from the huge MOBA streamers I doubt they feel a need to do anything.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #2 Funny_Colour_Blue 3 years ago
    @weevilo Thanks for the heads up, this 1 minute delay was driving me crazy. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with my connection.
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  • Avatar for weevilo #3 weevilo 3 years ago
    @Funny_Colour_Blue Here's a Twitch blog update about it:

    http://blog.twitch.tv/2013/12/service-update-major-video-system-update-and-prague-is-online/

    Sounds like they chose this path vs. upgrading their server infrastructure to improve the quality of streaming overall. I think we're seeing a side-effect of most streamers having that extra delay to allow for a longer buffering window due to the increased amount of transcoding going on (allowing more streamers to offer multiple resolutions, which requires each frame to be encoded multiple times).
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