Streaming hours demonstrate strong growth throughout 2020, with no drop-off even as real-world sports return to TV screens
TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Engine Media’s (TSX-V: GAME;OTCQB: MLLLF) gaming live streaming data analytics and analysis experts Stream Hatchet have highlighted the ever-expanding popularity of esports streaming in 2020 – maintaining growth despite the return of traditional sports in the second half of the year.
Stream Hatchet has released its 2020 industry trend report, highlighting the esports market’s continued growth, which rode an initial wave in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report also highlighted how politics became a key subject on the gaming streaming platforms in 2020:
- Twitch launched a dedicated politics category in Feb 2020. Viewers on Twitch watched 2.8 million hours of political live streams.
- Stream Hatchet tracked 80 million hours watched on Twitch and YouTube across the election season (Election Night, Presidential Debate #2, VP Debate, & Supreme Court Hearing).
- NBC lead Election Night coverage with 11 million watch hours on YouTube.
- Steven Crowder, a conservative influencer, generated 3.1 million watch hours and Hasan Piker (HasanAbi) a liberal Twitch influencer generated 2.5 million watch hours.
“Traditional TV networks continued to expand their streaming efforts on gaming platforms in 2020. These news channels with older audiences are seeking to reach interested younger viewers who have turned away from traditional networks,” said Tom Rogers, Executive Chairman, Engine Media.
Stream Hatchet measures gaming live streaming data across all platforms and provides valuable data insight for esports teams, gaming studios, and major brands invested in gaming.
According to Stream Hatchet’s data, the pandemic’s onset in Q1 2020 caused esports streaming numbers to rise dramatically in Q2. As the year ticked on and live entertainment sports options returned, the trend continued despite the increase in online and on TV entertainment options. Stream Hatchet data showed that activity levels remained high and by year-end had increased 69% over 2019 and 81% over 2018.
Other highlights of the Stream Hatchet 2020 report include:
- Twitch, the market leader of western streaming platforms, doubled its watch hours from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020 to 5.4 billion.
- Mobile gaming continues to grow on western streaming sites as both PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire landed in the top five most-watched games.
- Riot Games is the only publisher to produce two of the top 10 games due to the incredibly successful release of VALORANT in April of 2020.
- Stream Hatchet has identified the top esports streamers for 2020 and honed in specifically on the top five female streamers of the year, tracking their increasing popularity.
- As brands and advertisers recognize the opportunity to reach the millennial male audience via streaming, Stream Hatchet tallied 355 million hours of sponsored live streams in 2020. The report shares the top sponsored streams of the year and the brands that supported them.
- Live streaming sites have been steadily pushing content boundaries past video games and esports events to include concerts, debates, professional sports, and much more.
“Stream Hatchet’s data has confirmed that video games and esports have taken a huge step in popular culture. When much of the live entertainment world went dark, streaming platforms were able to captivate audiences through remote esports tournaments and exciting live streams,” says Eduard Montserrat, CEO of Stream Hatchet.
“During one of the most closely monitored election cycles in US history, younger generations turned to these platforms, and their respective influencers, to learn about the political discourse informing their decisions at the poll booths. We’re fascinated with the data points and larger media trends that are contained within this report, and are confident that 2021 will yield even more compelling insights.”
About Engine Media Holdings, Inc.
Engine Media is focused on accelerating new, live, immersive esports and interactive gaming experiences for consumers through its partnerships with traditional and emerging media companies. The company was formed through the combination of Torque Esports Corp., Frankly Inc., and WinView, Inc. and trades publicly under the ticker symbol (TSX-V: GAME) (OTCQB: MLLLF). Engine Media will generate revenue through a combination of: direct-to-consumer and subscription fees; streaming technology and data SaaS-based offerings; programmatic advertising and sponsorships; as well as intellectual property licensing fees. To date, the combined companies have served clients comprising more than 1,200 television, print and radio brands including CNN, ESPN, Discovery / Eurosport, Fox, Vice, Newsweek and Cumulus; dozens of gaming and technology companies including EA, Activision, Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, Microsoft, Google, Twitch and Ubisoft; and have connectivity into hundreds of millions of homes around the world through their content, distribution and technology.