Twitch Viewership Peaked in 2021, Down 5% Two Years Running

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Twitch viewership on the decline

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Photo Credit: Maik Jonietz

Twitch is a brand in turmoil for 2023. The streaming site tried and failed to institute new ad policies after a massive backlash. Here’s why those changes were even floated—Twitch minutes watch is down for the second year running.

This summer, Twitch attempted to introduce new rules that determined how its streamers could display ads on the platform. The new rules prohibited ‘burned-in’ advertising and brand partnerships for video or audio ads.

Both of these formats are widely in use by streamers to announce their brand partnerships—a crucial part of influencing on any social media platform. Content creators took to social media en masse to express their discontent with the new policies—to the point that Twitch was forced to walk them back.

Twitch apologized for that rollout, promising to rewrite its rules for better clarity. But many streamers said the egregious policy changes without much notice had them considering jumping ship to other platforms.

The discontent with Twitch’s policies appears to be on full display as the only metric that matters here is viewership. The”millions of watch minutes” for the platform is on the decline for the second year running.

Twitch Viewership Peaked in 2021 Down 5 Two Years Running | Richmcculley

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Twitch Viewership Peaked in 2021 Down 5 Two Years Running | Richmcculley

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Photo Credit: Statista

Data sourced from Statista reveals that 2023 is the second year of decline in watch minutes for Twitch, with a projected decline of 5% for the year. Twitch also hit a peak of 105,000 average concurrent channels in 2021—meaning a selection of 100,000 people were live on Twitch at any given time. That number has dropped to 92,500 for the first half or 2023, suggesting more creators are opting to stop streaming or have jumped platform to YouTube or TikTok.

Taking a quick peek at YouTube’s minutes watched in 2023 reveals 32% more hours watched compared to Twitch. Twitch’s main game-streaming rival KICK has also grown considerably in 2023, with a 44% increase in hours watched for Q2 2023. High profile streamers like Drake, xQc, and Ninja have left Twitch in favor of KICK—often taking a large portion of their audience with them.