Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming site, has been growing in popularity as more of today’s younger users look to online video instead of traditional television for entertainment. Today, the company released figures that paint of picture of its user base and how deeply they engage with Twitch’s content. Though the company didn’t disclose how many total users it has, it did note that it averages over half a million concurrent viewers who tune in to watch videos from its 1.7 million monthly broadcasters. And those users are heavily engaged with the site, watching more minutes of video every month than the average YouTube user.
The company had previously announced having over 100 million users, we should point out, but chose not to update that figure at this time. However, it would say that it has 8.5 million daily active users – up 20 percent since 2015.
Twitch also says that its users watch 421.6 minutes of programming per month, which is far higher than YouTube’s 291 monthly minutes. (Twitch cites this figure using comScore data). And, more recently, that includes non-gaming content as well, given that the network has been experimenting with expansions into “creative” videos adjacent to the gaming space, including things like painting, illustrations, songs, costumes and even glass blowing.
Many of Twitch’s broadcasters were throwing this sort of content into their channels, but it had been harder to discover until the launch of Twitch’s “creative” vertical last fall.
In addition, the company decided to keep videos from “Joy of Painting’s” Bob Ross on the air after a special event drew in 5.6 million viewers.
Still, the bread-and-butter for Twitch is its gaming videos, which are most popular in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, Poland and Taiwan, the company says.
At times, viewers from around the world are tuning in to watch events on the network, which led to peak usage on August 23, 2015 where 2 million-plus viewers came to watch ESL One: Cologne 2015 and Legends NA LCS Finals in one weekend.
In November, thanks in part to the launch of Twitch Creative and the ExtraLife Charity event, Twitch saw its peak number of concurrent broadcasters with 35,610 streaming programs. (Twitch regularly hosts charity events – in 2015, its community raised $17.4 million for over 55 charities.)
Viewers aren’t just watching programs, however – they’re also interacting. The company says that its users sent 9.2 billion messages in 2015, and shared as many as 3.8 million KappaRoss “emotes” during its “Joy of Painting” marathon.
KappaRoss was the 10th most popular emote on the site, following Kappa, :D, <3, :), PogChamp, DansGame, BibleThump, Kreygasm, and 4Head.
Emotes are like Twitch’s secret language – these custom emoji-like pictorial glyphs let users jazz up their conversations, while also allowing broadcasters to generate revenue by selling their own packs to fans. (If you don’t know what all these emotes mean, a site called TwitchEmotes can help you understand).
Also worth noting is that Twitch is making headway on mobile, which now accounts for 35 percent of its monthly viewership. But the majority (56 percent) still watch via the web, while 7 percent watch on consoles.
These details and more, including those about which games were popular in 2015, were published today on Twitch.tv’s website.
The news follows Amazon’s earlier announcement this week of its new game engine, Lumberyard, which also includes Twitch integration. In Lumberyard, new “Twitch Chatplay” feature lets gamers interact with viewers in real-time (such as via voting on a game’s outcome or sending gifts), which could lead to more “Twitch Plays…” content. There’s also a Twitch “JoinIn” feature for multiplayer games where broadcasters invite viewers to play along. If more games were built to take advantage of these features, Twitch would also benefit as a result, and the above numbers could grow even further.