Game-streaming site Twitch reached 45m viewers in 2013

16 Jan 2014

In a sign of the continuing growth of e-sports, online game-streaming service Twitch TV reached the record-breaking number of 45m unique viewers in 2013.

In its flipbook announcement, Twitch broke down the figures which show that more and more people are not just playing games online but are actually watching other personalities and players play online in a similar way that a person might watch their favourite sport team on TV.

These 45m users were regular viewers to the online channel, accumulating more than 12bn minutes of viewing time last year alone averaging nearly two hours a day per user across the 6m broadcasts made.

This was a considerable jump in numbers from 2012, which showed 20m unique viewers and 3m broadcasts made.

The site is certainly a young person’s game, with the average age of the user being only 21 years of age and highlighting the continuing change of how people consume their media. Sixty-eight per cent of users surveyed back in 2012 said they were now much less likely to watch traditional TV in favour of game-streaming sites like Twitch.

Starcraft 2 image

Starcraft 2 (above) is one of Twitch’s most streamed games.

An online phenomenon

The company has traditionally been a PC phenomenon focusing on mouse and keyboard strategy games, but the availability of streaming directly from an Xbox One or PS4 console has introduced a whole new market for the site.

As of last year, the site’s most popular games have included games like Starcraft II, League of Legends, Minecraft and signifying the consoles’ growing influence, Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

When not streaming live, users can upload their gameplay highlights to their page to be watched at any time for free.

In its end-of-year report, the company said the growing fascination with e-sports will see more games in the coming months and years include the ability to stream directly from their games through Twitch: “Game developers and publishers have caught on to the massive growth in e-sports viewership and many more are beginning to see investing in and supporting e-sports as a key marketing strategy for their competitive titles … Spectator modes are no longer an afterthought, but a core feature touted throughout the development process.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic