People Spent 34.6 Billion Hours Live Streaming Games in 2021, But Is It Sustainable?

Live streaming has ended up becoming one of the more popular ways for people to end up passing their time, with websites like Twitch creating a bit of a revolution in this regard. While there are all kinds of live streams that people could take part in if they so choose, it’s hard to argue against the fact that live streams that involve gameplay are the most popular out of all the various genres and they get the most watch time too.

2020 was a year of truly massive growth for live streaming with the coronavirus pandemic giving people a lot more free time than they were used to having which resulted in them watching more live streams than they otherwise would have had time for. Users spent an average of three hundred million hours a month on live streaming sites dedicated to games in 2019. That’s pretty impressive, especially when you consider that it lead to a total of over 15 billion hours of total watch time, but 2020 resulted in that number doubling.

The start of 2020 saw live streaming numbers soar to well over 600 million hours per month during the months of April and May which was when the pandemic was at its worst. There was a dip followed by a resurgence, and the start of 2021 saw around 700 million hours of live streams being viewed by gaming fans. One thing to note is that this tapered down somewhat by the end of the year, but 2021 still managed to get a total of just under 35 billion hours of live streaming in before it ended.

The decrease in average watch time from almost 800 million to under 600 million by the end of the year might have some concerned, but it might have to do with the more normal conditions under which people had started to live. It also indicates that the inevitable plummet after lockdowns were ended was not as steep as many had expected, and chances are that this higher rate of viewership will continue in the coming years and potentially even grow further.

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