New SuperData Research report shows Twitch bigger than HBO and Netflix

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Are you ready for the age of Twitch and Chill? Probably not, but gaming is taking over the eyeballs of viewers around the world as a new SuperData Research report shows more people watch YouTube and Twitch than those who watch HBO, ESPN, Netflix and Hulu combined. It’s a humbling yet scary statistic, but there are some factors worth considering.

The data covered by SuperData relates to online streaming (Twitch and YouTube), let’s play videos, gameplay overviews and reviews. This all falls under the gaming video content banner and SuperData estimates that 2017 has had 666 million viewers. This is split with approximately 563 million on YouTube’s various gaming channels and the remaining 212 million viewers can be found on Twitch.

Image courtesy of SuperData/Dot Esports

This means that a total of 60% of online video content was gaming, and that’s no surprise. Their report from 2016 shows a significant increase in online gaming viewership and other, similar, reports have shown that esports and other gaming channels have seen a massive in flux of new viewers to these platforms. Numbers from last year, according to Dot Esports, showed 185 million people watching Twitch livestreams, while YouTube was at 517 million. Numbers for both Netflix and HBO have also seen an increase due to new locations being offered, and that’s easily one of the reasons why gaming video content is so much bigger.

As I mentioned above, there are a few factors worth considering. Firstly, gaming content on Twitch and YouTube is free. You can tune in anytime, watch replays, save videos for offline view and catch any content anytime, anywhere. With this is in mind, it’s easy to understand how video gaming content has such a massive lead on other online entertainment options.

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Netflix, HBO, Hulu and ESPN are available in only certain parts of the world, and have only recently been added to South Africa, for example. People are also still downloading series and movies illegally, and while this example may seem irrelevant, HBO could be one of the hardest hit in this regard if we remember Game of Thrones’ season opener being pirated an estimated 90 million times in just three days. This was also not limited to torrent websites, but also illegal online streaming platforms who still operate for a number of shows on all the aforementioned outlets. This is not to take away from what video gaming content has achieved, but to rather show some context as to how these platforms are thriving in this day and age.

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Last Updated: October 19, 2017

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit’s esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere – but my work here is independent of that.

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