Facebook Gaming records more viewing time than YouTube, despite 100,000 fewer streamers


For the first time, Facebook games recorded more quarterly viewing time than YouTube games.

According to a third quarter 2021 report from Streamlabs (the streaming tool / feature developer beyond the streaming software OBS) and analysis company Flow ax, Facebook Gaming viewers watched a total of 1.29 billion hours of live content from July through September. YouTube Gaming viewers, meanwhile, watched 1.13 billion hours.

In addition to ultimately beating YouTube viewing time, Facebook Gaming was also the only platform to see an increase in viewing hours from Q2 2021 to Q3. This is an increase from the 1.184 billion hours watched in the second quarter of 2021 and the 815 million hours watched in the third quarter of 2020.

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(We should note that Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet do not disclose how they measure view time, and that when individual platforms measure their own view time, they may do so through different processes. For example, a platform- form may count scrolling by one live stream as a view, while another might require a viewer to tune in for a while to count.)

“Although part of this can be attributed to the popularity of Facebook Gaming with the international audience […] they have also been busy improving the live streaming functionality of its platform, ”Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet wrote in the report.

The duo specifically highlighted co-streaming, a collaborative streaming feature that Facebook rolled out to all creators in October, as an example of the quality of life improvements the platform brings to streamers. They also highlighted Facebook’s $ 10 million Black Gaming Creator Program as “a solid investment to support the next generation of black designers”.

“Overall, Facebook Gaming is improving its platform and the growth recorded this quarter is proof that the company’s streaming platform is moving in the right direction,” Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet wrote.

As for YouTube, the report’s findings concluded that while Tic and Facebook Gaming “mainly contribute to the audience of dedicated content creators, the main channels of YouTube Gaming are mainly professional esports events”.

Most viewed YouTube live game channel of the quarter was Vietnamese streamer MixiGaming (16.7 million hours watched), but on its heels were the official esport channels Mobile Legends: Official Bang Bang (15.27 million hours), Overwatch League (11.57 million), and Free Fire – Brazil (9.07 million). Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Indonesia (8.42 million) and PUBG Mobile Indonesia (7.59 million) were also in the top 10.

In contrast, the most viewed channels on Twitch were content creators. xQcOW (48.81 million), Gauls (36.49 million), fort_corigna (32.85 million), and auronplay (32.55 million), while the top creators on Facebook Gaming were streamers Tarboun (5.74 million), I am Venom (5.71 million), Nam Blue (5.49 million), and Bulldog (5.43 million).

Twitch, YouTube and Facebook all saw fewer streamers this quarter

Speaking of Twitch, Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet found that it also experienced a further audience shift, although not as positive as that of Facebook Gaming. For the first time, Twitch saw a year-over-year decrease in the number of individual channels broadcasting content. A total of 10.4 million channels broadcast in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 10.6 million in the third quarter of 2020.

The report also found that Twitch streams, on average, had fewer concurrent viewers: In the third quarter, streams averaged 2.62 million concurrent viewers, down 13% from the second quarter.

However, Twitch wasn’t the only one losing creators. 547,000 unique channels streamed content to YouTube Gaming in the third quarter, down 8.4% from the second quarter. And Facebook Gaming had 440,000 unique streaming channels, down 48% from the second quarter.

All of this gives Twitch a 70.5% market share of the live video game audience, with YouTube having a 13.8% reduction and Facebook having 15.7% – at least, according to figures from Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet.

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