Twitch’s overall audience has decreased 9.4% year over year, both in terms of hours watched and average concurrent viewers. Rival platforms are increasingly competing with each other to get a piece of the action.

At least in the west, Twitch has dominated the market for video game livestreams for more than a decade. Twitch has also emerged as a prominent destination for non-gaming streaming, including “Just Chatting,” art, music, and hot tub streams. Twitch’s popularity peaked in 2021, when many of us were still locked indoors, and streamers were there to keep us company. As the world became more open, a predicted drop followed, but the decline persisted through 2023. 

SullyGnome, a website that tracks Twitch statistics, offers a long-term snapshot of Twitch popularity beginning in January 2016, when the average viewership for the entire site was 646,000. Peak viewership of 3.1 million occurred in April 2021. After then, the number has steadily decreased, reaching as low as 2.2 million in December 2022. 

Even if January’s tiny increase to 2.5 million is encouraging, it still represents a 13% decline from the same month last year. Both average viewership and hours watched have decreased overall by 9.4% during the last 12 months. So, according to these statistics, Twitch is not seeing any sort of dire downturn. Yet it’s obvious that this is not a good omen. The decrease also coincides with a 9.8% decrease in streamed hours, as well as an increase in the average number of channels. There are various things that could affect this. The popularity of new game releases and the apparent decline in interest in esports games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO are two factors outside of Twitch’s control.

The real problem is that some streamers are switching from Twitch to YouTube, Facebook Gaming, or Kick. Several of Twitch’s greatest performers have inked exclusive contracts with YouTube, while Kick, the newest player on the block, is providing 95% income shares. 

Twitch, meantime, has resisted using outrageous deals or larger revenue percentages to fend off rivals. In reality, the company is making a 50/50 split the norm while decreasing subscription revenue for users who previously received a 70/30 share. Also, this is less than YouTube’s 70/30 split. The number of “active” partnered streamers has decreased by 5.4% over the last 12 months, reaching 50,702. To 2.06 million, there are now 9.3% fewer active affiliate streams. Twitch, though, has also experienced some success. With 6.7 million viewers, the platform set a new high viewership record. Also, improved interaction mechanisms like channel points and emotes have received favorable response. Many of the greatest streamers are still based on Twitch, like xQc, Kai Cenat, Ibai, Auronplay, GrefG, Hasan, Gaules, and others.

Unfortunately, figures for Kick and YouTube are not as easily accessible, but Kick boasted of reaching 1 million subscribers in just 69 days, while YouTube surely expanded its market share with high-profile signings. Nevertheless, it is unknown if these are logged-in people or merely website visitors.

All streaming services will face challenges in 2023, but Twitch will face specific challenges because it formerly had an unbreakable hold on the market.