Lately, I’ve been slowly adding more Twitch streams to my diet, and apparently so has the rest of the world. Earlier today, Twitch released some very impressive numbers, over 12 billion hours of stream watching was clocked in the year of 2013, and users clocked an average of 106 minutes of stream watching daily. In addition to the time spent streaming, the user base is up to 45 million unique accounts and 900,000 broadcasters since its inception in 2011, which includes an age base that ranges from 18 to 49.
Matthew DiPietro, VP of Marketing at Twitch, chimes in to say, ” When video game historians look back on gaming a decade from now, 2013 will be the year they cite as the tipping point of streaming,” and this is partly due to the mainstream push of streaming through the PlayStation 4, which now accounts for 20% of all activity on Twitch.
Matthew also goes on to say, “Every major event, publisher, developer, and media outlet in the gaming industry had a presence on Twitch, and streaming became an ever-present piece of the gaming experience. And it’s only going to get bigger.” Which is entirely true events, such as, MAGFest and PAX were broadcast on Twitch in some fashion, and let’s not forget to mention esports’ migration to the service — possibly its home?
I still can’t quite nail why I personally enjoy watching streams. I think it has something to do with games that are currently unavailable to me given my PC situation; I vicariously play Day-Z and Rust through random streamers daily, and that my not be the same reason everyone else is tuning in, but these numbers cement the idea of streaming in gaming culture.