Twitch Has Record-Setting Quarter Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Twitch surpassed 3 billion hours watched during the first quarter of 2020 as the coronavirus left people at home.

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With people around the globe stuck in their homes in recent weeks, they've evidently been watching a lot of Twitch streamers. The service had its best quarter ever, breaking a record with more than 3 billion hours watched.

According to streaming tools service StreamLabs, Twitch hit new highs for both hours viewed and hours streamed, with about three times what YouTube Gaming Live managed during the same period.

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Twitch saw its watch hours increase by 23 percent between February and March, with concurrent viewership rising by nearly 20 percent. While this was a period when people began self-quarantining because of coronavirus (COVID-19), it also saw the release of major games like Doom Eternal, Nioh 2, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Twitch streaming hours had actually been on the decline last year.

Unique Twitch channels also increased by more than 33 percent during the first quarter. It will be curious to see if Twitch can maintain its pace going into April and May, as major game releases are going to slow down. Final Fantasy VII Remake will launch April 10, but The Last of Us Part 2 was delayed from its May 29 date indefinitely.

Other games may follow suit, as physical disc manufacturing could be affected and game developers are adapting to a new work-from-home environment in place of traditional offices. Viewers may have to get accustomed to watching the same games or smaller indie titles until the pandemic has ceased.

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