47 Latest Live Streaming Statistics, Facts, And Trends For 2021

Live Streaming Statistics

Want to learn more about the state of live streaming this year? We’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve compiled a huge list of the latest live streaming statistics available.

These stats reveal how live video has taken the world by storm in recent years, tell us more about who’s watching, and shed light on the platforms, publishers, and trends that are shaping the industry.

These statistics can also help to inform your marketing or live video publishing strategy for the year ahead.

Ready? Let’s dive into it!

General live streaming statistics

Let’s kick things off by taking a look at some general live streaming statistics that tell us more about the size of the industry and where it might be heading.

1. Live content accounts for almost a quarter of global viewing time

23% of global viewing time is spent watching live content; the other 77% goes to on-demand content.

While this shows live video isn’t yet as popular as on-demand video (and probably never will be), it’s still pretty impressive and shows just how far the live streaming industry has come.

Live content accounts for almost a quarter of global viewing time

Source: Conviva State of Streaming 2021

2. 42% of people in the US have watched live-streamed content

That’s nearly half of the American public. Cool, huh?

42% of people in the US have watched live-streamed content

Source: Nielsen

3. 44% of viewers say they watch less TV as a result of live streaming

Live streaming platforms have been slowly stealing market share from traditional television for the last few years.

Source: IAB

4. Live content generates 27% more minutes of watch time per viewing than on-demand video

On-demand video might demand a greater share of global viewing time, but as this stat shows, it can’t beat live video when it comes to engagement.

The average viewer spends around 25.4 minutes watching live video per viewing session, compared to around 19 minutes watching video on demand.

Source: Conviva State of Streaming 2021

5. Live streaming grew by 13% in 2021

As of the second quarter of 2021, live streaming was up by 13% compared to the same time the year before.

This shows that the global upswing in live streaming caused by the pandemic in 2020 wasn’t temporary, as many analysts thought it might be. Rather, it looks like the spike spurred a tipping point that’s showing no signs of reversal.

Even as we begin to leave global lockdowns behind us, live streaming consumption continues to rise.

Source: Streamlabs3

6. Audiences watched nearly 9 billion hours of live streaming content in the last quarter

8.99 billion, to be exact. That figure refers to the total number of hours watched across all streaming platforms in Q2 2021. It’s up by 2.5% compared to last quarter, in which 8.77 billion hours of live stream content was watched.

If we break that figure down a little further, it shows us that viewers spent around 3 billion hours watching content each month in this quarter. That figure is up by 16% compared to the same time in 2020.

Source: Streamlabs3

7. Nearly a quarter of US internet users have been watching more live streams since the pandemic

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the consumption of media has gone up across the board. 24% of internet users in the US report watching more live streams in a recent survey.

This figure actually lags a little bit behind other forms of media. Consumption of broadcast TV is up 39%, digital videos (YouTube, TikTok, etc.) by 39%, and digital TV by 38%.

Nearly a quarter of US internet users have been watching more live streams since the pandemic

Source: eMarketer1

8. The global live streaming market is estimated to reach over $247 billion by 2027

This shows just how huge the live streaming market is expected to become. In a few years, it’ll be worth almost a quarter of a trillion dollars. Industry estimates predict a 28.1% CAGR throughout the forecast period.

The global live streaming market is estimated to reach over $247 billion by 2027

Source: Market Research Future

9. Video streaming accounted for nearly half of all downstream internet traffic

According to Sandvine’s Mobile Internet Phenomena report, video streaming was the number one category by traffic share last year, accounting for 48.9% of downstream internet traffic (traffic volume downloaded from the internet) and 19.4% of upstream traffic. YouTube and TikTok are the top channels in this category.

It’s worth noting, though, that this is referring to video streaming in general, not just live video.

Video streaming accounted for nearly half of all downstream internet traffic

Source: Sandvine

Live streaming platform statistics

Next, let’s take a look at some statistics about the most popular live streaming platforms, including Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube.

10. 52% of live video viewers stream content through social media

This was the number one source of live video content worldwide according to a recent survey.

However, if we look at the US specifically, the data tells a different story. Only 40% of US respondents reported streaming live video through social platforms, while 43% streamed content through digital streaming subscriptions.

52% of live video viewers stream content through social media

Source: eMarketer2

11. Twitch dominates the video game live streaming market

Twitch is a platform that’s become almost synonymous with live streaming. It’s the clear leader in the industry by a long way.

In the third quarter of 2020, a Streamlabs report revealed that Twitch controls 91.1% of the market share for hours streamed. That figure was up by 14.5% from the previous quarter. This surge was driven by the shutdown of the rival live streaming platform, Mixer.

If we look at total hours watched (rather than streamed), Twitch still dominates, with 63.6% of the market share.

YouTube gaming is the platform’s biggest competitor, with 22.5% of the market share by hours watched and 5.5% by hours streamed. Facebook trails behind and accounts for only 14% of hours watched and 3.4% of hours streamed.

Twitch dominates the video game live streaming market

Source: Streamlabs1

12. 6.51 billion of the total hours watched on all streaming platforms last quarter came from Twitch

Reminder: there were 9 billion total live streaming hours watched in the same period. This means Twitch accounted for more than two-thirds of all live streaming hours watched.

Twitch’s market domination shows no sign of slowing down, as the platform has consistently increased their total hours watched over the last few quarters. They’ve now broken records for three quarters in a row, and their viewership has increased by 27% year-over-year.

6.51 billion of the total hours watched on all streaming platforms last quarter came from Twitch

Source: Streamlabs3

13. Twitch garnered over 1 trillion minutes of watch time in 2020

That’s right. Over the course of a year, Twitch viewers consumed over a trillion minutes of live streaming content.

Source: Twitch Advertising Audience

14. Twitch has 30 million daily visitors

That works out at around 210 million visitors per week or 900 million visitors per month. When you consider that, 1 trillion minutes of watch time doesn’t seem so surprising after all.

Source: Twitch Advertising Audience

15. There are over 2.5 million people watching Twitch right now

As you’re reading this statistic, over 2 and a half million people are viewing Twitch streams.

Source: Twitch Advertising Audience

16. Over 13 million people started streaming on Twitch in 2020

This is the number of creators that decided to stream for the first time ever. In total, over 7 million streamers go live every month. This statistic shows that Twitch users aren’t like users of other social platforms. They don’t just watch content, they create it.

Source: Twitch Advertising Audience

17. 62% of Twitch viewers engage with esports and gaming personalities every day

It’s no secret that gaming is a big part of the live streaming industry. As this stat shows, gaming personalities generate unparalleled audience engagement.

Source: Twitch Advertising

18. 70% of Twitch viewers donate to streamers that they like

Accepting donations is a common way for streamers to monetize their live streams. And given how charitable the average viewers are, it’s possible for the top creators to make a lot of money this way.

Source: Twitch Advertising

19. Only 32% of YouTube users watch live stream videos on the platform

YouTube is another leading video streaming platform. It’s best known for on-demand video content and is struggling to make gains in the live streaming space.

A survey conducted in the third quarter of 2020 found that only 32% of users had watched a video live stream within the past month. Comparatively, 58% had watched a music video and 38% had watched a TV show.

Source: eMarketer1

Related: How To Use YouTube To Grow Your Blog Traffic

20. YouTube Gaming viewership is falling

Unlike Twitch, YouTube Gaming’s audience doesn’t seem to be growing very quickly. On the contrary, after an initial surge in viewership in 2020, watch time on the platform started to drop.

In the first quarter of 2021, total hours watched on YouTube Gaming dropped from 1.924 billion to 1.373 billion. It fell again between Q1 and Q2 to 1.294 billion. This is in stark contrast to Twitch, which has continued to grow its viewership after the initial surge in 2020.

YouTube Gaming viewership is falling

Source: Streamlabs3

21. One in five Facebook videos are live videos

Facebook might not be quite as popular in the live streaming space as Twitch yet, but live broadcasting has certainly taken off on the platform. It grew fourfold in the four years prior to 2017, and around a fifth of videos on the platform are live streams.

Source: TechCrunch

22. Facebook Gaming has nearly tripled the number of hours watched in 1 year

The platform surpassed 1 billion hours watched in the first quarter of 2021, but this figure has been increasing steadily since 2019. Viewership in the second quarter of 2021 was up 42.7% compared to the year prior.

Facebook Gaming has nearly tripled the number of hours watched in 1 year

Source: Streamlabs3

Live streaming audience demographics

Who are the most prolific consumers of live stream content? The stats below help to answer that question by revealing the largest live streaming audience segments.

23. 18 to 34-year-olds are the most frequent viewers of live stream video in the US

15% of those in this age range say they watch live video content several times per day, compared to just 8% in the 35-54 age range, and only 3% of those aged 55+.

Conversely, a whopping 62% of those over age 55 in the US never watch live stream video compared to 24% of those aged 18-34.

Source: Statista2

24. 70% of Twitch viewers are age 16 to 34

This stat provides further evidence that live streaming is most popular amongst younger audiences. The takeaway for brands is that if your target buyers are in this age range, it might be worth thinking about live streaming.

Source: Twitch Advertising Audience

25. 65% of Twitch viewers are male

Twitch has a much less even audience gender distribution than other social media platforms. Around two-thirds of viewers are male.

65% of Twitch viewers are male

Source: Statista1

Live streaming channel and publisher statistics

What are the most popular live streaming channels and publishers? Let’s find out.

26. Ninja has the most-followed Twitch channel

Richard Tyler Blevins is an American Twitch streamer and professional gamer better known by his alias, Ninja. He’s Twitch’s biggest superstar, with over 16.9 million followers. Tfue is the second most-followed channel with 10.7 million followers.

Ninja has the most-followed Twitch channel

Source: Social Blade

27. xQc is the most-watched channel on Twitch

Ninja might hold the top spot when it comes to followers, but if we look at watch time, he doesn’t even make the top 3. Canadian Twitch streamer xQc took the top spot by a huge margin, with over 90 million hours watched in the second quarter of 2021. Gaules ranked in the runner-up spot, with 46 million hours watched.

xQc is the most-watched channel on Twitch

Source: Streamlabs2

28. Riot Games is the leading live streaming publisher…

Twitch is often thought of as a channel for independent creators, but brands can also be successful on the platform – and Riot Games is proof of that.

The American video game developer and esports tournament is the leading live streaming publisher, with 927.6 million total hours watched.

Riot Games is the leading live streaming publisher…

Source: Streamlabs3

29… and the brand with the most followers on Twitch

Riot Games currently has around 5.1 million followers. Pretty impressive, right?

and the brand with the most followers on Twitch

Source: Social Blade

30. Inoxtag is the most-watched live streaming channel on YouTube

Inoxtag is a French video game streamer that’s seen huge success on the YouTube platform, with over 11.6 million hours watched. He owns the title of the most-watched channel on YouTube Gaming.

Jun Channel (a gaming live streaming channel owned by Japanese YouTuber Jun) came in a close second with 10.9 million hours watched.

Inoxtag is the most-watched live streaming channel on YouTube

Source: Streamlabs2

31. Nam Blue is the most-watched channel on Facebook Gaming

Nam Blue is a gaming streamer from Vietnam. He streams to various platforms but is most successful on Facebook Gaming, where he’s generated 8.36 million watch hours to date. NexxuzHD came second, with 6.6 million hours watched.

Nam Blue is the most-watched channel on Facebook Gaming

Source: Streamlabs2

32. Grand Theft Auto is the most-watched game live streaming category

GTA is the game of the moment. Streams in this category generated over 866 million watch hours in the second quarter of 2021 across all platforms. It recently surpassed the previous most-watched category, ‘Just Chatting’, which had held the top spot since Q4 2020.

Source: Streamlabs3

Live streaming statistics for marketers and businesses

Are you planning on using live video for business purposes? Check out these live streaming statistics for marketers and businesses!

33. 35% of marketers use live video

This is according to data from 2018. The figure was up by 7% compared to the year before. Not only that, but the study also found that 63% of marketers planned on increasing their use of live video in the future.

Source: Social Media Examiner

34. 80% of people would rather watch a brand’s live video than read their blog…

And can you blame them? Who wants to read walls of text when you could watch a video instead?

80% of people would rather watch a brand's live video than read their blog

Source: Livestream

35. …and 82% prefer live video from brands to their social posts

Many brands invest heavily in social media marketing, but if you want to connect with your target audience on their level, you might want to consider focusing on live video content instead.

Source: Livestream

36. Live stream shopping events will drive $25 billion in sales by 2023

Live stream shopping events are fun, community-driven digital versions of the kind of home shopping channels you might see on television. It’s a new spin on an old concept, and analysts predict it’ll soon take off.

We’re already seeing the potential of live stream shopping events. In China, a Tommy Hilfiger Livestream event recently garnered 14 million viewers and lead to 1,300 hoodie sales selling out in just 2 minutes.

Source: Hootsuite

37. 64% of Twitch viewers buy products their favorite streamers recommend

This shows that Twitch can be a lucrative channel for affiliate marketing. Creators who don’t want to rely on donations to monetize their streams can promote products from their affiliate partners instead.

Source: Twitch Advertising

38. 45% of people would pay to watch live video content from their favorite team or performers

By live streaming, creators can grow an audience of engaged viewers that are willing to pay to see them perform live.

Source: Livestream

39. 55% of surveyed businesses use live video for company broadcasts in the workplace…

There are other ways businesses can use live video aside from promoting their brand. In a recent survey, 55% of enterprises reported using live video to share company broadcasts with their employees in the workplace.

Source: Haivision

40. … and 29% stream live video in their organization daily

A further 53% reported streaming live video at least once a week.

Source: Haivision

41. Live streaming to employees who work remotely is the top challenge surveyed businesses face

Amongst businesses that use live video in the workplace, 41% said streaming to remote employees was their biggest challenge. Other challenges included live streaming from remote locations (39%) and managing bandwidth (36%).

Source: Haivision

42. 81% of surveyed businesses display their live streams on employee desktops

Employee desktops were the most popular screen used to display live stream content in the office. 81% of businesses chose to display their live streams this way. 64% chose to live stream to mobile devices or smartphones, and 31% use TVs.

Source: Haivision

Live streaming trends

The live streaming statistics below reveal a couple of recent trends that are having a huge impact on the direction of the live video industry.

43. Music live streaming is on the rise

Live streaming platforms like Twitch may be the new, modern equivalent of radio. Following global lockdowns brought about by the events of 2020, and the subsequent shutdown of live music events, event organizers turned instead to live streaming platforms as a way to perform to audiences virtually.

As a result of the growing demand for live music streaming, Twitch even created their own ‘Music’ category. Since its inception, watch time has been steadily growing and channels in this category have generated over 230 million watch hours to date.

Music live streaming is on the rise

Source: Stream Hatchet

44. The total hours spent watching ‘Sports’ live streams increased by 82% in Q2 2021

Another clear trend impacting the live streaming industry is the adoption of sports. And no, we’re not talking about esports here – we’re talking about real sports like soccer and basketball. Again, this trend has likely been driven by the pandemic and global lockdowns restricting live sporting events.

Source: Stream Hatchet

Live streaming quality statistics

Finally, let’s take a look at some live streaming statistics that show just how important video quality is to viewers.

45. 67% of viewers say that quality is the #1 most important factor in a live stream

Live streaming technology isn’t perfect. Creators often have to rely on a strong internet connection to upload their content in real-time, which can have a negative impact on the quality. This is a problem, as live stream audiences care a lot about quality.

Source: Livestream

46. Viewers abandon poor quality live streams in 90 seconds or less

If your stream doesn’t look clear and high-quality, be prepared to lose viewers.

Source: TechRadar

47. Live streams fail to start 1.09%

This was the average failure rate in Q2 2021 according to a Conviva report. That’s significantly more than on-demand video, which saw video start failures 0.66% of the time.

The reason live streams fail so frequently may be due to the nature of live streaming. Live streaming relies on having a strong, stable internet connection, whereas on-demand video can be recorded in advance.

Source: Conviva State of Streaming 2021

Live streaming statistics sources

Final thoughts

That concludes our roundup of the 47 latest live streaming statistics. As you can see, demand for live video content is growing, and the industry is really starting to take off.

If you want to take advantage of the growth of live video and tap into its engaged viewership, you’ll need to make sure you’re prioritizing high-quality content and streaming to the right channels.

Want to check out more statistics? I’d recommend these articles:

Live Streaming Statistics