Fortnite rules Q1 streaming hours, but Apex places No. 2 and surpasses League of Legends

Fortnite players streamed more than 23.9 million hours of gameplay in the first quarter, cementing Epic Games’ position as the publisher of the world’s most-streamed game. But Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends, launched on February 4, came in at No. 2 with 9 million hours streamed. That enabled it to surpass League of Legends at 5.8 million hours streamed, according to a report being released today by steaming software company Streamlabs and market researcher Newzoo.

The report also found that YouTube Live is showing the first signs of serious contention with Twitch, the market leader in livestreaming. YouTube Live’s viewership was just 25 percent of Twitch’s in the first quarter, but livestreamers on YouTube Live have 26 more viewers per channel than Twitch. And YouTube has the highest hours streamed to hours watched ratio versus other platforms.

In Q1 this year, YouTube had 52% more hours of content streamed compared to Mixer despite having fewer channels.

The average concurrent viewers on Twitch increased 9 percent in the first quarter (compared to the previous quarter), ending with 1.25 million average concurrent viewers.

On Twitch, Epic Games is the most-watched publisher. League of Legends is the No. 2 most-watched game, and Apex Legends is No. 3. But Apex is also the second most-livestreamed game. Due to the growth of Apex Legends, Fortnite lost 10% of its viewership in Q1, compared with the previous quarter.

Above: Twitch still rules in hours watched for livestream companies.

Image Credit: Newzoo/Streamlabs

In 2018, data for YouTube Live was limited to the top 100 channels per game at any given time. In 2019, data gathering has been improved and encompasses all live streaming channels. As a result, total hours watched, streamed and number of unique channels for Youtube Live are not being compared to Twitch and Mixer in 2018.

Growth metrics for YouTube Live have been rising steadily and the platform is beginning to put up some serious competition against Twitch. 651.1 million hours of livestreamed content were watched on YouTube in Q1, over seven times the amount for Mixer.

Interestingly, this difference in viewership doesn’t seem to be affecting how many hours people are streaming on Mixer.

When it comes to hours watched, Twitch increased 7% in Q1 to 2.7 billion hours in Q1 with a 33% increase year over year. Overall, Twitch has amassed 11.9 billion hours of watched content since the first quarter of 2018.

Hours watched on Mixer increased 36% to 89.4 million hours in Q1 with a 266% increase year over year. Overall, Mixer has amassed 262.2 million hours of watched content since Q1 2018.

Mixer is only trailing YouTube Live by 4 million hours, despite receiving 86% less viewership than YouTube this quarter. The total hours of content streamed on Twitch has increased by 18% to 103 million in Q1, a 58% increase year over year. YouTube Live clocked in at 12.5 million hours in Q1 2019.

When it came to average viewers per livestream, YouTube Live saw 26 more viewers per live stream compared to Twitch. YouTube Live ended Q1 with an average of 52.2 viewers per stream; higher than both Mixer and Twitch.

Twitch ended Q1 with 26.1 viewers per stream; a 9% decrease from last quarter. Overall, Twitch is averaging 28.4 viewers per stream since Q1 2018.

And Mixer is averaging 6 viewers per stream overall since Q1 2018, however, the platform has experienced a 336% increase in viewership year over year, ending this quarter with 10.9 average viewers per stream, a 31% increase from Q4.

Above: Average viewers per livestream.

Image Credit: Streamlabs/Newzoo

Youtube has the lowest number of unique channels in Q1 compared to Mixer and Twitch. Considering the number of hours watched per stream, this could be a good opportunity for new streamers on Youtube to establish an audience that clearly likes to watch a lot of content.

There were 1.23M unique livestreaming channels on YouTube Live in Q1 2019.  The number of livestreaming channels on Mixer has lowered slightly, from 1.54 million to 1.44 million in Q1 2019. Perhaps more significantly, there was a 27% decrease year over year in channels on the platform. There were 5.71 million unique live streaming channels on Twitch in Q1 2019, a 17% increase from last quarter.

The top publishers for livestreams

Fortnite is still very popular.

Above: Fortnite.

Image Credit: Epic Games

Despite newcomers like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Black Ops entering the livestreaming scene recently, these titles still couldn’t dethrone Fortnite or overtake Epic Games as the most watched publisher.

However, Epic Games’ Fortnite has been steadily declining in terms of hours watched on Twitch. In Q4 of 2018, the popular battle royale multiplayer shooter racked up 337.2 million hours watched. That number has decreased by 9% in Q1 this year, ending Q1 2019 with 304 million hours watched.

Epic Games saw 304.6 million hours watched on Twitch. Riot Games saw 298.2 million. Valve saw 263.6 million. Blizzard Entertainment saw 217.1 million. PUBG Corporation saw 67.5 million, and Activision saw 35.2 million.

Apex Legends heroes (not pictured: their 25 million friends)

Above: Apex Legends heroes (not pictured: their 25 million friends)

Image Credit: Respawn Entertainment

It seems like one new contender, Apex Legends, may be having an impact on the decline in people watching Fortnite. After debuting in February 2019, Apex ended Q1 as the number three most watched game on Twitch ending Q1 with 180M hours watched on Twitch, just behind League of Legends.

Quarterly active streamers using Streamlabs OBS across all platforms has increased by 26%, surpassing three million quarterly active streamers for the first time ever.

Streamlabs’ mobile iOS and Android live streaming apps are the most-used by professional streamers in the industry and grew even faster than our web or desktop tools.

The Streamlabs OBS App Store for streamers continued growing and delivering apps for streamers, making it the No. 1 App Store for  streamers and broadcasting. Since launching in November 2018, there are now 44 apps available in the store and over 27,000 app subscribers, growing 91% from last quarter.


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