Social media giants Facebook (FB) have recorded a huge increase in its hourly viewership of Esports only two years after pivoting to the video game streaming world. Data gathered by safebettingsites.com shows the platform’s hourly viewership rose by 625 million hours from Q2 of 2019 to Q2 of 2020, an increase of 316%.
Facebook Pivots to the Video Game Streaming Industry.
FB first competed against Amazon’s Twitch and YouTube Gaming in 2018 when it first opened up its platform to content creators to stream and monetise their video-game content. In 2019, FB launched a dedicated gaming tab signaling their strong pivot to the video game streaming industry.
One of the more popular video game streaming categories that FB has seen strong success in is in Esports. Esports is a form of competition using video games much like your traditional sports leagues, albeit in digital form. Although Esports is a concept that has been practiced for over a decade the last few years have seen a tremendous rise in its popularity as evidenced by FB’s recorded increase in hourly viewership.
The Rise of Esports
Esports in general is on the rise, whether it is on FB or otherwise. Despite, and perhaps because of, the obstacles that 2020 has presented so far, Esports managed to log an important milestone as it was valued at over 1 billion dollars for the first time in 2020. The same data projects that the Esports industry will be worth nearly 1.6 billion dollars by the year 2023. As one COO of a top esports company puts it, “Esports has a fascinating and incredibly exciting future.”
COVID-19 Circumstances Contributes to Strong Performance of Video Game Industry
The conditions presented by COVID-19 in many countries meant that the video game industry and all its subcategories experienced a huge surge as people stayed in their homes. The industry was already on the rise before the pandemic hit but when lockdowns were imposed all over the world, the industry saw its rise take on meteoric levels.
FB’s rival Twitch recorded a surge in streamers and viewers after the pandemic took hold in March. In January of 2020 before the pandemic was seen as a global threat Twitch averaged 1.35 million average viewers which rose to 2.49 million by April when lockdowns were put in place in many parts of the world.
More notably, Twitch saw a larger surge in its active streamers numbers as people either looked for alternative sources of income during the pandemic or simply had more time on their hands. In February of 2020 Twitch recorded 3.75 million active streamers which nearly doubled to 7.40 million by the month of May.