The number of streamers generating revenue on Twitch grew by 86 per cent in 2018

The number of streamers generating revenue on Twitch grew by 86 per cent in 2018

Twitch released its annual retrospective this week, with insights into the platform's greatest achievements in the last 12 months.

The statistics took a look back at some of Twitch's crowning moments this year, as well as detailing what flourished, who flourished, and what we can expect in 2019.

"We love celebrating the community and their achievements. It's their dedication and passion that have made for a record-setting year on Twitch," said Twitch chief marketing officer Kate Jhaveri.

"Our role is to support everyone who helps create the live, interactive and shared entertainment that makes Twitch so unique and we'll keep that focus in 2019 with more tools, opportunities, and experiences to ensure the community continues to thrive."

Population growth 

In 2018, Twitch made serious moves to improve monetisation for creators of all sizes. The number of Partners and Affiliates generating revenue on the platform rose more than 86 per cent in 2018. This number included over 248,000 streamers with Affiliate status and 7,800 Partnered streamers.

Twitch also saw a rise in its creator population this year. The total number of creators going live per month shot from 2 million to 3 million this year, with almost 500,000 streamers broadcasting every single day.

These creators are not broadcasting to no one either. In 2018, minutes watched on Twitch shot up to 434 billion.

Twitch also remained a hub for esports this year. The ELEAGUE’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Grand Final match brought in over 1 million concurrent viewers, setting a record for the highest amount of viewers on an organisation's channel. The most-watched event on Twitch in 2018 was E3, which saw 2.9 million people tune in worldwide. 

TwitchCon heads to Europe in 2019

Top streamers

It goes without saying that Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins is Twitch's main score for 2018. The Fortnite streamer experienced record-breaking growth at the beginning of the year; Blevins had around 800k Twitch followers in January and hit 10 million in August. He also became the fastest growing non-music YouTube creator in history.

His Fortnite-fuelled surge led him to garner the attention of the mainstream media, as well as a host of celebrities. The  He also broke Twitch's record for most concurrent views on a single creator's stream during his own Las Vegas-based charity Fortnite event back in April - a record he actually set himself streaming with rapper Drake earlier this year - that attracted over 628,000 concurrent viewers.

Blevins will conclude his incredible year with a Twitch livestream on New Year's Eve, hosted from Times Square. 

However, Blevins is not the only streamer killing it on Twitch. Battle royale streamers such as TimTheTatman, TFue and Shroud are still growing rapidly, alongside competitive players like League of Legends icon Faker and Sonic Fox. Faker is due to be inducted into the esports Hall of Fame next year, and SonicFox picked up esports personality of the year at The Game Awards 2018.

Top games on Twitch

To the surprise of no one, Fortnite is still Twitch's most popular title. However, 2018 saw a slew of great games and many of them flourished on the platform. Twitch's top 10 titles based on minutes watched were:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Sea of Thieves
  • FIFA 19
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • God of War
  • Realm Royale
  • Dragon Ball Fighterz
  • Far Cry 5
  • Detroit: Become Human

Shroud playing Black Ops 4, Twitch's most-watched 2018 release

Charity contribution

Livestreaming has become a popular way to raise money for charity, and Twitch has become a popular hub to do so.

The amount raised by streamers on Twitch grew by over 30 per cent this year. $130 million has been raised for charity since 2011, with over $40 million raised in 2018 alone.

Twitch is also the home of speedrunning, and the platform saw a number of record-breaking achievements in that space this year. Notable records set in 2018 included The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time by Zfg1, Super Mario Bros. by somewes, and Celeste by TGH_sr.

Twitch evolution

As Twitch's community evolves, the platform itself continues to grow. 2019 will see TwitchCon make its way to Europe for the first time. TwitchCon Europe will take place in Berlin next April, in addition to the platform's annual L.A. based TwitchCon event.

Twitch also dropped a ton of new features to help streamers thrive, including a sub gifting function that allows viewers to gift Twitch subs to friends and community members.

Extensions also play a large part in the Twitch experience. Users interacted with extensions 4.9 billion times in 2018, with StreamLabs providing the most popular tools. These include Snap Camera, Sound Alerts, Hypetalk, Tiltify Donations and Design By Humans merch store.

2018 gave Twitch its most prominent year yet, and that looks to continue as we head into 2019.  


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.