Streaming saw another strong bout of growth in July 2020, according to a fresh report from StreamElements and Arsenal.gg.
While Twitch remains the biggest platform in pure numbers, its hours have dwindled a little between June and July.
Facebook Gaming was the star of the streaming show last month seeing 345m hours watched - the site's biggest month yet. The closure of Microsoft's Mixer has seen streamers seek new homes, but only Facebook is offering instant partnership status to ex Mixer partners, an enticing deal for professional creators.
There's no significant change in Twitch's top 10 categories overall, but the Just Chatting category saw a rise of 6 per cent, reaffirming the need appeal of non-gaming content across the platform. Minecraft saw the largest rise in July - views were up 37 per cent for Microsoft's blocky blockbuster. Meanwhile, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive saw a serious view dip of 90 per cent.
"The drop in hours watched among the top categories was evident across the gaming titles, but the non-gaming Just Chatting category defied this trend, said Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements.
"Just Chatting remains the leading category for its third consecutive month and was among the few that actually increased in viewership."
Hook, line, and streamer
Streamer xQc took the top spot on Twitch for July 2020. The top 10 was filled with the usual suspects - including Asmongold, TimTheTatman, loltyler1 and NICKMERCS.
However, The RealKnossi was a surprise new entrant, shooting from 80th to 2nd on Twitch following their AngelCamp 2020 event. That event saw Knossi and a collection of other streamers... host a fishing broadcast over several days. Now, Twitch doesn't have a 'fishing' category, but given how wild nichés can quickly take off, maybe it should be considered.
Music and performing arts continues to thrive on Twitch. The category saw a massive 387 per cent year-over-year increase between July 2019 and 2020, rising from 3.6m to 17.6m hours.
Popular artists are beginning to utilise the platform more and more. US Rapper Logic signed an exclusive deal with Twitch last month, where he plays games and vibes, and Linkin' Park's Mike Shinoda dropped an album on the platform in July, created with real-time input from his Twitch chat. He also hosts regular music, art, and Animal Crossing streams.
They join other musicians that have turned to Twitch - including Panic At The Disco's Brendan Urie, who took up regular live streaming last year, and TesseracT's Daniel Tompkins is a semi-frequent broadcaster.
And lastly, a strong favourite continues to dominate the creative category. In 2015, Twitch launched the category with an ongoing broadcast of The Joy of Painting, hosted by the jovial Bob Ross. In 2020, Bob Ross' channel is the most-watched art channel on the platform, with a huge 753k hours watched in July. Now that's a happy little accident.
"Five years later and Bob Ross' uplifting show still commands attention as the top channel in their Art category," Nir added.
"The popularity of his show speaks to the varied interests of the Twitch community and why brands need to really understand the streaming ecosystem to optimise it for their campaigns."