Yesterday, Twitch streamers took #ADayOffTwitch to protest the lack of action as it relates to platform safety and communication. For nearly a month, streamers, most of them part of marginalized groups, have been subjected to malicious attacks in the form of ‘hate raids.’ While hate raids aren’t new, these raids have evolved from random acts of hate to distinctly targeted attacks – often doxxing the individual creator when they can. Twitch, for its part, likely can’t comment on the particulars of combatting bot creation. But, considering the community has actively been asking for safety features for, in some cases, years – Twitch needs to implement some of the front-facing tools (2FA/Account Age Limits) SOONER than later.
This brings us to #ADayOffTwitch, and how it impacted Twitch. While much debate was had about its potential efficacy – I think those arguments are shortsighted. BUT, let’s take a look at the impact by comparing the data.
There are some variables in all of this, and I’ll attempt my best to consider them all. Those variables include:
- Last Week was Gamescon. This could have boosted the previous weeks data – so we’ll look at a couple other week’s to get a fair assessment.
- DrLupo and TimTheTatman Not Streaming. Both announced this week that they were leaving for YouTube. I’ll attempt to compensate by considering data from weeks before.
- “Schools Just Started.” This is true for some places, but we’re dealing with global data. I’ll attempt to compensate by looking at the weeks prior for 2020, 2019, AND 2018 – thus covering Pandemic Data and Non-Pandemic Data.
#ADayOffTwitch vs. The Past Couple Weeks
First, let’s account for the fact that Gamescon was last Wednesday. By looking at several weeks prior, we can balance out any gain that Gamescon may have had last week versus this week. BUT, first, let’s look at one piece of data: #ADayOffTwitch was the second-lowest viewership on Twitch over the last 30-days. At peak, 3.4M people were watching Twitch.
As for Wednesday streams over the last month, it was by far the lowest. From the recent data, accounting for the Gamescon (Aug 25) boost – #ADayOffTwitch may have been responsible for ~400,000 fewer viewers yesterday versus last week. Based on the average of the prior 4-weeks, the amount is closer to 550,000. An overall decrease of 10-15%.
That decrease is also visible in the number of streamers that refrained from streaming on Twitch on Wednesday. At peak, 119,000 streamers were live, which is the lowest number all month. The previous 4 Wednesdays had an average of ~136,000 streamers at peak. That equates to an overall decrease of 10-12%.
The DrLupo and TimTheTatman Factor
As many screamed at me, DrLupo and Timthetatman usually stream on Wednesdays. So, let’s consider the data by accounting for their audience loss. We’re going to be generous and go with their PEAK viewership rather than their average. (Mostly to appease the ‘BUT!’ crowd.)
DrLupo’s four previous Wednesday streams peaked at 9187, 10,940, 9632 + 7,656. An average of 9354 Peak Viewers.
TimTheTatman’s four previous Wednesday streams peaked at 46,931, 56,593, 50,284 + 58,930. An average of 53,185 Peak Viewers.
Combined, they account for a peak viewership of 62,539. If we include their peak viewership into the previous data, #ADayOffTwitch was responsible for ~338,000 fewer viewers on the platform. That’s roughly an 8.4% decrease in viewership.
The “Back to School’ Factor
The next thing people were screaming at me was that all the children had gone to school. Well, we can account for that by looking at previous data and seeing if the Back to School resulted in significant decreases in viewership. (And to account for COVID, we’ll look back to 2019 and 2018 even.)
Looking at 2020 Data, the four Wednesdays before September had an average of 3.22M Viewers. The first Wednesday (Back to School) had 3.35M average viewers. That means there was no back-to-school drop-off in 2020. But 2020 was COVID. So, let’s go back to 2019 + 2018.
In 2019, the average viewership over the previous 4 Wednesdays was 1.88M. The “Back to School” Wednesday had 1.77M viewers. That is a decrease in viewership of ~6%.
In 2018, the average viewership over the previous 4 Wednesdays was 1.63M. The “Back to School” Wednesday had 1.6M viewers. That is a decrease of ~1.8%.
If we take the average “Back To School” drop-off, #ADayOffTwitch was still responsible for an overall decrease of 7-12%
One step further, and we factor in the DrLupo/Timthetatman situation, Gamescon boost, and the average “Back to School” drop-off… we continue to be left with roughly a 5.4% drop in overall viewership.
Final Thoughts on #ADayOffTwitch
Based on the data, #ADayOffTwitch impacted both the number of streamers and the viewership on the platform. Depending on how you qualify that data, the impact might have been as low as ~5% or potentially as high as 15%.
While much debate lead-up to this, the data seems to suggest a direct impact. It also should be understood that things don’t change overnight. This, to me, appears to be the start of a growing movement. While the impact might have been 5% today, it managed to garner hundreds of media hits and the attention of more prominent streamers. Will this movement now die out? Probably not. I think it’s hard to stop an idea whose time has come – and with YouTube making moves… perhaps Twitch will have to start taking these things seriously or face an uncertain future.