How Does Twitch Work?
How Twitch works is simple — a streamer plays and comments on a game in a live stream, while others watch and engage with them and the rest of the audience through a live chat. In addition, viewers can also donate to their favorite streamers.
This creates entire communities with shared interests, usually their love for games.
However, thanks to the massive popularity and practicality of the platform, other streamers with different interests have started using it as well.
Now that you understand the basics of this system, let’s take a closer look at some vital stats and facts that will help you understand why this model works and why Twitch is so popular.
Let’s start with the top 10 Twitch statistics in 2021:
- The total net worth of Twitch in 2021 is estimated to be $5 billion.
- Twitch’s annual revenues from all of its revenue sources are around $1.54 billion.
- Twitch.tv is the 37th site in global Internet engagement.
- 30% of Twitch views come from mobile phones.
- The maximum Twitch ad revenue per viewer impression is $0.01.
- The number of average concurrent viewers on Twitch is 2.83 million.
- The number of average concurrent channels on Twitch is currently 108,000.
- Twitch has around 140 million monthly active users (MAUs).
- 65% of Twitch Twitch streamers average.
- As many as 95% of all Twitch streamers average only 0-5 concurrent viewers.
General Twitch Statistics
Let’s take a closer look at some of the significant statistics about Twitch, the company. The numbers and facts will help you understand better how this service works.
1. Twitch was created and launched on June 6, 2011.
Many don’t know, but Twitch first started much earlier, in 2007. This was when Justin Kan and his business partner Emmett Shear, the current CEO of Twitch, founded a live-streaming platform called Justin.tv.
The site had many categories, but the gaming one grew the most. So, it is no wonder that this portion of the platform was split and renamed in 2011 as Twitch.tv.
2. The total net worth of Twitch in 2021 is estimated to be $5 billion.
(The Wealth Record, Business of Apps)
Most of this wealth comes from the live-streaming of games and the numerous deals Twitch has with other large companies.
Just for reference, seven years ago, in 2014, Amazon bought the company for $1 billion. Just as many have doubted the profitability of Google’s acquisition of YouTube, they doubted this one as well, but they were equally wrong in both cases.
3. Twitch’s annual revenues from all of its revenue sources are around $1.54 billion annually.
(Investopedia, Business of Apps)
Amazon currently wants its subsidiary to bring $1 billion in advertising revenues alone, but the company still has some ways to go, judging by the current Twitch revenue figures.
However, in 2020, the numbers were much closer to this requirement. Twitch made $750 million in ads alone, while the total Twitch annual revenue was $2.3 billion, much higher than the average $1.5 billion.
4. Twitch has around 1,800 corporate employees.
(Business Insider, Comparably)
All of these employees are scattered throughout the world, and they get paid an average of $124,380, or $59 per hour.
The highest-paid job is the General Counsel position, which comes with an annual salary of $241,556. The lowest-paid position is that of the Admin Assistant, with a salary of $45,598.
5. As of September 2021, there are around 51,500 Twitch partners.
(Stream Scheme, Twitch.tv, Twitch.tv)
Usually, streamers on Twitch are affiliates, but they can also move up and gain more perks by becoming Twitch partners.
The Twitch Partnership Program allows streamers to earn through subscriptions, emotes, bits, and even ads. However, to become a partner, you need to complete the Path to Partner.
In other words, you need to stream for 25 hours, stream on 12 different days, and have an average of 75 concurrent viewers.
6. At the time of writing, Twitch.tv is the 42nd site in global Internet engagement.
(Alexa, Hosting Tribunal)
This is undoubtedly impressive, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that there are between 1.6 and 1.9 billion websites in the world.
Twitch.tv is thus in the top 0.000002%.
7. 30% of Twitch views come from mobile phones.
Or in other words, as much as 70% of all views come from computers or laptops. This is in direct opposition to most other similar platforms, including YouTube, where more than 70% of views come from phones (according to self-reported data).
This is even more interesting when you take into account that the mobile gaming market accounts for 57% of the total video game profit.
8. The top 10 streaming channels on Twitch together have around 100 million followers.
The first of the pack has a massive lead over the second, as he has more than 17 million followers. We are talking about Ninja, most famous for playing Fortnite.
The second most-followed streamer is auronplay, who has around 11.2 million followers.
9. The maximum Twitch ad revenue per viewer impression is $0.01.
In contrast, the minimum ad revenue per viewer impression is only $0.002.
In most cases, affiliates on Twitch can keep only 50% of ad revenues, while partners have a better position that varies between 70% and 80% of the gains.
Twitch Metrics for the User Base
We’ve seen a lot of stats on Twitch earnings and some other general stats, but the platform’s core is the users. So, let’s take a look at some stats about the user base.
10. The number of average concurrent viewers on Twitch currently stands at 2.84 million.
The popularity of Twitch has only been growing, judging by the latest twitch analytics. For instance, this same statistic was 2.78 million in 2021, 2.12 million in 2020, and only 1.26 million in 2019.
In 2012, only a year after launch, Twitch had 102,000 average concurrent viewers.
11. The number of average concurrent channels on Twitch is currently 102,000.
Just as the previous stats from the Twitch Tracker have shown a rising trend, the same thing can be said for the number of channels.
The same number was 105,000 in 2021, 87,500 in 2020 and 49,500 in 2019. Furthermore, in 2012, there were only around 2,200 average concurrent channels on Twitch.
12. At the time of writing, Twitch has around 140 million monthly active users (MAUs).
How many people use Twitch? This is as close to an answer we can give to this question, as there is no data on the exact number of accounts on the platform.
However, this is more than impressive, and the site also has as many as 26.5 million daily active users. It’s even more impressive considering that there are around 3.1 billion gamers in the world.
13. An average of 93 billion minutes of live streams were watched every month in 2020.
This accounts for around 1,116 billion in total for the entire year. That number was already higher in 2021. At the time of writing, Twitch stats for 2021 show that users watched a total of 1,460 billion minutes of streams on the platform.
At the same time, around 8.5 million unique creators streamed each month in 2021.
14. As 2019 stats show, 65% of Twitch users are male.
Many people believe that it’s mostly men who play video games and thus watch gaming-related streams, and this stat on twitch demographics proves it.
However, the gender gap is much lower in some other places. For example, in Latin America, as many as 42% of users are female.
However, considering that as many as 49% of US gamers are female, and the numbers are growing, the gender gap in Twitch users is expected to lower too.
15. According to stats for 2019, 41% of the total user base is aged 16 to 24.
The second-biggest population is predominantly millennials, as 32% of Twitch users are 25 to 34 years old. The rest of the age demographics are as follows:
- 17% are 35 to 44 years old
- 7% are 45 to 54 years old
- 3% are 55 to 64 years old
16. As many as 95% of all Twitch streamers average only 0-5 concurrent viewers.
Most streamers have trouble surpassing the one average viewer mark, let alone five of them. This also means that only 6,350 channels(out of the 127,000 active ones) actually have more than five viewers.
17. The biggest portion of Twitch users are from the US, as much as 21.96%.
This is around 46.5 million users in 2021. The number is expected to reach 51.6 million by 2024.
At the time of writing, the second-biggest portion of the user base comes from Germany (6.85%). Then comes South Korea (4.64%), Russia (4.07%), and Canada (4.06%).
Twitch streamers average
Yes, Amazon currently owns Twitch. The e-commerce giant bought the whole company and turned it into its subsidiary in August 2014 for $970 million in cash.
At the time, this was a big surprise, as most experts expected Google to purchase Twitch. News broke only a month before the acquisition that Google had agreed to buy Twitch for $1 billion, but this was never confirmed.
It’s unclear why this initial deal fell through, but the executives at Google were likely concerned about potential antitrust issues, since they already own a Twitch competitor — YouTube.
How does Twitch make money?
Twitch makes money in several ways:
- Through a cut from the subscription fees (Twitch is free to use, but users can still subscribe to channels, and Twitch always takes a 50% cut from every subscription that goes to a streamer)
- From the cut on the bits the users buy (bits are shiny flairs users can purchase and add to their comments to make them stick out and reward the streamers)
- From merchandise sales (Twitch has a merch store called Loot Cave with a wide range of branded items and sportswear)
- Through advertising revenues
Do you have to pay to use Twitch?
No, Twitch is free to use. However, you can still subscribe to specific streamer channels, and you can also purchase bits to reward your favorite streamers through comments on their streams.
There are three subscription tiers on Twitch:
- $4.99 per month
- $9.99 per month
- $24.99 per month
As for bits, their cost depends on the amount you want to buy:
- 100 bits — $1.40
- 500 bits — $7.00
- 1,500 bits — $19.95
- 5,000 bits — $64.40
- 10,000 bits — $126.00
- 25,000 bits — $308.00
Can I buy stock in Twitch?
No, you can’t. That’s because Twitch is not a publicly-traded company, which means that it doesn’t have stocks.
However, you can still buy Amazon stocks, which will technically give you a piece of Twitch, as Amazon owns the streaming platform.
How much are 100 gifted subs worth on Twitch?
100 gifted subs cost $499.00 plus taxes that may apply.
However, this is only for tier 1 subs. 100 tier 2 subs cost $999.00 plus taxes. Tier 3 are the most worthy ones, but you can only buy 40 at a time, and this batch costs $999.60.
Can Twitch streamers see lurkers?
Twitch streamers can only identify a viewer in the chat, which makes it impossible for them to see passive viewers.
As for those who are not logged on Twitch while viewing a channel, the streamer has no way to see them either.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve ever wondered — how does Twitch work? — we hope that we’ve given you the answer. What’s more, you’ve certainly learned how well the company operates through the stats and facts we listed, and that’s what matters the most.
- Bullish Bears
- Business Insider
- Business of Apps
- Business Insider
- Hosting Tribunal
- Stream Scheme
- Stream Scheme
- Streamers Playbook
- The Wealth Record
- Twitch Metrics
- Twitch Tracker