Sponsored content on Twitch draws 23% higher engagement amid pandemic precautions

Video-game influencers draw higher engagement during the COVID-19 precautions, making Twitch marketing increasingly effective right now.

Sponsored content on Twitch draws 23% higher engagement amid pandemic precautions

Key takeaways

  • Content consumption on Twitch is up 79% in April compared to the start of 2020.
  • Creators are generating 89% more sponsored content, and viewer engagement with sponsored content is up 23%.
  • With content discovery more important than ever, sponsored content dollars are going further than before.

Content consumption on Twitch has nearly doubled on Twitch since February. The daily number of Viewer Minutes (minutes of content consumed) skyrocketed from 2 billion per day in February to a peak of nearly 3.67 billion per day in April.

Viewership on Twitch has doubled since February

With the rise in overall content consumption, sponsored content has also increased. Our data at Gamesight shows that content creators are generating 89% more sponsored content. There are more advertisers entering the market as well, with the number of games sponsoring content growing by 21%.

We were curious what this meant for advertising and sponsorships: Are there more people engaging with sponsored content than there were before? Or, since there's more choice than ever, are people tuning out and choosing to watch something that is not sponsored instead?

To measure this, we could use a simple metric like the number of people watching over time. However, this wouldn’t account for people clicking away or staying engaged. Viewers that watch content for longer sessions are likely to learn more about the game being streamed and try it out. We wanted to measure this so we developed a score representing the estimated size of a stream’s audience that stayed engaged with the sponsor content for different periods of time. The score is adjusted based on the overall duration of all sponsored content for the given month to control for the increase in the amount of sponsored content in March.

Engagement on sponsored content is up in March and April

The number of people who were engaging with sponsored content and the estimated average duration they were engaging with content for are both up. Right now, sponsored content has more viewers, and viewers that are staying engaged for longer.  Engagement scores for nearly every group are up since January, but perhaps most noteworthy is 60+ minute engagement is up nearly 3x.

Despite the growing engagement, Gamesight hasn’t seen any increase in influencers’ rates for sponsored content. This means your same advertising dollars from February are nearly 23% more effective now.

On this trend, Omeed Dariani, CEO of the Online Performers Group, one of the largest management resources for content creators, says:

Games that have a track record of success – even older titles – have a fantastic opportunity here. Lots of these more casual players are not on high-end systems, so a game like Witcher 3 will run, whereas Borderlands 3 might struggle. Lots of people are revisiting games they haven’t had time for. Long games like Fallout, as well as deep titles like Stellaris are both great investments, dollar for dollar.
Content consumption is way up across every medium and the longer this pandemic lasts, the more important content discovery will become.

About us

At Gamesight, we use data, like viewer engagement, to gauge performance and help games find commercial success. We have a host of features and internally developed metrics to help you find the best influencers for your game. If you’re a developer or publisher and want to talk about this article, identifying the right influencers, or measuring your advertising needs, please reach out on our website!

Note on data collection

Gamesight collects data on Twitch streams from Twitch’s public APIs that is used in conjunction with proprietary data and metrics developed from measuring and monitoring sponsored content from games that work with us.

For this analysis, sponsored streams were identified as those tagged with #ad or #sponsored. This is not perfect, since it can include content from affiliate programs for games like Fortnite, which were excluded from our analysis.  Sponsored content from these streamers reached audiences between 100, and 6 million people. We analyzed data from these channels to calculate engagement scores for sponsored content on Twitch.

Updated 05/16/2020: The graph visualizing content generation and consumption on Twitch has been updated with data as of May 16th, 2020.