These days, streaming services are extremely competitive. HBO is trying to draw in viewers with its HBO Now service, in case they can’t afford it on cable; and then there’s Netflix, a different beast entirely with original programs like Stranger Things and The Punisher.
But, believe it or not (and you might not), there’s actually a service that has managed to beat them both at their own game when it comes to streaming original programs and keeping a large audience – and that’s Twitch.
A recent study by SuperData Research has pointed out that, through the end of last year, Twitch has managed to attain more than 185 million viewers. That’s way ahead of HBO’s 130 million subscribers, and Netflix’s 93 million customers. And this year is looking to be even bigger, as SuperData estimates that Twitch will reach 212 million viewers by the end of the year.
This is based more around viewers than views, and keep in mind that Twitch isn’t requiring monthly subscription fees, since it has an ad-based model along with its paid premium service. But that isn’t stopping the streaming service from cleaning up 56 percent of the overall $3.2 billion in total revenue for gaming videos by the end of this year.
While YouTube is still champion with its 517 million viewers last year, Twitch is definitely on the rise. And it’s still doing better business than a number of other services, including Spotify, ESPN (with its subscription program) and Pandora. Hulu is actually the worst of the bunch, down to only 12 million subscribers.
While Twitch is still making a bunch of its profits from streaming champs, it has plenty of original programming to go around as well, like wrestling specials, Bob Ross painting shows, a recent run of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and streaming marathons of shows like Starcade and Mystery Science Theater 3000. And it’s likely to keep these events going well into next year, with more partnerships and original programming set to come, alongside those streaming superstars.
Congrats to Twitch on reaching the epic feat. Here’s hoping the subscriber base continues to climb! (It never hurts to be bundled in with Amazon Prime, either.)