Hearthstone Generates Huge Audiences For The Biggest Twitch Channels

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On June 14th, we took a snapshot of 4,213 channels streaming 11 different games. Looking at the data, we found that on average, none of the games substantially outperformed the other games in terms of followers on each channel. However, when you look at the outlier channels for every game, a different story emerges — one that demonstrates the draw that certain games and channels have over others in the most popular channels.

This boxplot shows the normalized followers (log of followers) for every channel.

This tells us that at the time of the snapshot, no particular game was significantly better at generating channels with lots of followers. But, as you can see above, there are lots of outliers (the little dots above the whiskers). These outliers tell a different story. Some games are much better at generating outlier channels with huge audiences. For the purposes of this article, we define “Outliers” as any channel with 2 standard deviations of followers greater than the average channel for that game.

Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and League of Legends have channels with huge audiences with the 75th percentile audience significantly better than the other games. League of Legends is particularly interesting due to its large standard deviation amongst outlier channels. Additionally, as a new game, Overwatch is either generating large audiences for its channels quicker than expected, or the channels broadcasting Overwatch now had built audiences playing other games.

Across the games, there’s definitely a correlation for the outlier channels on more followers leading to more views. In fact, each follower of an Outlier channel leads to 118 views on that channel.

If each channel were to have a $4.99 subscription price and a conservative click-thru-rate of 0.10%, each follower is worth $0.59 to the channel. Outlier channels are also much more likely to be in the Twitch Partner Program, which gives them better subscription pricing and monetization through advertising and merchandise.

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