This IDC Survey is primarily based on IDC survey data and data from Esports Charts that was pulled and processed from the Twitch API. The goal of this joint effort was to describe the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gameplay streaming marketplace, and Twitch especially.
Two IDC surveys, both fielded in 3Q19, helped set baselines and context for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that ramped in 1Q20. IDC's Multiclient Survey of PC Gamers was fielded online to nearly 13,000 adult PC/Mac gamers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Russia (n = 2,500-2,800 per country). IDC's U.S. Gamer Survey was fielded online to teen and adult gamers in the United States.
The deck has three major content sections: pre-COVID-19 baselines and context, Twitch livestreaming effects from January to May 2020, and specific esports competition effects on viewership. Data for the last two sections were pulled from Esports Charts' database, with IDC analysis layered on top.
"By nearly every Twitch measure we looked at, from hours watched and monthly livestreamed channel totals to livestream viewership figures and a language-based teardown of weekly Twitch use, there was a dramatic relative spike starting in March compared with the preceding six months. May's hours watched on Twitch topped 1.7 billion, for example, which almost doubled up last December's total, and hours watched for some of the most popular games and tournaments in recent months have increased well over two times compared with similar results from 2019." — Lewis Ward, IDC's research director of Gaming and VR/AR