Twitch viewership dipped this month, unless you’re looking beyond games

Overall Twitch viewership shrank slightly in July, and streams of top games like League of Legends and Fortnite fell with it. But in other corners of Twitch, viewership is still growing: the platform’s “Just Chatting” category saw millions more hours watched, and there were increases in Twitch’s “Creative” and “Music & Performing Arts” categories, too.

Just Chatting grew to 176 million hours watched in July, up from 166 million in June, according to the latest streaming report from StreamElements and Arsenal.gg, and it remains the biggest section on Twitch. Meanwhile, the games mentioned above fell by 5 to 6 percent in viewership. Fortnite remains in third place with 91 million hours watched, down from 95 million in June.

The continued expansion of non-gaming categories is all the more impressive as Twitch’s pandemic-fueled growth starts to subside. While the platform’s Creative and Music categories have fallen from their peak in May, both are still well above their pre-pandemic numbers. Twitch’s overall viewership grew more than 50 percent from the first to second quarter of the year, according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg’s last report.

Twitch’s Just Chatting category has exploded in popularity since it was first launched two years ago. While other non-gaming categories are still tiny in comparison — there was just 17.6 million hours of music content streamed and 6.5 million hours in the creative category in July — they’ve taken on a new importance as in-person venues have been shut down. The music category, in particular, has offered a way for musicians to reach their audiences and earn some money remotely.

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