Is gambling controversy behind the decline in Twitch viewership?

By Olivia Richman


Dec 6, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Twitch just saw its lowest viewership since September 2020, and the gambling controversy could be to blame.

Twitch has been rapidly growing in popularity since the beginning of 2020. With people locked inside, more people were tuning in to streams and also doing streams of their own. Despite the initial growth, it now seems that Twitch has seen a rapid decline in viewership. But why?

In November 2022, Twitch reportedly had 1.69 billion hours of watched content, according to Sully Gnome. This is a 10% drop from the viewership in October. While Twitch still has more viewership than it did when 2020 first rolled around, it’s still going through a noticeable decline.

Twitch viewership

Why is Twitch viewership declining?

People are quick to say that Twitch is “dying” due to an abundance of controversy as of late. First, there was the hot tub drama, then the gambling issue, and then the revenue split. A lot of people have been frustrated with Twitch, especially with one of the most popular categories now gone, but that’s most likely not the cause of the drop in viewership.

According to Sully Gnome, it’s actually quite common for Twitch to see a decline in viewership in November. This is a slow month for streaming due to the holidays and a lack of esports events to watch.

While Twitch isn’t going to keep plummeting in viewership, it should be noted that there are fewer Affiliate and Partner streamers than last year due to the ongoing issues on the platform. There are currently about 1 million instead of the 1.25 million Affiliate and Partner streamers in January 2022. The average number of live channels has also decreased significantly since mid-2020, contributing to a drop in viewership.

If the drop persists in January, then sure, gambling controversy may have played a part. But, so far, Twitch isn’t exactly dying.