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Should You Stream Fortnite? A Popular Game Case Study

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Fortnite has maintained its status of being one of the most popular games to stream across all broadcasting platforms. Viewers enjoy watching both skilled and entertaining players battle it out for domination. Other viewers watch to learn tips for their own gameplay or with the hope of playing with their favorite streamer.

The top five watched games (on Twitch) from July 2018 through June 2019 were (ranked in order) Fortnite, League of Legends, Just Chatting, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offence (CS:GO).

Of the top five games, Fortnite had the lowest average viewer count (14.61 per channel). Of the other four’s average viewer count: League had 50.53, Dota 2 had the most with 88.57, Just Chatting had 72.45, and CS:GO had 41.15. 

How Many Channels on Twitch Stream Fortnite?

Over the course of the last year, nearly 4.2 million channels have streamed Fortnite at one point or another. Divide the viewed hours by that number and, if all things were equal, each streamer would have been viewed for roughly 319 hours total. This is the equivalent of slightly more than 52 minutes daily if seen by only one viewer.

How many hours was Fortnite watched in a year on Twitch?

From July 2018 – June 2019, there was a total of 1.343 billion hours of Fortnite watched. With 250 million more views than LoL, Fortnite’s 1.343 billion watched hours seems like a staggering number. If one person watched the game continuously for that length of time, it would take 153,310 and a half years!

The Rise of Fortnite’s Popularity 

Epic Games released Fortnite on July 21, 2017, and it grew in popularity very quickly. Battle Royal was released two months later. Ninja began to stream Fortnite on October 3 of the same year. At the time of this writing, there are currently 250 million registered accounts for the game.

The game has maintained its status of being one of the most popular games to stream across all broadcasting platforms. Viewers enjoy watching both skilled and entertaining players battle it out for domination. Other viewers watch to learn tips for their own gameplay or with the hope of playing with their favorite streamer.

News Flash: Streams Are Never Equal

Let’s get back to the stats. Take a moment to look at the watched hours of the top five Fortnite streamers during that time period in question.

Together, that equals 353.5 million hours watched, and 26.3% of the 1.343 billion hours that Fortnite was viewed throughout the year. Think about that for a moment; 5 individuals took over a quarter of the total viewership of that pie!

Channels 1-5Channels 6-10Channels 11-50Channels 51-100
353.5 Million Hours125 Million300 Million80 Million

Add these numbers together and we have 858.5 million hours or 64% of the total Fortnite views. The 484.5 remaining hours (36%) split between the remaining of the 4.2 million viewers work out to 115 hours each. This isn’t even 20 minutes per day seen by only one viewer.

Invite Your Social Following to Watch You Stream

If you want to stream games like Fortnite and gain an audience, you must have a solid strategy for getting viewers. If you plan to grow on Twitch, you will not be organically discovered playing oversaturated games. Learn to network outside of streaming platforms and ask your friends and family to support your channel.

You might have better luck streaming on YouTube or Facebook. While this will give you exposure (and a few follows), you typically won’t gain any loyal streamers in this way unless your production value in on point, and you are very entertaining with good stream content.

It is much easier to promote and grow your Fortnite channel on Facebook Gaming. You still need to maintain quality content to keep your viewers, but you can post your streams to your Facebook page and easily be seen by your family and friends.

Does the Number of Hours You Stream Fortnite Affect Your Viewers?

If you’re thinking, “Well, the top 100 probably put in the most time and effort,” you might be right if you consider branding, marketing, and other business-like words. 

Fortnite was streamed for roughly 91,814,500 hours during that time period. The following table illustrates the number and percentages of streamed hours of the top 100 Fortnite streamers:

Channels 1-5Channels 6-10Channels 11-50Channels 51-100
9,800 hours10,500 hours56,000 hours55,000 hours

Added together, this totals 131,300 hours (0.14% of the total hours streamed). The average hours spent by The top 100 spent an average of 1,310 hours each. Their proportion is higher than the 2.18 average work hours split between the rest of the pack. So, in a sense, yes, hard work pays off. But, digging deeper, the answers get interesting.

Precisely zero of the top five most-watched streamers make it in the top ten of hours streamed. Only SolaryFortnite (the sixth most-watched — 30 million hours) make that list with 6,144 hours played. SolaryFortnite, along with three others on the list (TeamVASH, JohnPitterTV, and Chap), averaged 100 viewers or more. Four on the list didn’t even hit double digits in this category. The total hours these ten were viewed equal to just shy of 43 million. Their percentage is not even 10% of the 478,500,000 combined hours shared by the most viewed ten. 

fortnite sully gnome stats
Image from SullyGnome. Top ten channels with most Fortnite hours between July 2018-June 2019.

These ten streamed for a total of 37,278 hours, averaging 1,153.5 hours watched per streamed hour (primarily due to SolaryFortnite and Chap’s success). In contrast, the top ten watched averaged 23,571.5 hours watched per streamed hour. 

31/100 of the players who streamed the most averaged less than ten viewers per hour, proving that time spent streaming doesn’t necessarily gain success. 

How Many Gamers Stream Fortnight?

In the past week (data was collected 4 July 2019), 280,000 streamers streamed Fortnite. On average, more than 8,000 channels were streaming at the same time to 111,000 viewers (making the average viewer ratio roughly 13.8 per channel). 1,354,000 hours were broadcasted, and 18,610,000 hours watched.

The top five watched this week (Tfue, Ninja, NICKMERCS, dakotaz, Symfuhny) were watched for approximately 4,089,000 hours (22% of total) and streamed for a collective 206 hours (19,849.5 average views per hour). Without that percentage, it leaves 14,510,000 viewed hours for 1.354 million people (10.7 average view hours per streamed hour). 

With so many channels streaming at any one time, new Fortnite streamers get lost in the far outer regions of Twitch, making it virtually impossible (without bringing an already existing following) to be found/viewed; and although other top games have less dramatic statistics, they are saturated markets as well.

Why Does Ninja Dominate the Fortnite Stream Market?

Ninja (Tyler Blevins) became a professional gamer in 2009 and began streaming in 2011. He was already an established gamer/streamer by the time Fortnite came into being. He started streaming the game in the genesis of its rise to popularity. Being an accomplished gamer and being in the right place at the right time helped boost his growth into dominance.

Should You Stream Fortnite? 

In conclusion, if your passion for Fortnite outranks your desire to potentially earn/get discovered on Twitch, then, by all means, stream the game. Otherwise, it is better to aim for a game that is less saturated when starting off your streaming career. 

About the Author


Luci is a novelist, freelance writer, and active blogger. A journalist at heart, she loves nothing more than interviewing the outliers of the gaming community who are blazing a trail with entertaining original content. When she’s not penning an article, coffee in hand, she can be found gearing her shieldmaiden or playing with her son at the beach.

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