Twitch Viewership Doubles as People Stay Home During COVID19 Scare

This is not investment advice. The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. has a disclosure and ethics policy.

As schools close early for the semester, professional sports leagues suspended, and large scale events get cancelled or postponed, people are turning to eSports as a way to pass time during the COVID19 epidemic.

According to data from Twitch, aggregated by eSports Charts, viewership for March has nearly doubled compared to the same time last year. During the past week, Twitch had an average concurrent viewership of 2.2 million while during February and March 2018 Twitch averaged around 1.18 million viewers.

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Data from eSports Charts which shows Twitch viewership during March 2020

Over at TwitchTracker,  the most popular game for Twitch streamers continues to be League of Legends, followed by Fortnite, and Grand Theft Auto V. The site reports that during the past week, viewers spent a collective 28,264,690 hours watching League of Legends.

In Italy, which has shut down schools, and most places of work, for the foreseeable future, Telecom Italia reported to analysts that it had seen an increase of more than 70% of Internet traffic largely thanks to a spike in online gaming according to Bloomberg.

As more people spend their time at home instead of going out, or are forced to do remote work, content delivery network Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) reports that Internet traffic is up by 29% compared to the 60 day-over-day rolling average. Major hotspots of traffic bumps include the United States, up 19%, India, up 13%, Japan, up 7%, and Australia, up 5%.

Although Akamai is down around 11% since its last earnings report it was one of the few stocks to make some positive gains during the Thursday trading session, edging up 1%. In comparison, the S&P 500 posted a loss of 4.89%. While the Dow lost 5.86%, and the NASDAQ, a tech-heavy index, slid by 4.7%. Likely Akamai will continue to buck the market and post gains as companies heavily invest in cloud services to accommodate a workforce that’s stuck at home.

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