GTA V’s average viewership on twitch up over 500% since “Role-Play” popularized

Since GTA V role-play took off on twitch in the beginning of April, it has received attention for its big viewership numbers and passionate fanbase. Here’s what that twitch viewership growth has looked like in 2017.

LIRIK, twitch’s most popular streamer, was one of the initial main forces driving the spike in viewership.

It went from an average viewership of ~4,388 between January and March to ~26,705 in May, a +509% increase.

I posted about this continued spike on reddit and quickly received some thoughts from the community on how this happened.

Some stated that LIRIK was the main reason and that the popularity had a limited shelf life.

“It’s mainly due to Lirik…The viewership is gonna slowly decrease though, since it’s the new hot thing” — /u/stigmatize

Others were quick to promote different key players in the GTA V RP movement.

Timmac is 100% responsible for the growth of GTA RP. If you watched from the beginning you know that…He brought in waffle, strippin and made proxy…Only reason lirik wanted to play was because of Tim’s success. — /u/Siicktiits

And one of twitch’s newest sensations, Sheriff Eli, received a lot of mentions as well.

Sheriff Eli is the first stream I’ve watched religiously and subbed to. It’s an amazingly good time when you have a great personality streaming. — /u/Landenya

I wondered, at least from the numbers side, who contributed the most towards this viewership. And I found that the short answer is: depends heavily on which time frame you’re asking about.

Let’s take a look at the top five streamers of GTA V in April, the first 30 days of this growth.

These five streamers combined accounted for ~46% of GTA V’s viewership in April which made it a very top-heavy game at the time. With these numbers, it’s hard to ignore LIRIK’s initial influence when he accounted for nearly 15% of all viewership on his own in a modest 51 hours of streaming.

Switching over to May’s top five streamers.

These five streamers now accounted for a much more reasonable ~30% of GTA V’s viewership, which means more streamers were getting involved. Sheriff Eli makes a jump to the #2 streamer as well, displacing Aiekillu, and LIRIK’s strong grip as the top streamer wears off. It might have been his general motivation or being temporarily removed from the whitelist on the popular “State of Emergency” (SoE) RP server and the drama that ensued, but in any case, other more dedicated role-players were gaining ground (and audiences) quickly. However, this SoE server drama doesn’t appear to be an isolated event.

Here‘s where we are now for top streamers in June (6/01–6/08)

Sheriff Eli, along with other new rising faces like TheBuddha3, continue to bring in big numbers as the days go on. However, in big news, Sheriff Eli was forced off the SoE server. The community’s backlash was strong, and there are already talks of a new RP server with Eli as one of the staples. This drama and server shifts are very clear growing pains for an obscure community that was then catapulted into the spotlight, but I believe the fans are passionate enough to follow Eli and other popular RP streamers to another server if it comes to that.

So from the numbers side, it’s clear that there’s been a shift in the core streamers driving the RP movement. While LIRIK was certainly an influence on the initial month+ of success, it has quickly evolved beyond that and taken a life of its own. The GTA V RP scene is now poised to continue its growth with streamers that are still finding a lot of fun in this world, with or without the State of Emergency server. While GTA V’s viewership hasn’t grown much since its explosive April, it has built a passionate and sizable audience that will continue to watch its favorite personalities, and likely bring more in once some stability is achieved in the server situation.

So, who deserves the credit for this huge and sustained viewership swell? As always, it’s a mix of the passionate streamers and community that deserve it. They have chosen to support these newer streamers from relative obscurity to ~10k+ average viewers, and that has made this a real noteworthy movement on twitch. It would have otherwise been a quick fad propped up by a few key streamers, like so many before it. But from today’s perspective, despite server drama and bumps in the road, it looks like GTA V will be a top ten game on twitch for all of 2017.

All of GTA V’s viewership stats here