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Fortnite beats cable TV on Twitch and YouTube

Live streaming of video games has become a popular trend in recent years, and “Fortnite” takes it to the next level.

There are 3.2 million streamers on the Twitch streaming site, almost 60% more than in 2017. Since Epic Games launched the battle royale version of “Fortnite”, the game has taken control of the site.

In September 2017, “Fortnite” accounted for less than 1% of the content produced by streaming channels. Fast forward to June 2018, and that number jumped to 49%.

It beats out games that once dominated the platform like “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and “League of Legends.” In fact, from 2016 to 2018, no other game controlled more than 40% of gaming channels on Twitch.

“Fortnite” is also exploding on YouTube.

“The fact that ‘Fortnite’ now holds the record for the most video game-related downloads in a single month on YouTube is incredible,” said Ryan Wyatt, Head of YouTube Gaming.

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Then there’s Friday Fortnite, a Las Vegas event hosted by streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Keemstar.

Unlike esports competitions, which are tied to official leagues, Friday Fortnite is a group of enthusiastic players trying to outdo each other to make money. In June, Keemstar said the competition attracted 8.8 million unique viewers. To put that into perspective, the season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” drew 7.9 million viewers, the first round of the NFL Draft garnered 5.3 million, and the season premiere of “Westworld” landed 2.1 million.

For live streamers on YouTube and Twitch, business couldn’t be better.

“Fortnite” increases streamers’ channel views and increases revenue. Twitch streamers can earn money from subscribers, game sales, brand deals, and even donations. The “Ninja” streamer has earned around $500,000 a month streaming his “Fortnite” gameplay on Twitch.

Fortnite” even has a partnership agreement with Twitch for free merchandise. People who sign up for a Twitch Prime account get free accessories for their avatars. And YouTube has Super Chat which allows fans to pay to pin their comments on their favorite videos.

When the first “Fortnite” World Cup launches in 2019, you can expect massive viewership from the public watching their favorite streamers. According to Statista, the number of game viewers worldwide will reach around 743 million people in 2019.

Epic Games announced in May that “Fortnite” is entering the esports arena. The game studio said it would spend $100 million in prize money, making it the largest prize pool ever created for an esport.