The Livestreaming Landscape 2021

Consumer Usage and Marketing Opportunities Across Social Networks and Video Platforms

Executive Summary

Livestreaming has gained newfound relevance amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Viewership has grown across several platforms and new features are being introduced, expanding opportunities for marketers and creators within this space.

How popular is livestreaming among consumers?

It has become a prominent feature on social networks and video sites, but usage still lags compared with other forms of video. For example, a survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex in Q3 2020 found that 32% of YouTube users worldwide had watched a livestreamed video on the platform within the past month, while 58% had watched a music video and 38% watched a TV show or clip.

Has usage grown during the pandemic?

Yes. Instagram and Facebook reported big gains in livestreaming during the early months of the pandemic, while hours watched on gaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming increased throughout 2020.

What types of content are consumers viewing on livestreams?

Livestreaming has been a popular way for consumers to engage with influencers, attend virtual events, watch video game content, and more recently, discover products through live shopping.

How are marketers getting involved?

Livestreaming is still an exploratory format for marketers, but influencer marketing is a central component, as creators and celebrities are partnering with brands for virtual events, gaming, and live shopping.

Will livestreaming remain popular once the pandemic subsides?

Livestreaming was an existing trend whose adoption was accelerated by the pandemic. While some use cases, like virtual concerts and workout classes, may be less relevant in the post-pandemic world, livestreaming will remain popular in many forms.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at livestreaming viewership across social networks and digital video platforms, and details how marketers are exploring this format.

KEY STAT: A March 2020 survey from GlobalWebIndex suggested that close to a quarter (24%) of US internet users ages 16 to 64 began watching more livestreams during the first month of lockdowns.

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    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. The Pandemic Accelerates an Existing Trend
    3. Livestreaming Monetization on Key Platforms
    4. Livestreaming with Influencers
    1. Virtual Events and Entertainment
    2. Gaming Livestreams
    3. Key Takeaways
    4. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    1. Read Next
    2. Sources
    3. Media Gallery

    Charts in This Report

    Interviewed for This Report

    Andrew Beranbom
    First Tube Media
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed October 21, 2020
    Nicholas Vincent DiSanto
    Activate by Impact
    Vice President
    Interviewed October 26, 2020
    Erin Dorr
    Vice President, Marketing
    Interviewed January 17, 2021
    Lindsey Gamble
    Senior Influence Innovation Strategist
    Interviewed January 17, 2021
    Kari McHugh
    Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation
    Executive Director
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Sean Naegeli
    Co-Founder and Chief Influencer Officer
    Interviewed January 17, 2021
    Patrick O’Keefe
    e.l.f. Cosmetics
    Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications
    Interviewed January 21, 2021
    Stephanie Perdue
    Chipotle Mexican Grill
    Vice President, Brand Marketing
    Interviewed January 8, 2021
    Katie Puris
    Managing Director, Global Business Marketing
    Interviewed October 15, 2020
    Emily Safian-Demers
    Wunderman Thompson Intelligence
    Senior Trends Analyst
    Interviewed January 6, 2021
    William White
    Interviewed January 14, 2021
    Amy Worley
    Chief Connections Officer
    Interviewed October 20, 2020

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    Blake Droesch


    Chuck Rawlings
    Senior Researcher
    Audrey Schomer
    Senior Analyst
    Peter Vahle
    Forecasting Analyst
    Debra Aho Williamson
    Principal Analyst