Twitch, the world’s most important (but not limited to) video game streaming platform, has announced that it will reduce the revenue percentages of its most followed streamers. The term “streamer” refers to those users who use the platform to make live videos and who earn (and make Twitch earn) thanks to the subscriptions paid by other users to watch them.
Until recently Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, had made every effort to keep its most followed streamers, initially by imposing an exclusivity clause on them, and then withdrawing it following the passage of some of these to the competitor. YouTube (which is owned by Google). Lately though, as the tech site wrote The Verge“It seems that Twitch is no longer interested in satisfying that group of content creators as it was in the past.”
Until last year Twitch offered the most followed streamers – about a tenth of all active ones – a more advantageous contract than the standard one, which however will cease to exist starting from June next year. In the release published by Dan Clancy, president of Twitch, to announce this news we read that the reason for this decision is that the company believes that in fairness all streamers should have the same contract, regardless of their following. Later, however, he also adds that “offering live video in high definition, low latency and always available in almost every corner of the world is expensive”.
The contract that Twitch was offering until about a year ago to the most followed streamers provided for a division of the earnings so that they were going to 70 percent of the subscription revenues and the platform kept the remaining 30 percent. It was a much more advantageous proposal than the standard one, which instead provides for a split in half. Starting from the contracts that will be renewed after June 1 of next year, the most followed streamers will have 70 percent only for the first 100 thousand euros of annual earnings (a figure that these users exceed in a short time) and then they will move on to 50 percent.
Since it was acquired by Amazon, Twitch has always struggled to keep together the costs of the platform and those of the most followed streamers, which are in fact the main product on which the attractiveness of Twitch is based and also the most difficult to hold onto. Clancy explained that “the cost of live video for a 100 CCU streamer [spettatori attivi] streaming 200 hours a month is more than $ 1000 a month. “
It is likely that many streamers will not take the novelty well and will start looking around for more profitable contracts with other platforms. In the last year it had already happened with three very popular streamers, Ludwig, Myth and LilyPichu, who had switched from Twitch to an exclusive contract with YouTube.
At the same time, however, Twitch is still the largest and most popular platform in video game streaming and perhaps for this reason it has decided to be able to afford to retract its conditions without risking losing too many important personalities. As a Streamlabs report reports, Twitch users watched 5.64 billion hours of video on 9.6 million channels between April and June 2022. The second-largest video game streaming platform after Twitch, YouTube Gaming, comes in at just 1.13 billion hours.
Twitch also made it known that streamers who lose a portion of their revenue with these new conditions will be able to recoup it using a new advertising program introduced in August. Kaitlyn Siragusa, an American streamer known as Amouranth who has about 15,000 subscribers, told New York Times that earning money from advertisements is far less attractive to streamers than through subscriptions: “advertisements drive audiences crazy. Maybe it will be more beneficial for Twitch, but for us? It is not ideal ».