The Ad Experience of Twitch

For a while now, we've been complaining and eventually getting used to the growing amount of advertising that is being added on top of the live streaming service of Twitch. It was going to inevitable that ads would become synonymous with live streaming and of course there were a very small minority of viewers would make it known quite loudly about the degradation of the viewership experience on Twitch.

Throughout social media sites like Reddit, Twitter and even TikTok many would proclaim that they were looking for ways in order to bypass the ads to which Twitch themselves were getting into a cold war with many ad blocker companies. We saw the introduction of the purple war of death for anyone that watching a live stream away from the Twitch website, in which the viewer would see a full page purple screen stating that they would not be receiving the best Twitch experience.

There were so many threads on the r/Twitch subreddit that eventually the admins of the subreddit had to make a mega thread to help collate the threads into one place. Over the following months tensions were high as the ad blocking companies and Twitch went back and forth to keep viewers to stay on watching their favorite streamers on the Twitch site and not to use ad blocker software.

All of this leads into the present in which the general conscious of Twitch is focusing so much of their research and development on advertising tech. Pushing affiliate and partner streamers to run more ads during their live stream in order to receive a higher cut of the ad revenue offered. Now, there is experiments coming down the pipeline in which there would be on stream overlays, streamer live reads and more sponsorship opportunities for monetized creators. Twitch is quickly trying to insert themselves into being the first party live streamers would relay on for earning money.

For the viewers there isn't much of an incentive to continue to watch a live stream on Twitch. Yes, you can purchase Twitch Turbo (current pricing $9 per month) in order to view all of Twitch ad-free. That is unless a streamer runs ads for their subscribers. Speaking of subscribers, 50% of that subscriber revenue is directed straight to Twitch's coffers and the live streamer receives less than 50% due to taxes, fees, and anything else that would need to be removed before the streamer gets their cut. The sub split has been a constant condition between streamers and Twitch for years. With Twitch doubling down when a blog post released by then President of Twitch Dan Clancy stating that Twitch would not be looking to change the sub split and went further to state that for any creator that is currently on a 70/30 split would be then placed into a 50/50 split for any income over $100k. Twitch gave themselves in out in which a year after the institution of this change, those 70/30 splits would be no more.

As many creators and live streamers continue to search for alternatives to Twitch's very archaic thinking in regards to advertising and sub splits, other services and platforms are trying to entice them to come over and stream on their platforms. YouTube has been the best take with sub split at a 70/30 split right from the start for monetized creators. Kick who is a new upstart is offering an unheard of 95/5 sub split and the fact that they have no on stream advertising currently at the time of this writing.

Creators and live streamers have never had as many choices in order to create an income. The problem is that Twitch is focusing too much in driving as much advertising in live streams as they are beholden to keep shareholders happy and in turn, Amazon as well. Is this the beginning of the end of Twitch and will many more viewers and creators look to other sources to recoup more of their money spent and earned?

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