Prominent Twitch streamers are not pleased with the platform’s latest guidelines on branded content, with some threatening to post content on other platforms.
On Tuesday, Twitch posted that it will restrict the ways branded content appears on streams with new guidelines and stronger enforcement of existing rules, effective on July 1. Two of the most prominent new rules are that overlaid logos can’t take up more than 3% of the screen and “burned-in” video, banner and audio ads, or prerecorded ones that are embedded into a stream using broadcasting software, are not allowed.
Twitch has always disallowed burned-in ads but is enforcing the ban for the first time, a former Twitch employee told Kotaku.
Streamers voiced displeasure with the changes, as branded content and ad revenue, of which streamers receive 55% of the split, make up a large portion of their income.
“I am finding it harder and harder to believe that Twitch has the community's best interests at heart when they keep disregarding the community for important decision making,” Twitch streamer ThatNerdViolet told PRWeek. “I am tired of holding them accountable when they should be utilizing their Twitch ambassadors, partners and affiliates to see what works best for them. In my own inner circles, yesterday has been the catalyst to truly start pushing content elsewhere and all of my peers, including myself, feel outraged — and rightly so.”
On June 1, the Amazon-owned streaming platform began enforcing a change to subscription revenue share that resulted in some streamers losing a 70/30 revenue split to a 50/50 split with the platform.
On Tuesday, Twitch responded to streamer complaints in a series of tweets, acknowledging that the update was “overly broad” and created “confusion and frustration.” It explained that the policy update was intended to prevent third parties from selling burned-in ads, not to prevent streamers from partnering with sponsors, and that it will be updating the guidelines for clarity.
Twitch declined to comment further beyond its Twitter statement and reiterated that it will share updated language with the community as soon as possible.
We missed the mark with the policy language and will rewrite the guidelines to be clearer. Thank you for sharing your concerns, and we appreciate the feedback. We’ll notify the community once we have updated the language.— Twitch (@Twitch) June 6, 2023
However, this only added to the confusion for many streamers, who felt that the original language banning burned-in ads was clear. Some filled their backgrounds with as many branded items as possible to skirt around the overlay restriction.
Twitch is terrible at communicating. They consistently have poorly worded policies and announcements that break the confidence of the Twitch community https://t.co/PPL0TeCGIh— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 6, 2023
Don’t know what confusion you’re referring to, there’s literally pictures in the announcement, you were pretty specific. Just admit you’re completely lost as a platform. This is backpedaling to try and salvage a catastrophic, out of touch, geriatric policy decision https://t.co/BFTSU7vh6x— Charlie (@MoistCr1TiKaL) June 6, 2023
Twitch suffers from having no relationship built with their viewers/streamers— ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) June 6, 2023
Idk why the CEO doesn’t tell everyone when these big changes are happening
It’s always a carefully crafted impersonal article
And based off all their recent actions viewers have no choice but to… https://t.co/vwv9pm8rmZ
Twitch streamer Jalon told PRWeek that she found it “a little disheartening that creators aren't really involved in the conversations surrounding what changes they make and that there wasn't more clarification in the beginning.”
“It feels like this could all be avoided with more communication with the people who are literally bringing people to their site,” she said. “Also I think that Twitch is one of the few sites with a 50/50 split and people have been asking for something to match their competitors for a long time, so any time Twitch posts something limiting the avenues for creators to make money, it's not a great look and comes off negatively to the public for sure.”