Ewan Larkin
Jun 15, 2023

Twitch competitors seize opportunities amid branded content fallout

The Amazon-owned company’s rivals are attempting to poach streamers away from the platform after controversial policy changes.

Twitch competitors seize opportunities amid branded content fallout

Twitch competitors are taking advantage as streamers consider dumping the platform after the Amazon subsidiary changed its guidelines on branded content.

Last week, Twitch posted that it would 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 were that overlaid logos couldn’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, would not be allowed. 

Popular streamers decried the changes, as branded content and ad revenue, of which Twitch creators receive 55% of the split, make up a large portion of their income. Many threatened to post content on other platforms. 

“This isn't the same Twitch [that] bled purple for years,” Twitch creator ThatNerdViolet told PRWeek. “Now they just want to bleed us dry.”

Less than three days after announcing the guidelines, Twitch walked back its controversial rules in a series of tweets that stated, “These guidelines are bad for you and bad for Twitch, and we are removing them immediately.” 

Up-and-coming livestreaming platform Kick, which offers streamers a modest 95%-5% subscriber revenue split, has capitalized on Twitch’s disarray by quipping about its Amazon-owned competitor in a series of tweets. 

On June 8, just two days after Twitch’s announcement, Kick tweeted that it had doubled its all-time 24-hour signup record. 

“Shoutout to that other website for the boost,” it added. In a separate post, Kick called Twitch its employee of the month.

A Twitch representative could not be immediately reached to comment on Kick’s tweets. 

Despite recent progress, Kick is still largely lagging behind Twitch. According to a report from StreamElements, hours watched on Kick jumped to 51.8 million in April, up from 12.8 million in January. In comparison, Twitch reported 1.67 billion hours watched on its platform in April. 

A couple of household names could help close the gap. One of the biggest names in gaming, Ninja, held his first stream on Kick on June 9. YouTuber MrBeast, who boasts more than 160 million subscribers, has also suggested he might use the platform to protest Twitch. 

YouTube has also made some significant changes for streamers in wake of ongoing Twitch chaos. The Alphabet company on Tuesday said it’s lowering the eligibility requirements for creators to make money. 

The new rules are especially helpful for small creators and livestreamers, granting them earlier access to key monetization features like paid chat, tipping, channel memberships and shopping features. 

Spokespeople for Kick and YouTube were not immediately available for comment. 


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