Twitch’s advertising incentives leave streamers excited and disappointed

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Last week, Twitch informed users for update this, at least on paper, sounded like what many streamers have wanted since the live broadcast giant first began cutting checks: a more favorable pay split. But streamers find it difficult to understand the new system, which in some cases pays them well, and in others reduces them compared to their normal receivables.

In Twitch, ads appear before and during streams, similar to ads in some YouTube videos. Streamers have some control over this: when they decide to run an ad manually, for example, the platform deactivates ads before the roll for a certain period of time. (Twitch is owned by Amazon, whose founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) The recently updated advertising incentive program is an attempt to strengthen this system. Using Twitch’s built-in ad manager, streaming partners can view and request customized ad offers in exchange for one-month streaming hours. An example offer on the Twitch website shows an incentive of $ 500 in exchange for 4 minutes of advertising per hour, given at least 40 hours of streaming per month. All ads placed after the promotion targets have been met will be paid at the standard rate on the platform.

Previously, these bids were calculated at a flat rate for every 1000 ad impressions on their channel. The update, which came out on June 14, switches the program to a percentage-based model, with streamers earning 55 percent of the revenue for each individual ad that runs on their stream. IN blog announcing the changeTwitch estimates “a 50-150 percent increase in ad pay for the vast majority of Twitch creators.”

After the update, some users report offers that reflect earnings of more than $ 100 in fewer hours, streaming with a large number of enabled ads. Others, by contrast, have lost hundreds of dollars in revenue compared to previous months. A variety of factors, including audience size, ad availability, and location, have caused significant variations in ad revenue each month. However, streamers are no wiser which in particular factors cause What.

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In April, Bloomberg announced that Twitch intends to cut how much it pays to top streamers – from 70 percent of channel subscription revenue to 50 percent – and focus on ads in a bid to drive profits. Several current and former Twitch employees told The Washington Post that the previous big stream subscription revenue initiative was essentially in place, with the company largely halting new 70/30 deals last January. .

Twitch makes most of its money from advertising. However, Twitch viewers hate ads. On a live platform where no one wants to miss a big moment, ads can act as a major obstacle. And because advertising revenue has not historically accumulated to more significant revenue from subscriptions and donations from viewers, streamers view ads as obstacles to getting out of the way in every way possible. So, Twitch and its streamers are at a dead end – one that the company has been striving for years.

Casey “Lowco” Flexhaug, a Twitch partner that focuses on the growth and education of streamers, pays close attention to how and why there is a potential for revenue from Twitch. It is the beneficiary of the latest changes, with a $ 123 July bid if it runs three minutes of commercials every hour, assuming it broadcasts 44 hours or more during the month. The previous month, the same schedule would have brought her $ 27 – and she would have to broadcast a total of 70 hours. Like many other streamers, however, it scratches over the details.

They suggest factors such as geography, season, viewership, etc. all this may affect your percentage, but it is a mystery how they take this into account and I do not think they will publish this information, “said Flexhaug. “The program definitely needs to improve the way it sets tariffs, because there still seems to be a huge discrepancy and inconsistency in the offers that streamers receive.”

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On the other side of the coin is the multilingual partner of Twitch Oxillery, which did not provide its full name. In June, during which she and several friends received “crazy big” offers, Oxillery said Twitch’s ad incentive program would bring her more than $ 1,100 for four minutes of advertising every hour (with 160 hours of streaming this month). , $ 750 for three minutes of ads per hour or $ 500 for one minute of ads per hour. The July offer is $ 200 for four minutes of advertising per hour for 110 hours of streaming.

The discrepancy worried her, so she asked Twitch about it. As she understands, payouts for ads are not as predictable as Twitch wants them to seem, because the company is constantly negotiating advertising deals with other companies.

“This is not a coherent or clear model,” Oxillery said.

There are other potential drawbacks. Like pay, Twitch’s growth is highly volatile. Even just a few stumbling blocks can be enough to send viewers to pack their luggage – and opportunities with them.

“I’ve been experiencing a lot of explosive growth lately because of TikTok, so [agreeing to an ad offer] in fact, it’s a risk that needs to be taken in my case, “said Stephen Sipsipstefen. “When you grow up at Twitch, it’s all about momentum, and higher ad density can make people watch less, throwing out all sorts of things. [momentum] you are currently building. At this point in my career, I think I just need to take the low density of ads and focus my efforts on getting sponsorships / partnerships that pay off way more than anything Twitch has to offer. ”

The current structure of the program also leaves little room for streamers who cannot maintain consistent schedules, for example due to health problems.

“As a partner with disabilities, which went from 2,000 subscribers to 300 [concurrent] viewers are declining due to my health problems, it’s an insult to be offered less than $ 20 a month, “said ComfyLenox. and Vtuber who have not given their real name. “Forcing people to stream as much as possible or they won’t get it [compelling future] the incentives – as they appear to be based on the flow of the previous month – are unhealthy and unfair. ”

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Other streamers, such as BriAtCookiebox, another Vtuber that maintains privacy around its true identity, have offered more flexibility in when ads are displayed. Currently, streamers must rely on Twitch’s built-in ad manager, which allows streamers to schedule ads to run but not manually trigger ads at any time.

“I know a lot of streamers make regular content mixed with ASMR streams, and ads are extremely intrusive during ASMR streams,” she said. “It would be nice to be able to opt out of ads during this time in exchange for a smaller reduction in incentive pay.”

Some streamers look at offers so generous that they can’t say no. In these cases, they have taken explaining to his audience why they will run more ads, a move that has been met with understanding. But even as their payouts increase, others see more red flags than dollar signs.

“Taking into account the new 55 percent split, I would get a total of $ 28 for the entire month,” BriAtCookiebox said. “The only way I would do that is if I could show that amount to my viewers and explain to them why it would be useful for me to advertise. And $ 28 is of no use to anyone.

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