Apparently Twitch is revamping more than just its exclusivity rule.
As Dexerto first noted, the platform seems to have bumped up payouts in general for its ad incentives program, which offers streamers customized monthly bonuses if they stream for a specific number of hours and also play a specific number of ads to their audiences during those hours.
Twitch announced the program back in February, and began accepting streamers to it in March.
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Early offers were met with mixed responses. NYChrisG, who has 56,000 followers on Twitch, tweeted in March that his offer was significant enough that he could “actually make streaming a full time job.” Meanwhile iJevin, who has 206,000 followers, said in June that he was offered $40 a month to run four minutes of ads per hour.
Reversal, who has 126,000 followers, tweeted that his July offer inexplicably dropped 95% from June’s, and posted a screenshot showing Twitch was willing to pay a bonus of $104 if he streamed 120 hours over the course of the month while running one minute of ads per hour, $115 if he streamed 120 hours and ran two minutes of ads per hour, and $122 if he streamed 120 hours and ran four minutes of ads per hour.
Been mailing back and forth with Twitch Support about the awful offer I got for my Ad-Incentive and long story short, My Ad “Incentive” won’t be corrected.
Twitch has told me personally in a meeting that offers are calculated based on the past 3 months.
Unacceptable. https://t.co/bKczwBUoVl pic.twitter.com/JwksuOeRvv
— REVERSAL (@REVERSALx7) July 27, 2022
Those are objectively not impressive amounts of money (and, as you can see from Reversal’s screenshot, were apparently due to him not running many ads on his channel). But now streamers’ September offers are rolling out, and for some, the amount of money on the table is significant.
On Aug. 25, Towelliee, who has nearly 900,000 followers, tweeted the ad incentive program “is too good now to pass up for even the smallest of streamers.”
So, how “good” is it?
Well, Gothalion, who has 962,000 followers, was offered a whopping $21,383 to stream for 133 hours while running three minutes of ads per hour.
I’m not a fan of automatic ads buuuuuuuut…. Chat. pic.twitter.com/kc4U3JBAMj
— Gothalion (@Gothalion) August 28, 2022
Holiwhirl, who has 68,000 followers on Twitch, didn’t tweet numbers, but said the September ad incentive changes “are actually huge for creators.”
“I’m so happy to see a change that actually benefits us for once!” she said. “I’ll be running more automated ads starting next month and it feels amazing to have more security in my job.”
Another streamer, Duck (18,000 followers), also didn’t post figures, but said his offer was “pretty serious money this time around.”
More ads = less views?
With all the discussion about better offers is an undercurrent of concern. In his tweet about how the program is “too good” now, Towelliee said he’s also worried the increasing number of ads combined with Twitch’s default pre-rolls will drive viewers away.
This worry is being echoed by both creators and viewers. People don’t necessarily seem worried that any one creator running more ads will push people away; it’s more the potential snowball effect of lots of creators suddenly running more ads. If a viewer is bouncing between broadcasts from streamers they follow and keeps getting hit with pre-rolls, then streamers’ minutes-long hourly ad breaks, that could get exhausting real quick.
There’s no easy solution here. Creators need to be paid for their time, and since streaming can be a fickle business with ups and downs in earnings, it’s understandable they want to participate in something that offers a guaranteed amount of monthly income.
As for Twitch itself, it might have to do more than bump bonuses if it wants to hang on to its major stars. It’s been losing top creators to YouTube for months, and according to recent jump-ship Sykkuno, doesn’t come off like it cares all that much about who leaves—or who stays.