In September 2022, Twitch did something many streamers weren’t thrilled with.
It sank all partner creators from a revenue split of 70/30 (with 70% going to them and 30% going to Twitch) to a split of 50/50.
That decision sparked significant backlash from streamers and viewers alike.
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So, does Twitch regret making it?
The company’s chief product officer Tom Verrilli and chief monetization officer Mike Minton told The Verge that Twitch thinks now is the best time for creators using its platform. Its big plan, they said, is to show creators what it’s doing to earn the 20% of income that used to belong to them.
And what it’s doing is something creators have wanted for years: improving discoverability.
“We want to make it easier for creators to take their amazing Twitch content and distribute it, but we also need to take more responsibility for delivering viewers straight to streamers while they are on Twitch,” Verrilli told The Verge.
He added that Twitch has three main goals: helping streamers build their audiences, helping them maintain their audiences, and giving them ways to make their audiences part of their content. The Verge noted that Twitch has recently expanded its stream-tagging system, and is also adding analytics where creators can see which tags/categories are drawing viewers to their channel.
Minton said Twitch is investing in new products (presumably to help achieve the above goals) and working with streamers to help them sign longer-term, lucrative sponsorship deals.
“There certainly was loud conversations within the community in terms of their feedback and reception,” Minton said about the introduction of the 50/50 split. “We are committed to continuing to improve our monetization products and building new monetization products, and at the end of the day, we are committed to increasing the amount of money a streamer earns.”
Minton pointed to Twitch’s ad incentive program, which offers streamers customized 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 introduced that in early 2022, and in August, some creators were reporting five-figure monthly offers from the program. (Ad incentives have since been changed so creators can opt in and out of running ads at will, instead of having to commit to a full month.)
“The acceptance and engagement on the ad incentive program far exceeded our expectations,” Minton said. “So streamers are clearly seeing the value in running ads now.”
However Twitch’s plans play out, it’s clear the platform is paying attention to creators’ (valid) concerns about being able to earn a real living off their streams.
“What we’re committed to doing is continuing to innovate, continuing to improve the experience from a beginning streamer all the way up to a highly successful star,” Minton said.