Twitch‘s decision to change its creator/platform revenue split from 70/30 (in favor of creators) to 50/50 continues to haunt it.
In an April 4 Twitter thread, Twitch said it’s conducting several “experiments” related to sponsored content, where brands partner up with creators and sponsor their streams. Plenty of Twitch streamers already regularly hold sponsored streams, and secure those brand partners themselves–meaning they get all the revenue from their deals.
Streamers say Twitch’s new experiments are an attempt to take a cut of that sponsorship revenue for itself.
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🔬 We’re testing new experiences to connect streamers and brands by making sponsored streams work better for our community. We’re in the early stages of seeing what works, but want to give you a sneak peek. This month, you may start seeing sponsored streams including:
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) April 4, 2023
- Streamer-Read Ads, which “support streamers in delivering branded talking points live and across multiple streams,” per Twitch. It added, “This test is a part of our ongoing work to help streamers deliver ads natively in stream, themselves.”
- Sub Codes, which “let brands pay for subs, and share the codes with viewers off Twitch. Viewers redeem the codes on Twitch and receive tokens that they can use to subscribe to their favorite channels.”
- Sponsored Gift Subs, which “allow brands to buy and gift subs in Chat to viewers at scale.”
- and Sponsored Sub Discounts, which “will offer SUBtember-like discounts for subscriptions on individual channels subs. Just like SUBtember, brands sponsor these discounts, allowing streamers to receive their regular payout for subs even though viewers pay a reduced rate.”
With Streamer-Read Ads, it’s not clear exactly how much Twitch would get, or how the tool would work. It could be a creator marketplace-esque feature, where Twitch matches brands up with streamers and then takes an overall cut for arranging the deal.
With the other three features, it’s clearer that Twitch would at least get a 50% cut from all those potential Sub Codes, Sponsored Sub Discounts, and Sponsored Gift Subs. Those will all bring in $4.99+ a pop, with half going to the streamer and half going to Twitch. (They’ll generate even more revenue if brands gift Tier 2 or Tier 3 subs, which are $9.99 and $24.99, respectively.)
Responses to Twitch’s thread about these experiments are largely negative, with many streamers airing grievances about how much of their revenue Twitch takes for itself.
Doubling down on a 50/50 sub split right now makes Twitch feel out of touch with what partners and affiliates need to have longevity on the site.
Although it’s hard to say what value these features will have, it’s not what people want.
Please read the room. Listen.
— DeadlySlob (@Deadlyslob) April 4, 2023
Why would I want to give you 50% of my sponsorship money, Twitch?
— Steven Spohn (Spawn) (@stevenspohn) April 4, 2023
Whilst this may make things more streamlined for some people. It honestly sounds like you are just trying to take a cut from sponsored content. Unless I’m misreading something…
— Pestily (@Pestily) April 4, 2023
No thanks, I like to manage my sponsorships and the income I personally derive from that work myself 💖 cute idea though.
— Paladin (@PaladinAmber) April 4, 2023
This is an awful idea. You want to insert yourselves into a process that doesn’t need you, and then get the brands to pay streamers through subs of which you take half.
I’m not sure what worries me more, the fact you came up with this idea or the fact you think you are doing…
— Triple_G (@Triple_Gz1) April 5, 2023
If I work with a sponsor myself, I get 100% of the rate they’ve agreed.
If it goes through Twitch, you take a cut? This literally only works out better for Twitch. No thanks 🙂
— Holiwhirl (@holiwhirl) April 5, 2023
could you start testing a way to stop taking half of my income instead?
— bearki (@bearkiTV) April 4, 2023
Twitch hasn’t responded to creators’ concerns. In its thread about the new tools, it said they are “very early experiments, with the goal of finding what works best for streamers, viewers, and brands. Depending on feedback, some of these may change or scale further as we move into next year, and some may not.”