Twitch’s new CEO agrees: pre-roll ads suck

By 04/13/2023
Twitch’s new CEO agrees: pre-roll ads suck

Twitch‘s new CEO Dan Clancy is trying to put in more face time with streamers.

Bloomberg reports that after a rocky takeover last month (former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear exited abruptly, with then-president Clancy stepping up and almost immediately laying off 400 staffers), Clancy is meeting with creators like Maya Higa. The goal is ostensibly to understand what Twitch’s biggest streamers–and therefore moneymakers, for themselves but, crucially, for Twitch–want from it.

Before anyone gets hyped, that doesn’t mean Twitch is reconsidering the largely disliked switch in revenue split from 70/30 (in favor of creators) to 50/50. In fact, the platform seems to be doubling down on that decision. Maybe not surprising, considering Clancy was the one who wrote the company blog post announcing it.


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Clancy told Bloomberg that post revenue split changes, Twitch’s focus is “about growing the pie.”

It’s already said it’s working on improving discoverability, and Clancy reaffirmed that both to Bloomberg and in a recent appearance on creator SpawnOnMe‘s Twitch stream. In both interviews, he said Twitch is working on improving ads–particularly pre-roll ads, which can put new viewers off if they’re trying to join a stream quickly (for example if they know the streamer is playing a specific game and are trying to catch an important moment of gameplay) or if they’re just checking out a new stream. He seems to understand that no one wants to sit through 30 seconds or even a minute-plus of pre-rolls in order to see if a new-to-them streamer is to their liking.

To SpawnOnMe, Clancy said, “Since I look at a lot of channels, as opposed to the small amount I’m subscribed to, I see a lot of ads, because I’m moving around. In fact, I brought up your channel as we were going on, because I thought, ‘Let’s have that live so I can see chat,’ and I saw an ad.”

He added, “I don’t think that is the right experience when you’re trying to discover new content. When you are looking and are like, ‘Oh, let me check this out,’ and you are hit with an ad that inhibits you from going and browsing new stuff.”

As for what Twitch plans to do to solve this problem, Clancy said the platform “currently [has] some tests going and we’ll be rolling out some stuff soon that really leans away from pre-roll ads when people are in discovery mode.”

Whether that’ll result in the complete removal of pre-roll ads or not is unclear. What is clear is that Clancy wants creators to know: things at Twitch are changing.

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