Twitch’s new revenue share is a bet against streaming superstars

From scam drama to a ban gambling line, Twitch just had one of its most eventful weeks ever. But perhaps the most important move amid all the buzz about Twitch is in terms of monetization. On Friday, Twitch President Dan Clancy announced that the platform is changing the current revenue split model for the platform’s biggest streamers, cutting the share a streamer gets from 70% to even 50/50 – the same ratio. from which other creators of the platform are provided.

Celebrities of all sizes are not happy with the decision. For a more detailed look at why streamers aren’t happy with Twitch’s new plan, you can read incident from Ash Parrish at The Verge. But aside from the displeasure of streamers, it’s worth digging into why Twitch made this decision – and what it could signal about the future of the platform.

The short version of Twitch creators’ complaint is that they felt that the 50/50 split most streamers were offered was too low, especially considering that competitors Competition like YouTube (Twitch’s biggest competitor, at least until it’s TikTok live) is offering everyone a 70/30 deal. Twitch lowering the earnings cap has dashed hopes of smaller creators getting a raise any time in the near future.

For the stars of the highest level, Twitch is basically the dare they create switch to YouTube. In the end, they just know that they can lose thousands of dollars a month. While this may sound risky for the platform, it seems like Twitch doesn’t believe it really needs superstar streamers. The company is betting that its users are loyal enough that they can simply create new stars, rather than paying a premium to keep the stars they already have.

That’s not an unreasonable bet to make. After all, Twitch is the platform for live streaming at the moment. In short, Twitch is the streaming site with the most attention at any given time. Some streamers, like Valkyraehave proven that switching to YouTube can be very successful, but for many others, they often see a drop in viewership because their entire Twitch audience won’t migrate to their new platform – something that the the streamer learned in the process Twitch’s First Big Migration with personalities like Shroud and Ninja signed to Microsoft’s now-closed Mixer platform.

But perhaps even more important, especially for smaller streamers, is that Twitch is easily the best platform for discovering new streamers. Discoverability is terrible on YouTube. The Live Hub is hard to find, and the homepage will prioritize your algorithm over categories, giving viewers plenty of rounds to find an unknown streamer to watch.

This issue creates a feedback loop in which YouTube is forced to partner with large streamers who can bring in long-standing audiences to engage viewers, but those viewers are just fans. the creator’s grave, and because discovering a new one is hard, increasing viewership for one streamer won’t necessarily lead to growth for other smaller streamers.

Twitch has another secret weapon in the streaming platform wars: Twitch Prime, a “free” benefit of an Amazon Prime membership that allows users to subscribe to Twitch for a month without paying any fees. any.

While part of this is what Twitch is using to justify its 50/50 split, the benefits of the product are undeniable. Prime is basically a way for streamers to get extra subscriptions without asking viewers to give out any cash. It’s also a way to monetize a large portion of Twitch’s audience – children – who may be using their parents’ Amazon accounts. Those kids may not have a credit card for a monthly subscription, but with Prime, they can still subscribe to their favorite streamer.

All of this has combined to give Twitch a huge lead over the streaming platform competition, and one it has retained despite losing some of its top talent. into the hands of services like YouTube. While Twitch superstars like Pokimane and Hasan still wield immense power (which they demonstrated by banding together to get gambling banned from the platform last week), Twitch’s new policy clarifies who really pulls the strings. More importantly, even if Twitch loses creators like xQc or Code Miko, Twitch’s thousands and thousands of smaller streamers making a leap ahead of a competitor is hard to imagine right now. Right now, it’s the only streaming site with the right tools to help them become stars.

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