Category Archives: Twitch

Twitch Expands Ad Programs To Pay Streamers More Money

Twitch announced an Ad Revenue Upgrade. It is intended to give bigger ad payouts to more creators through the Ads Incentive Program.

The premise of the Ads Incentive Program (AIP) is simple: each month a creator gets an offer. If they stream for a specific amount of hours in that month with a specific ad-density, they’ll receive a predetermined payout. Let the Ads Manager handle the ads and at the end of the month you get paid.

Right now, this offer is only for Twitch Partners. However, Twitch says that they will have some good news for Affiliates coming in August. More specifically, in August, qualifying Affiliates will be able to set Ads Manager to three minutes (or more) per hour. Twitch says this will result in a 55% ad revenue split on the Affiliates payout.

According to Twitch, they calculated Creator earnings from ads through a fixed CPM – a flat rate for every 1,000 ad views on their channel. To increase ad payouts and ensure they can pass price increased through to Creators, Twitch is moving away from their fixed CPM structure to a percentage-based revenue share model. The new model pays creators 55% of the revenue for each ad that runs on their stream. This change represents a 50-150% ad pay rate increase for the vast majority of Creators on Twitch.

There are some things to know about that. First, Twitch took CPM values and average CPMs during 2021 to estimate rates on an equivalent revenue share model. Ad revenue depends on a variety of factors, such as audience size, ad availability, language and geography, time of year, etc.

Also worth knowing: Payment will be made on a net basis, meaning revenue less (a) billing and other costs and fees paid to provide the Twitch Services; and (b) taxes, refunds, chargebacks, discounts and credits.

In addition, Twitch explained that AIP is optional. Creators (and later, affiliates) will be able to opt-in and opt-out at any time. Twitch also reassures that they won’t pay a Creator less ad money for opting into the Ads Incentive Program. If it turns out your AIP offer payout is lower than what you would have earned running ads outside of the program, Twitch will pay you the higher amount.

The Verge reported that Twitch will disable the highly annoying pre-roll ads for users who run ads for that same amount of time. According to Twitch, the 55 / 45 split of ad revenue will “ensure [Twitch] can pass price increases through to creators.”

Mike Minton, vice president of monetization at Twitch, sent an email to The Verge, in which he wrote the following: “We found that a fixed CPM model wasn’t the most straightforward way to share revenue with creators. So we’re now launching a new model that’s not only easier to understand but also increases ad payouts by paying creators 55 percent of the revenue for each ad that runs on their stream.”

To me, it sounds like Twitch Creators (and later, Twitch Affiliates) could make some money simply by allowing ads to clutter up their stream. I’m not sure that all the people who watch the streamers will want to see more ads than usual.

Twitch is Reportedly Planning to Cut Streamer Pay and Push More Ads

Bloomberg reported that Twitch (which is owned by Amazon) is reportedly weighing changes to how it pays top talent, according to people familiar with the planning. It appears Twitch is doing this to boost its profits – while at the same time, alienating some of its biggest stars.

The updates under consideration would offer incentives for streamers to run more ads. The proposal would also reduce the proportion of subscription fees doled out to the site’s biggest performers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

According to Bloomberg, some changes to Twitch’s monetization structure could be implemented as soon as this summer. Twitch staff is considering paring back the revenue cut of channel subscriptions granted to the top echelon of streamers in its so-called partnerships program to 50%, from 70%. Another option is to create multiple tiers and set criteria for how to qualify for each one. In exchange, Twitch may offer to release partners from exclusivity restrictions, allowing them to stream on Google’s YouTube or Facebook.

For The Win (via Microsoft News) reported that these changes could go live as early as this summer, or could be scrapped entirely. Currently, top-tier streamers earn as much as 70% of revenue from those who subscribe – $3.50 on every $5. These plans are looking at reducing that to 50% and increasing the rewards for running ads. Other possibilities include a sliding scale of rewards based on popularity and, presumably, profit generated.

For The Win also noted that ads on Twitch have become common and harder to avoid in recent years, with most major ad-blockers failing completely or being countered by Twitch’s own measures. The ‘purple screen of death’ that blocks content for 30 seconds every so often when an ad-blocker or other outside-influence is detected is infamous.

PC Gamer (via Microsoft News) reported that Twitch has already been doing a harder push for ads on the site this year. According to PC Gamer, Twitch is incentivizing streamers to run more ads by offering $100 for running 2 minutes of ads per hour, with proposals in place to create a new revenue-sharing model for ads.

In my opinion, pushing more and more ads isn’t a good idea. Ads prevent viewers from watching the game play of their favorite streamers. There will absolutely be a breaking point if the number of ads – and how often the ads are served – is overwhelming. People who are frustrated by the ads will leave Twitch – and that will make it even harder for streamers to make money through subscriptions.

Twitch Created Policies to Remove Misinformation Spreaders

The majority of the content on Twitch involves gaming – including a variety of video games and TTRPG games (like Dungeons & Dragons). Twitch has noticed that there are some people who want to use their Twitch stream to spread misinformation. Twitter addressed this in a post titled: “Preventing Harmful Misinformation Actors on Twitch”.

According to Twitch: This update will likely not impact you or the streamers you love on Twitch. Twitch made it clear that they will not enforce against one-off statements containing misinformation.

Here is what Twitch streamers need to know:

Twitch partnered with over a dozen researchers and experts to understand how harmful misinformation spreads online, and learned that Harmful Misinformation Actors account for a disproportionate amount of damaging, widely debunked misinformation online.

Twitch identified three characteristics that all of these actors share: Their online presence – whether on or off Twitch – is dedicated to: (1) persistently sharing (2) widely disproven and broadly shared (3) harmful misinformation topics, such as conspiracies that promote violence.

Twitch will only enforce against actors who meet all three of these criteria. Their Off-Service investigations team will be conducting thorough reviews in each case.

In addition, Twitch has updated its Community Guidelines to include the above information.

It also gave examples of misinformation that is not allowed:

Misinformation that targets protected groups

Harmful health misinformation and wide-spread conspiracy theories related to dangerous treatments, COVID-19, and COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

This includes discussions of treatments that are known to be harmful without noting the dangers of the treatments. It also includes, for COVID-19 – and any other WHO-declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern – misinformation that causes imminent physical harm or is part of a broad conspiracy.

Misinformation promoted by conspiracy networks tied to violence and/or promoting violence

Civic misinformation that undermines the integrity of a civic or political process (examples, election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or election fraud)

Twitch may also act on misinformation that may impact public safety in instances of public emergencies (wildfires, earthquakes, active shootings)

In my opinion, Twitch made these new policies public now, just in case it has to use them to remove a streamer who spreads harmful misinformation (on Twitch or outside of it). Twitch doesn’t want an influx of misinformation spreaders who got kicked off other forms of social media.

Twitch has Been Hacked

Twitch, a streaming service where a lot of streamers make money by playing video games and interacting with those who come to watch, has been hacked. The news was first reported by Video Games Chronicle. It is highly recommended that those who have a Twitch account change their passwords and enable 2FA. It has also been recommended that streamers reset their stream key.

According to Video Games Chronicle, an anonymous hacker claims to have leaked the entirety of Twitch, including its source code and user payout information. One anonymous source at Twitch told Video Games Chronicle that the leaked data is legitimate, including the source code for the Amazon-zoned streaming platform.

Here’s what the leaked Twitch data reportedly includes:

  •  The entirety of Twitch’s source code with comment history “going back to its early beginnings”.
  •  Creator payout reports from 2019
  •  Mobile, desktop and console Twitch clients
  •  Proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services used by Twitch
  • “Every other property that Twitch owns” including IGDB and CurseForge
  •  An unrelated Steam competitor, codenamed Vapor, from Amazon Game Studios
  •  Twitch internal ‘red teaming’ tools (designed to improve security by having staff pretend to be hackers)

The Verge reported that the leak was legitimate and that it includes code that is as recent as this week. According to The Verge, this leak is labeled “part one”, indicating that there could be more to come.

The Verge also reported that an anonymous poster on the 4chan messaging board has released a 125GB torrent, which they claim includes the entirety of Twitch and its commit history. According to The Verge, the poster claimed that the leak is designed to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”

Twitch confirmed the breach on its Twitter account. @Twitch tweeted: “We can confirm a breach has taken place. Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this. We will update the community as soon as additional information is available. Thank you for bearing with us.”

Twitch has been through a series of unfortunate events, most of which it failed to gain control of. Many streamers (especially people who are Black, LGBTQ+ or disabled) were hit by waves of “hate raids”. There are what seems to be an unending series of bots that come into streams and fill the chat with absolutely vile words. Many streamers collectively took a day off of Twitch in protest.

Twitch Filed Complaint Against Two Users Over Alleged “Hate Raids”

Twitch has filed a lawsuit against perpetrators who were allegedly using Twitch’s service for “hate raids”. This action definitely shows the Twitch is aware of the “hate raids”. It is unclear whether or not the result of the lawsuit will actually improve the experience of people who stream on Twitch.

A “raid” is a feature where a streamer, who is done for the day, sends the people in their chat to the chat of another streamer. Usually, the other streamer is playing the same game, or a similar one. A “raid” is intended to be a nice thing. “Hate raids” are violating, both for the streamer and the people in their chat.

Wired appears to be the first to report about the complaint that Twitch filed. According to Wired, the lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

…It targets two users, identified only as “Cruzzcontrol” and “CreatineOverdose”, whom Twitch believes are based, respectively, in the Netherlands and Vienna, Austria. Twitch, in the suit, says it initially took “swift action” by suspending and then permanently banning their accounts. However, it reads, “They evaded Twitch’s bans by creating new, alternate, Twitch accounts and continually altering their self-described ‘hate raid code’ to avoid detection and suspension by Twitch….

Polygon posted a copy of the complaint. Here is what Twitch is asking for:

That Defendants and their officers, agents, representatives, servants, employees, successors and assigns, and all others in active concert and participation with Defendants be preliminary and permanently enjoined from:

Using or accessing the Twitch Services;

Posting content on the Twitch Services, including in the Twitch chat function, that is prohibited by the Terms, including racist, homophobic, xenophobic, or any other harassing content.

Assisting any individual or company in engaging in the conduct described above

An award to Twitch of restitution and damages, including, but not limited to, enhanced, liquidated, compensatory, special, and punitive damages, and all other damages permitted by law

An award to Twitch for its cost incurred in this suit, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees.

In addition, Twitch is demanding a trial by jury.

Polygon reported that a spokesperson from Twitch told them “We hope this Complaint will shed light on the identity of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools they exploit, dissuade them from taking similar behaviors on other services, and help put an end to these vile attacks against members of our community”.

Twitch Streamers are Struggling with DMCA Takedowns

Twitch streamers have recently been facing takedowns under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). According to The Verge, he claimant was the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It appears that the RIAA is going after clips, some of which may have been created several years ago.

It appears that Twitch was taken by surprise by the takedown requests. Twitch Support tweeted: “This week, we’ve had a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19. If you’re unsure about rights to audio in past streams, we advise removing those clips. We know many of you have large archives, and we’re working to make this easier.”

Twitch also tweeted: “This is the first time we have received mass DMCA claims against clips.” A third tweet included a link to Twitch’s Music Guidelines. Part of those guidelines state: You may not include music you do not own in your Twitch streams or VOD’s (Past Broadcasts, Past Premieres, Highlights, Clips and Uploads).

One option for streamers who don’t want to get hit with a DMCA claim is to delete clips that include music that they do not own the rights to. The problem is that Twitch doesn’t make it easy for streamers to delete clips. Streamers who have been streaming for years, and who have active fans, could have a huge amount of clips to dig through. It becomes a race between how fast Twitch’s system allows for deletion, and the rate at which DMCA notices arrive at Twitch.

This could result in some streamers quickly racking up DMCA notices faster than they can do anything about them. Your favorite streamers might end up banned as a result. It seems unfair, considering that Twitch itself didn’t foresee the speed at which the DMCA notices would start arriving.

The best advice I have for streamers is to stop playing music until this whole mess gets sorted out. You might also want to ask your fans to stop making clips.

Twitch Used Ninja’s Dormant Channel to Promote NSFW Stream

As you may have heard, Tyler Blevins, known as Ninja, has left Twitch and is now streaming exclusively on Mixer. It seems that Twitch is unhappy about that. Engadget reported that Twitch used Ninja’s dormant Twitch channel to promote other streamers, including one that was NSFW (not safe for work).

Engadget reported that esports consultant Rod Breslau observed that the number one stream on Twitch the morning of August 11, 2019, was a bootleg NSFW movie that lasted for more than two hours.

This is a huge problem for many reasons. People who come to Twitch to watch Ninja’s channel are very likely hoping to watch him play Fortnite, a game that is popular with middle schoolers and children. No one wants their kids to watch X-rated material.

The video is reportedly a bootleg, which breaks Twitch’s rule regarding copyrighted content. Twitch should have taken it down as expediently as possible, especially considering the nature of the content. Instead, Twitch left it up for at least two hours.

Ninja posted a video on Twitter in which he apologized for what Twitch promoted on his dormant channel. He also stated that he had absolutely no control over what Twitch chose to promote there. It sounds like Ninja and his team expected that his Twitch channel would be dormant – and not be used by Twitch for promotion.

Personally, I think this was a mean-spirited and extremely immature response by Twitch in regards to Ninja’s decision to move to Mixer. It is obvious that the NSFW content promoted on his Twitch channel could have harmed Ninja’s brand.

According to Engadget, Twitch has since reverted Ninja’s old channel to a regular offline screen, and Twitch CEO Emmett Shear has apologized to Ninja. Twitch has banned the user who posted the NSFW content and is suspending recommendations until they investigate.

I think I would have been willing to believe Twitch’s apology was in good faith if they had stepped in and removed the NSFW stream right away. Waiting two hours to do so is irresponsible, and makes Twitch look bad.