Twitch Ads Cause Turmoil

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Drama in the Streams

Twitch recently responded to criticisms regarding advertisements aired during their streams. Specifically, the ads advertised upcoming events featuring popular Twitch streamers Ninja and Pokimane. Many content producers accused the platform of playing favorites by advertising other users over their own content.

Twitch Experiences Growing Pains

Twitch streamers Ninja (L) and Pokimane (R)
Twitch streamers Ninja (L) and Pokimane (R)
Not their fault, but here we are.

Even though it’s been around since 2011, Twitch started making waves in 2014. Since then, the streaming giant revolutionized the way the world experiences games, and in some cases, people’s day-to-day lives. As such, multiple personalities rose to the top and became the platform’s most popular streamers. Now, Twitch streaming is a viable career option for some people with tons of revenue streams. Because real people are at the center of these streams, they make their money marketing themselves. The easiest way to market yourself is, obviously, to hold special events allowing fans to interact with you in the real world.

Location-based streams are nothing new to Twitch, and some folks use these events as a mini-tour of sorts, traveling the country meeting fans face to face. Two of Twitch’s most popular streamers, Ninja and Pokimane, recently held streams on New Year’s Eve and during the NFL Pro Bowl. Of course, these events need advertisements letting fans know when and where they can meet their streaming heroes. However, Twitch came under fire by advertising these events on other streamers’ channels.

Twitch Responds

The logic behind the arguments of Twitch advertising other streamers’ events on certain channels is pretty clear. Basically, if the platform advertises only its biggest users on smaller channels, they’re driving audiences away from the smaller channel. Sure, YouTube does something similar. However, YouTube channels specialize in a variety of topics. Most Twitch channels are strictly centered on gaming. Furthermore, Twitch makes money off of these live events, so it incites the company to advertise channels that can bring in revenue from location streams. Many users saw the advertisements as a greedy corporation trying to line their pockets. The platform released a statement, embedded below, explaining their decision to air the advertisements.

The platform promised not to run advertisements for specific channels/events on other streamers’ feeds. Honestly, they are in a tough position here. On one hand, a rising tide lifts all boats. If Twitch advertises their biggest channels, a wider audience will come to the platform and find other users they love. On the other hand, with so much content to choose from, audiences are picky by necessity and might only stick to what’s popular in order to “be part of the conversation.” We’ll see how this pans out for the streaming juggernaut. What do you think? Did they make the right decision? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the author

MJ Smith

MJ Smith makes his home in California, and when not listening to Hamilton, podcasts and writes about pop culture on the internet. He loves board games, Swamp Thing, and The Wachowski's SPEED RACER.

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