Twitch: restricting gambling and changing earnings for streamers | Netflix Updates

The streaming platform Twitch has published two far-reaching changes in one day. gambling and income from streamers are affected.

The Amazon subsidiary Twitch will restrict the streaming of gambling games in the future. The company also stated that it would also adjust the distribution of the streamers’ contributions when paying out – once again in favor of Twitch.

Gambling – Gambling on Twitch has long been a controversial topic. On the one hand, playing in the virtual casinos attracts countless spectators, while not only a few “casino streamers” gamble away their belongings, but also the mostly young – often underage – spectators.

From October 18, “Twitch will ban the streaming of gambling sites, including slot machines, roulette or dice games, that do not offer adequate consumer protection in the United States or its jurisdiction.” The streaming platform explicitly names stake.com. rollbit.com, duelbits.com and Roobet.com and explainedto ban other providers in the future. However, this does not completely limit gambling, which is popular on Twitch, and therefore also does not limit the dangers for viewers.

While the streamers are paid by the gambling providers themselves – sometimes in the millions – and also earn money with every reference code that viewers use to register on the portals, the rest pay extra. Of course, Twitch is not completely altruistic in its approach: many viewers mean many streamer subscriptions, from which Twitch also earns, as well as from broadcast advertising, which generates higher profits in front of a large audience.

Twitch is thus responding to demands from some large streamers, who probably also reacted to the disclosure of a scandal involving a wide-ranging casino streamer. Out of his gambling addiction, he cheated friends, fans and colleagues out of 300,000 euros. For example, Pokimane (9.2 million followers on Twitch) reportedly threatened to go on strike at Christmas, one of its busiest times in terms of revenue, if Twitch didn’t address the gambling problem.

The streamer Pokimane is one of the top ten on the platform and said she wanted to gather other big streamers for a “broadcast break” during the Christmas season. On Twitter, Pokimane wrote “we did it” and “public pressure, tweets and awareness, everything matters”.

Twitch did not comment on microtransactions such as in Fifa by Electronic Arts, which are also criticized and interpreted as gambling. Last Friday, Jan Böhmermann also took up the topic in his program ZDF Magazin Royal. Böhmermann’s show was structured in the same way as a “reaction”, in which influencers react to other videos on the Internet, and was heavily based on Montana Black, Germany’s largest streamer on Twitch, who works with Fifa packs for the Fifa Ultimate Team ( FUT) in the past also attracted a lot of viewers.

Twitch President Dan Clancy also announced changes to payouts. Twitch recently lowered the barriers to entry for content monetization. Subsequently, many small influencers were able to participate in the affiliate program and earn money through advertising. The partner contracts were a matter of negotiation and were previously largely subject to confidentiality.

So far, Twitch and the respective streamer have each received half of the net income. In the past, large streamers often negotiated 70 percent of the revenue in their favor, which Clancy describes as “premium conditions”. These agreements are now to be adjusted.

In the future, streamers with premium conditions can still keep 70 percent “of the revenue for the first $100,000 from subscriptions. Revenues above $100,000 will be subject to the standard split of 50/50 in the future” – there were initial reports already in April of this year. According to the blog post, this change should come into force on June 1, 2023, and the changes will take effect thereafter as soon as an existing contract is due for renewal. This step was also justified with the costs of maintaining the services in the background. According to this, 200 hours of streaming time per month with an average of 100 concurrent viewers costs more than 1000 US dollars. Totals are based on published rates for Interactive Video Service (IVS) from in-house Amazon Web Services.

Twitch has recently aggressively promoted the display of advertising and gives the streamers a share of the revenue. However, many large influencers tend to speak out against it and make little or no use of it. The revenue would be too low for them to bother their viewers with it. Clancy said the “recent increase in ad revenue share to 55 percent under the Ad Rewards program is a great opportunity for big streamers.” This would enable them to offset or even fully compensate for most of the lost income. In the past month, the partner exclusivity has also fallen, so that most of the streamers can also be active on other portals.

“We had noticed some issues with these premium agreements,” said Clancy. “Firstly, we had not made it transparent that these offers even existed. Secondly, there were no uniform qualification criteria, so the agreements were usually concluded with larger streamers.” Transparency, which is still missing with “gambling” and microtransactions.

(bme)

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