livestreaming, twitch, affiliate marketing

Twitch is talking about adding paid ads to livestreams – and creators have opinions

Twitch and other video focused platforms, including YouTube and Snapchat, have all reported a bad quarter this year, leading Twitch to pursue some new means of gaining money. Amongst the options is the idea of offering “incentives for streamers to run more ads”, meaning that pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads could potentially make their way to the live streaming platform.

The changes could be implemented as early as summer of this year, with ideas around different tiers and releasing partners from Twitch exclusivity being tossed around.

And naturally, there were a lot of opinions.

What are the creators saying?

The ever-opinionated political streamer Hasan Piker said: “They are moving away from content creators to fix their profits. …Twitch only makes moves like this because they think there is no competitor in the livestreaming space. Mixer is dead, Facebook is a black hole for relevance, and YouTube is too big to care about livestreaming and too slow to change. They threw money at some creators (one being Piker himself, as one of the biggest streamers on the platform) and stopped.”

Gaming Twitch streamer Pokimane offered some friendly advice by saying, “Twitch should just implement ads that don’t directly interfere with a stream, like sidebars, picture in pictures, underlay, etc. I understand advertisers are essential to make a platform profitable but intervening with viewer experience isn’t how they should go about it.”

Irish gamer and OG YouTuber Jacksepticeye said: “What a joke. Makes it worse for everyone except Twitch themselves.”

And he might have a point.

What can this mean for affiliate marketing?

This could have a lot of effects on creators, viewers, and marketers on Twitch. For viewers, there is the initial problem that streaming is live. If an ad were to pop up in the middle of a stream, it is likely to interrupt an important moment in what you’re watching. Twitch has no rewind or pause option, so if you miss it, you miss it. Imagine watching the football game and an ad took over just as the ball was headed to the goal. You come back and there’s been a score. There would be uproar at home.

It’s for this reason that creators are worried. They are looking to offer the best entertainment they can to their audiences and are convinced that this will drive users away from the platform.

So, it only stands to reason then that affiliate marketers should be worried. No one wants fewer people on the platform, since that means fewer people to market to, even if you have more means of marketing. There is no point in shouting into an empty void. But affiliate marketers in particular are not going to want to work with creators whose numbers are lowering across the board.

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