The TLDR Twitch introduces new rules regarding branded content:
- Logos on stream must be 3% or less of the total display area
- Burned-in ads aren't allowed anymore
- Streamers must display a branded content disclosure
- Broadened prohibition on the promotion of certain categories of content, now including: Political content, adult-oriented products or services, weapons, tobacco products, certain financial products and services, and even medical facilities and products.
Failure to abide by these rules results in suspension.
Twitch's New Guidelines
Since its inception, Twitch has been a hub for gamers and creators to interact, share content, and make a living. However, its recent announcement on June 6 regarding new guidelines for branded streams has rocked the platform, inciting a wave of backlash from content creators. The primary concern is the major shift in advertising rules and what is deemed "acceptable" branded content.
Included in these changes are restrictions on "burned-in" advertisements, where ads are a direct part of the actual stream. More controversially, the site has broadened its prohibition on the promotion of certain categories of content, now including political content, adult-oriented products or services, weapons, tobacco products, certain financial products and services, and even medical facilities and products.
These new guidelines were unveiled with the apparent intention of maintaining a "safe" and "healthy" environment for users. Won't anyone think of the ChiLdrEn!? However, in reality, many streamers argue that this shift is, in fact, a tactical move by Twitch to monopolize their income streams and hinder smaller creators' growth.
Prominent streamer Asmongold, popular for his MMO broadcasts, has been vocal in his disapproval of these changes. After recently taking a break from his main channel due to anxiety, Asmongold resurfaced with a call to action, encouraging fellow creators to boycott Twitch or consider migrating to other platforms.
He strongly feels that these restrictions, which he describes as "making common and harmless forms of advertisement literally against Terms of Service," are a strategic move by Twitch to gain a larger share of streamers' income. He further suggested that Twitch's new guidelines are designed to "monetize, monopolize, and take advantage of smaller streamers."
Asmongold, along with many other streamers, is concerned that these changes significantly impact the Twitch ecosystem, limiting creative freedom and potentially forcing content creators to adjust their content to suit the new rules. He has even gone as far as to assert that if the guidelines are enforced, he will consider streaming non-exclusively, splitting his broadcasts between Twitch and other platforms.
Asmongold is not alone in his frustration. Several other big-name broadcasters have raised their voices against Twitch's decision. One such individual is Jack 'CouRage' Dunlop, a popular broadcaster who moved to YouTube Gaming in 2019. He voiced his satisfaction with YouTube's policies, such as a 70/30 split for creators and better discoverability with YouTube Shorts, implicitly contrasting this favorable situation with Twitch's newly announced rules.
There is also growing concern over the impact these guidelines will have on grassroots esports tournaments. The argument is that Twitch's new rules will make it almost impossible for these organizations to run a profitable tournament.
The resentment among Twitch creators is everywhere, and these new guidelines might mark a critical turning point in the streaming industry. They follow a growing trend of high-profile creators leaving Twitch for alternative platforms like Kick and Rumble.
It remains to be seen how Twitch will respond to this backlash. Will they adjust their policies in light of the uproar, or will they hold firm in their decision? Whatever the outcome, it's clear that these changes have raised important questions about creators' rights and the future of the streaming landscape. It's so overboard that it almost feels like they wet hard on purpose, just to "pull back" at the end of the day so that they end up looking like the good guys in this situation. Time will tell...