The downfall of Twitch


Graphic courtesy of Twitch

Twitch is a platform for people to broadcast almost anything they want, and has reigned in its respective department for many years. Its viewer rates are incomparable to almost any other platform, having reached millions of active viewers on a single stream. Twitch is a staple of internet culture, and has been for as long as most people can remember. However, some of the recent policy changes have upset streamers and viewers alike, putting Twitch’s reputation in a vulnerable position.

An upsetting policy that was recently passed was a change in how streamers would get paid in the future. Currently, some streamers have access to premium deals, in which they have access to a 70/30 revenue split with Twitch. Historically, this offer has only been available to much larger streamers. Twitch used this  as a justification to put all streamers on the same playing field of a 50/50 split, claiming it was unjust for only some to have access to a better deal. To try and account for the change, they decided to keep it for the first $100,000 that the streamers who already have this deal make before they remove the 70/30 deal in its entirety. The announcement of this change riled up both twitch streamers and their viewers, causing other streaming platforms to increase in popularity.

For example, YouTube Live recently gained a lot of traction as a product of Twitch’s community moving over. The switch is partly due to their revenue split, where the streamers on YouTube actually get the majority of revenue, unlike on Twitch. Another benefit is that the contracts for the hours a streamer needs to stream per month is lower, and the enforcement of said contract is much more lenient. These and other reasons have caused many successful Twitch streamers such as Valkyrae, Dr Disrespect, Ludwig, Sykkuno and Myth to switch over. The switch to YouTube Live is understandable, as it offers many benefits that Twitch does not. However, YouTube still has a long way to go in terms of their live streaming services. While they pay their streamers better, their viewer interaction systems are considerably inferior to that of Twitch, which has been pointed out by some of the streamers who switched over. Even penguinz0, a Twitch streamer who uploads YouTube videos, has criticized the YouTube live chat system, claiming that Twitch chat is “a million times better than YouTube chat.” YouTube Live is not a fully developed platform. Despite this, it is climbing to the top and is much more appealing to streamers and viewers. 

Down the path it is currently going, it would not come as a surprise to anyone if Twitch’s popularity eventually came to an end. Its demise is not necessarily around the corner, but with the looks of how it is going now, Twitch is most likely headed towards its downfall, and unfortunately, may face a similar fate to Vine in the near future.