While a lot of the discourse surrounding the technical practicalities of Twitch last year focused on how it treats issues like on-stream gambling and the grooming of underage users, the platform has also repeatedly come under fire for the revenue split it offers creators.
With some larger creators like Ninja making the decision to diversify their efforts beyond Twitch, allowing for some crossovers with streamers affiliated with other platforms like YouTube, likely in order to better their earning potential, the Amazon-owned service has been under a bit of pressure to make changes.
Now, it’s provided an update on its planned improvements for the coming year, which look to be aimed at benefiting both streamers and their viewers.
Are you sick of encountering too many mid-roll ads while watching your favourite Twitch streamer?
At the beginning of an open letter outlining the prospective revisions, Twitch’s Chief Product Officer Tom Verrilli and Chief Monetization Officer Mike Minton state: “You stream and build communities on our service, so we want to give you some more insight into what we’re doing to help you do what you do best.”
The changes aimed at streamers include the pledge to try out features like “channel skins and clickable branded graphics” in order to “make sponsorship deals more effective and authentic on Twitch” and the launching of: “tools to help you edit and export your clips for vertical, short-form video formats” with the aim of helping creators promote their streams.
One area undergoing a transformation that will likely affect the experiences of both streamers and regular users is advertising, with disabling pre-roll ads seemingly becoming easier for creators to do via voluntarily: “running three minutes of ads per hour” and viewers possibly receiving “a heads up when ads are coming and the ability to snooze video mid-roll ads.”
Layered on top of this are updates to the service’s Ads Incentive Program designed to give streamers: “more flexibility to adjust the number of ads (they’re) running” and some extra tools to facilitate more communication between creators and communities, such as “unique alerts”.
Verrilli and Minton conclude by stressing: “We’ll also share updates more consistently to get you excited about what we’re building.” and suggesting this will take the form of more transparency with regards to experimentation by the platform and more regular streams discussing updates.