Twitch Partner Program update lets streamers broadcast on rival platforms

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An image of Twitch streamer Ninja.

Whether it be Ninja on Twitch or the likes of Dr Disrespect on YouTube, for a while now, most big names in the streaming game have mainly broadcasted using a single platform of choice: and not necessarily by choice.

While this is often due to the contracts or relationships some creators have with specific platforms, for those who call Twitch home, it has also been a product of the rules surrounding that platform’s restrictive partnership program.

However, a new revision to the rules is likely going to see streamers experiment a little more with broadcasting in different places.

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As revealed in a blog post covering the new policy changes on Twitch’s website, the fresh regulations around partner exclusivity will allow live streaming on multiple platforms: so long as it isn’t being done simultaneously across “web-based, Twitch-like services that support streaming for extended periods of time, such as YouTube and Facebook.”

The reasoning cited by Twitch for this particular distinction is that it believes “engaging with two streams at once can lead to a sub-optimal experience for your community”, though streamers will be able to turn off one stream and start another non-simultaneous one elsewhere immediately afterwards without risking their partnership status on Twitch.

The main platforms which will seemingly see increased use from streamers as a result of the change are the likes of TikTok and Instagram Live - mobile services on which short simulcasts will be permitted - with Twitch citing their usefulness in growing the size of creators’ communities as the reason why.

The modified rules were explained in-depth via an email from Twitch to the affected creators. Dexerto shared the full message on social media, which showed that the platform also pledged that it’s “committed to having an open dialogue” with streamers regarding the changes.

Steaming platforms experimented with exclusive streamer buyouts during the height of competition from rival services, with Ninja’s massive 2019 move to Mixer (and subsequent return to Twitch) being arguably the most infamous example of the confusing back and forth between streaming's biggest stars.

It’ll be interesting to see whether this decision by Twitch has any impact on the movement between platforms of creators seeking better payouts and more freedom.

In the meantime, make sure to follow us for more coverage of issues affecting the world of streaming and of the exploits of streamers like Ninja and Dr Disrespect.