Twitch Cuts Revenue Split for Top Streamers
Twitch cuts revenue split, recently announcing it will reduce the share of subscription money that top streamers receive. Unsurprisingly, many steamers are peeved, to say the least. It’s a calculated gamble from the Amazon-owned streaming service that may pay off short term, but could come back to haunt it later.
Slice of the Pie
Most of the income partner-level streamers receive on Twitch comes from a 50/50 split of subscription fees. Previously, the most popular streamers were able to negotiate a 70/30 split. Going forward, those streamers will receive 70/30 on their first $100,000 of annual subscription revenue, then 50/50 beyond that.
- Current subscription prices range from $4.99 to $24.99 a month
- Streamer Ad Revenue share was recently increased slightly to 55% as a consolation
- Twitch claims “approximately 90% of streamers will not be affected"
- Current contracts will be honored through their expiration
- Changes start June 1, 2023
This shift from Twitch comes amid a larger change in focus for the service. Over the summer, it loosened exclusivity provisions for streamers, who historically were not allowed to stream on rival services like YouTube. There’s two ways to look at this.
- Preventive Measures: Twitch’s exclusivity had always been contentious, and its parent company is no stranger to labor disputes. These changes were an attempt to head off potentially costly future disputes.
- Twitch’s Dominance: Twitch still dominates viewership, with about five times as many hours streamed than its nearest competitor, YouTube Gaming, last quarter. In other words, Twitch has such a wide lead that exclusivity is unnecessary.
In many ways, Twitch’s recent actions reflect the strategies often seen in traditional media streaming. It’s not about how good your content is, it’s more about how much you can offer. Twitch is counting on having enough big names among streamers and so much content that it doesn’t matter if some disillusioned streamers take their talents to other platforms.In the short term, this bet is likely to pay off. But down the road, this strategy may backfire. One need only recall how many of Twitch’s original stars were content creators fed up with YouTube’s treatment of them.
It's also worth noting that Twitch's senior VP of global creators, Constance Knight, announced her resignation the same day Amazon unveiled the new revenue split.