Twitch Flatly Refuses to Increase Streamer Share of Revenues


  • Twitch Flatly Refuses to Increase Streamer Share of Revenues

    You'll get 50% and you'll like it.
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    Just yesterday, Twitch scored a few brownie points when they said they were going to ban some gambling on the streaming platform. It wasn't much but at least it was something positive. Today, whatever positivity remained was tossed out the window when Twitch flatly refused to increase streamer revenue share.

    A petition signed by over 22,000 Twitch streamers and viewers sought to increase the subscription revenue share from 50/50 to 70/30 in favor of the streamers. This push for change came about after many found out the long known and worst kept secret that some of Twitch's more prominent streamers were already sitting on a 70/30 revenue share.

    Twitch president Dan Clancy published an open letter about the petition and the desire to give every partnered streamer a 70/30 revenue split. In short, Clancy's response was a very solid "no."

    Clancy says that most streamers on Twitch earn "a baseline revenue share of 50/50 on the net revenue from those earnings." Some streamers that rose to the top of subscriber counts have, in the past, been offered "premium subscription terms," or in other terms those streamers were bumped up to a 70/30 split. Clancy admits that there was never any set "framework to determine who would receive these deals and when." Twitch stopped offering new 70/30 splits to all streamers a year ago but continued to honor existing agreements for those already earning 70%.

    Amusingly, Clancy says that Twitch should have been "transparent about the existence of such deals." He also goes on to say that Twitch doesn't "believe it's right for those on standard contracts to have varied revenue shares based on the size of the streamer." Which is weird given that this is exactly what Twitch used to do.

    The argument from streamers seeking a global 70/30 split is that it's not fair to the remaining majority of streamers that are only earning 50%. These other streamers, often smaller streamers, are also contributing to increasing Twitch's bottom line at the end of the day.

    Clancy agrees with that notion, but instead of increasing everyone to 70/30, Twitch will instead punish those streamers that were grandfathered in to the higher 70/30 split. Clancy says that streamers currently earning 70% of subscription revenues will retain that same split for the first $100,000 earned. Clancy continues to say, "Revenues above $100K will be split at the standard 50/50 share split. We're announcing this change now, but it won't go into effect until after June 1, 2023. After that point, streamers will only be affected once their existing contract is up for renewal."

    An email sent to some streamers making 70% provides a few additional details about this $100K threshold.

    • We will continue to offer you 70% of subscription revenue share for all subscription Tiers up to a maximum subscription revenue of $100K USD annually.
    • For subscription revenue in excess of $100K USD, your sub revenue share rate will default to the standard Partner rate of 50% for Tier 1 subscriptions, 60% for Tier 2, and 70% for Tier 3 for the remainder of the 12-month period.
    • The $100K USD threshold will be calculated over a 12-month period starting from your annual agreement renewal date. The $100K USD threshold will reset on the first day of the subsequent 12-month period, and each 12-month period thereafter.
    • Once we implement this change, progress towards the $100K USD threshold will be trackable on your creator dashboard.
    • The subscription revenue threshold of $100K USD applies to all subscription earnings, including Prime subscriptions, and will not impact any other revenue shared with you (advertising, Bits, etc.)
    The kicker comes when Clancy says that Twitch "will, in rare cases, continue to negotiate custom agreements on a case-by-case basis." Clancy goes on to say, "When we first established a 50/50 revenue share split, it was to signal that we’re in this together."

    Yes, we're all equal. It's just that some of us are more equal than others.

    Clancy claims that recent Twitch features such as Prime subscriptions, gifting, Hype Trains, and the Ads Incentive Program have actually increased streamer revenue by 27% "per viewer hour every year over the last five years." His argument being that this increase from those features is more than a flat 20% increase from subscriber revenues.

    To compare, YouTube streaming offers a 70/30 subscription revenue split for creators. YouTube also provides streamers with constant access to higher bitrate caps, allowing for streamers to stream at higher resolutions.

    Twitch was purchased by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million. Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world and is valued at well over $1 trillion.
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