As part of an “ad experiment” which started this month, streaming website Twitch stated that some viewers might experience ads during streams in the near future. “Like pre-rolls, these are ads triggered by Twitch, not by the creator,” the company stated at their website. Unsurprisingly, streamers of the site are not happy with this development.
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Crucially, these ads utilize Twitch’s “picture-by-picture” functionality, which basically means that the stream you’re watching pops out into a smaller window while the ad rolls in the main window. However, ads will still steal the show from some viewers, with streamers none the wiser as to who can hear what they’re saying (picture-by-picture mutes streams) and, therefore, understand what’s happening on stream while ads are playing.
On a platform where amassing viewers is everything—a statement Twitch has definitively made through the way the site tracks metrics and, therefore, success—the last thing streamers want is for prospective fans to get fed up and depart in the middle of an ad. Streamers are, predictably, furious about Twitch’s new initiative, even if it’s just an “experiment” for now.
“You’re not YouTube,” said Twitch partner ThatBronzeGirl on Twitter in response to Twitch’s announcement. “When ads play in the middle of the stream, viewers actively miss out on content (muted or not). Add this to the fact that viewers are hit with an ad as soon as they enter a stream, so channel surfing is cumbersome. Idk why y’all hate viewer retention.”
The problem is, streamers earn most of their money from subscriptions, donations, and brand deals, while the site earns from ads.
More details about this over at Kotaku.
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