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Pokimane breaks her silence on difficult Twitch decision

Imane Anys, a.k.a. Pokimane, has had a truly meteoric rise in popularity since she began streaming. Despite her millions of followers on Twitch, when fellow streamers like Ninja and Shroud began moving from Twitch to Microsoft's Mixer platform, there was plenty of speculation that she would follow suit. However, Pokimane told viewers in March of this year that she wasn't planning on going anywhere. It now seems as though her decision to stay with Twitch was much more difficult than fans were led to believe.

During an appearance on The Misfits Podcast, the topic of her contract with Twitch naturally came up. Pokimane was asked if it was difficult deciding whether or not she should stay with Twitch. The answer was a surprising "yes."

She went on to explain how "nutty" the competing deals are between the two platforms. She said that she was offered "life-changing money" to make the move from Twitch to Mixer, but ended up staying after negotiations with Twitch went well.

As she explained, "I remember even telling the Twitch people, I was like, 'Honestly, if you guys, like, basically offer me nothing, then in a sense, you're forcing my hand.' Because anyone in my position more or less would take a deal like that."

She goes on to say that Twitch did offer her a good deal, so she was happy to stay with the platform. She said, "I'm very, very thankful, because ultimately, [Twitch] was the platform that I wanted to stay on."

The hosts of the show seem to be in agreement with Pokimane on this point, pointing out that she has a loyal fanbase and a positive community built around her content. When a content creator moves platforms, they can run the risk of losing out on quite a bit of that community. High profile streamers like Shroud have allegedly had trouble keeping their viewership numbers consistent during a platform shift.

On top of that, if you're difficult to find or your output changes in any way, there's a chance that your viewership and revenue may take time to recover. For example, when PewDiePie took a break from making videos earlier this year, it cost him somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. In other words, there are multiple risks that come with streamers and YouTubers going through any kind of shakeup.

On the flip side of that, there are folks like Dr Disrespect, who seem to be so comfortable with their platform that they'll openly talk about their distaste for the other side. This comes up in the conversation, as the hosts and Pokimane discuss Dr Disrespect's negative stance toward Twitch. The Doc seems to be very happy staying with Twitch. He made a crazy promo video announcing the renewal of his Twitch contract and has gone so far as to make videos lampooning the difference in quality between Twitch vs. Mixer. 

It's also worth noting that the Doc has said it would take a truly "crazy" paycheck to make him switch platforms, which Pokimane seems to think is on the table for the streamers that Mixer is truly going after.

It's interesting to see Pokimane being so candid about how difficult this decision was for her. When she announced a few months ago that she would be staying with Twitch, it seemed as though she was very at peace with the choice she had made. She made the announcement with a comedic video that played up everyone's expectations of a big shift in her career. However, she simply reaffirmed that no changes were being made and that she was squarely in the Twitch camp for the foreseeable future.

Afterward, she uploaded a longer YouTube video explaining that she had done a lot of research into the differences between the two platforms, which ultimately led to her choice. Along with the previously mentioned fears that her viewership would be split or fans would have difficulty finding her, there were other concerns. She didn't want to have any kind of delay between her video feed and the viewer chat, which she claimed could occur if she moved to Mixer. Ultimately, she seemed to think that Twitch better fit what she needed from a streaming platform.

Now we know that Mixer at least gave her some very real options to consider. However, her fan base is probably happy to know that they were such a huge part of her decision to stay with Twitch. She recently celebrated her sixth year on the platform. If her enthusiasm seen in things like this podcast appearance and her Twitch announcement video are any indication, she's here to stay.