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These Twitch Policy Rumors Have Streamers In An Uproar

Streaming provides fans with an experience unlike any other. Whether a streamer focuses on games, ASMR, or slice-of-life activities, the audience often gets to observe the streamer's close-to-natural personality over an extended period. It makes for a less-curated form of content than what fans typically find in edited YouTube videos, and the phenomenon attracts millions of regular viewers to Twitch a day. 

But regardless of where fans consume content, most do not appreciate ads that interrupt the flow of programming. This doubles for the streamers themselves, several of whom have spoken up about recent rumors of changes coming to Twitch and its partnership program. Bloomberg recently released a report detailing these potential changes, to which Twitch has declined to comment. In short, these changes could cut subscription revenue for streamers from 70 percent down to 50 and put a greater emphasis on ads rolls and ad revenue, much to the chagrin of popular streamers.

Bloomberg's anonymous sources report that Twitch is also considering a tiered system of pay, in which certain parameters would determine the size of the cut between the platform and the streamer. In exchange, partnered streamers would also receive permission to stream on other platforms — a huge change for previous contractual arrangements on Twitch. However, this positive aspect has not dissuaded popular streamers from speaking about their misgivings with the rumored alterations as a whole.

Streamers are not happy with the rumors

"World of Warcraft" streamer Asmongold reported on Twitch that he is more worried about the budding careers of smaller streamers than his own career. To illustrate his point, he gestured to makeshift pie charts on the screen, spelling out how streamers with around 2,000 or fewer viewers rely more on subs than those with viewer counts on par with Asmongold.

"How is this going to affect me personally? It probably won't at all," Asmongold said. But, he added, "It's gonna hurt the smaller content creators."

Streamers CouRage and Pokimane are also among the big names to comment on the rumors. While he does not envision the alterations actually happening, CouRage responded to a tweet detailing the changes by saying they "would be worse" for streamers as well as viewers. Meanwhile, Pokimane suggested on Twitter that Twitch should implement passive ads, like sidebars or picture-in-picture clips, which would allow the stream to continue uninterrupted. She understands the necessity of advertisers for streamers to make money, but she concluded, "intervening with the viewer's experience isn't how they should go about it."

Twitch implementing this new partnership program would likely prompt further backlash from streamers and viewers alike. In the event the rumors prove true, perhaps negative feedback will lead Twitch to reverse course or rethink elements of the plan.