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Twitch Streamers are Furious About New Mid-stream Ads

Accepted submission by Booga1 at 2020-09-20 05:30:41 from the don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it dept.

Kotaku reports disgruntled streamers are complaining [] about Twitch adding ads to the middle of live streamed videos.

Twitch Streamers Are Furious About New Mid-Stream Ads They Can’t Control

In an ideal world, ads would be kept to a minimum, allowed only on the backs of magazines people keep in their bathrooms, which nobody actually reads. But even in this fallen world, there’s a point at which ad proliferation becomes ridiculous. For Twitch streamers, Twitch’s new ad experiment just crossed that line.

Yesterday afternoon, Twitch announced that it’s “testing” new mid-stream ads that streamers have no direct control over.

“Beginning in September, as part of an ad experiment, some viewers may begin to notice that they are receiving ads during streams that others in a channel aren’t receiving,” the company wrote on its website []. “Like pre-rolls, these are ads triggered by Twitch, not by the creator.”

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.


“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.”
“This means either one of two things happens: 1) I schedule a break in the stream to have control over ads running that are proven to drive viewers away. 2) Viewers get an ad randomly that is all but guaranteed to drive them away. Which of those is for us though?” said variety streamer Deejay Knight [].
“If I don’t play enough ads, Jeff Bezos literally comes to my stream and pushes the ad button, what do I do,” said former Overwatch pro Seagull [].


As ever, this stands to disproportionately impact smaller and mid-sized streamers. These streamers don’t have large, dedicated audiences, so they’re looking to convert viewers into long-term subscribers (who, in turn, do not have to watch ads). Viewers who haven’t subscribed to a streamer are less likely to stick around, or even channel surf away from more established names at all, if they’re being stopped by ads at every turn.

Original Submission