Dollars and sense

Twitch’s new business plan could mean lower payouts and a lot more ads

According to a new report, Twitch is planning to make some big changes to its revenue share, and its stars aren't going to be happy.

Richard Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, speaks to the crowd at the start of the 2019 Fortnite World Cup Fi...

The world of online streaming can be a rough-and-tumble place, and Twitch is still the biggest show on the block.

However, according to a new report from Bloomberg, the Amazon-owned streaming platform is considering some changes to its revenue-sharing model that could be a major boon to its competitors, particularly YouTube.

Growth springs eternal — That report suggests that Twitch's previous strategy focused on growth and user acquisition, but now the platform wants to focus on stabilizing revenue. This apparently means that the company could soon make a variety of policy shifts that will prove unpopular with both its streaming talent and its wider audience.

The first proposal is simple: cut the revenue share of top streamers from 70 percent to 50 percent. After the publication of the report, several streamers took to social media to explain that the 70 percent deal is quite uncommon already, and that 50 percent is the norm for most "partners." Another version of the proposal would split the tiered system of streamers even further, with specific milestones to meet in order to get more favorable terms.

Turn on the ads! — The other move — and one that is more relevant to the average user — would attempt to incentivize popular streamers to run more ads. Currently, streamers can receive a lump sum payout for running a certain number of minutes of ads per hour of streaming, but the report says that a new proposal would give streamers a share of the ad revenue.

Given that nobody likes to watch ads, this could potentially lead to an exodus from the platform — or perhaps die-hard Minecraft fans don't mind watching placid footage of this year's mid-sized sedan roughing it through the desert.

Though Twitch does have major competitors in the form of YouTube and other platforms, it seems likely to bet that streamers won't turn elsewhere quite yet. After all, Twitch has the most viewers for live content — for now, at least.