Twitch's new rules and regulations about branded content on the platform have drawn the ire of many streamers, such as Asmongold and others, who have not only talked about considering boycotting the platform but also about moving out. In fact, Tips Out, the COO of the prominent streamer group OTK which represents names such as EsfandTV, Mizkif, Asmongold, and Emiru, has openly declared the whole group may move out if the rules go through.
Asmongold, one of the co-founders of OTK and a veteran streamer who has been on the platform since it was Justin TV, tweeted that by banning "harmless ads" on the platform, streamers are not justified to boycott and/or leave Twitch in protest:
"I don't say it lightly but I think this is a legitimate situation where streamers should consider boycotting Twitch or moving to other platforms."
What is the new Twitch Branded Content policy? Explaining why streamers are so displeased at the decision
The new policies for branded content have been described by many to be too restrictive for the platform, with industry veterans calling it an "attack" on their revenue. Here are some of the biggest changes that have received major backlash:
- No burned-in Video ads in the stream
- No burned-in audio ads in the stream
- No burned-in display ads in the stream
- Branded logos should not cross 3% of the screen size
As for what type of content is allowed to be advertised, there are new restrictions that affect a variety of genres. Things that are outright banned from being advertised include illegal or hateful products, revised restrictions on gambling content, and sources that share private information.
Additionally, they have released a list of things that fall into these categories and, therefore, cannot be advertised on Twitch:
- Tobacco and related products
- Cannabis and other related products
- Any sort of medical product
- Certain Financial products, including MLM and get-rich-quick schemes
- No advertised political content, be it the promotion of parties, individuals, or issues of debate.
Content featuring alcohol must also be accompanied by a mature rating. Failure of any of these guidelines may result in a penalty in the form of suspensions or indefinite bans. By doing this, many streamers such as Karl Jacobs have come out in protest, saying it will eat away at their revenue while consolidating the platform's in-built ways of handling promotion.
This is in reference to the recently announced Sponsorship Experiment that went live a few months ago as a playtest. It included ways sponsors could promote their products on streams by going through Twitch rather than directly to the streamer in question.
The move caused some backlash back in April, with many having similar opinions about the Amazon-owned platform trying to force content creators to cede part of their sponsorship revenue to the platform.
With big streamers such as Asmongold and Tips Out vehemently pushing back against the new branded content policy, it is not clear whether streamers will take collective action or whether Twitch will relax some of its rules.