As far as the overall traffic and concurrent viewers on Twitch are concerned, the platform has seen a consistent rise over the years. Twitch began as a spinoff to the general-streaming platform Justin.tv back in 2011. Since the beginning, Twitch, as a platform, was focused on video-game streaming, although of late, various different types of streamers have emerged.
Twitch has experienced tremendous growth in terms of viewers over the past few years. At the beginning of 2018, the platform had around 1.08 million average concurrent viewers. That figure has now surpassed the 2 million mark, with around 2.08 million concurrent average viewers currently in 2020.
However, Twitch has come under tremendous scrutiny in recent months.
The rise and fall of Twitch
Firstly, there have been a plethora of sexual harassment cases against various Twitch streamers and employees. Former Accounts Director and Director of Strategic Partnerships Hassan Bokhari was fired after allegations of ‘abuse of power’. Twitch hired a reputable ‘third party firm’ to conduct a fair investigation, after which the move was taken.
Moreover, a total of 16 Twitch employees from different eras confirmed that the organization has a highly toxic work culture. Allegations of harassment and abuse - sexual, verbal and physical, and an unwelcoming atmosphere towards women, were all talked about. Overall, various employees had testified that the organization doesn't deal well with issues such as racism and misogyny as well.
In addition to such heinous allegations, various streamer related bans and other decisions have also been criticized. Of late, Twitch has ended up making quite a few questionable decisions. Bans given to notable streamers such as Dr DisRespect, Leafy and Alisha 12287 have been criticized throughout the community.
On the other hand, there was huge uproar when Twitch had decided to make Onision, a Twitch streamer formerly accused of ‘child-grooming’, a partner streamer. The lack of a proper rationale, and the organization’s tendency to apply different kind of rules and thresholds for different personalities has been exposed to a great extent.
Further, Twitch has even been accused of being unwilling, or incapable, of protecting its streamers in certain situations. Recently, thousands of VODs have been deleted from the platform, in order to get rid of content that had been copyright claimed by various sources.
Streamers inadvertently end up using music or other types of content that does not belong to them. This has in turn led to the current situation, with hundreds of notable streamers affected. In some cases, years’ worth of content is now unavailable, leading to people raising questions as to why Twitch cannot find a way to better protect the streamers on their platform.