In a nutshell

  • Twitch Turbo disables all ads on Twitch but still pays streamers for ad impressions
  • However, Turbo does disincentivize viewers from directly subscribing to channels
  • Twitch Turbo has the potential to increase viewership and retention across the platform

Streamers have always had a love-hate relationship with ads. Both streamers and their viewers universally loathe ads. Mid-roll ads disrupt the viewing experience, and pre-roll ads discourage potential viewers from checking out new streamers. However, ads are a vital source of income for many streamers. They have no choice but to run as many ads as they can. And, Twitch wants their streamers to run as many ads as possible. Recently, Twitch introduced its Ads Incentive Program, offering fixed payouts to streamers who agree to run ads and meet certain conditions. So, with ads being so integral to revenue on Twitch, why would any streamer support Twitch Turbo?

To understand why streamers may or may not be in favor of Twitch Turbo, you first need to know what Turbo is.

What is Twitch Turbo?

Twitch Turbo is a monthly subscription service that disables all ads on Twitch for subscribers, including pre-roll, mid-roll, and on-page ads. In addition, subscribers receive a special chat badge, access to two additional Twitch emote sets, and the ability to customize their chat username color. For streamers, being subscribed to Twitch Turbo increases their past broadcasts save rate from 14 days to 60.

Does Twitch Turbo lose streamers money?

Since Twitch Turbo turns off ads for subscribers, does that mean streamers lose out on revenue made from ad impressions? Thankfully, no. Twitch Partners and Affiliates still receive credit for ad impressions when a Turbo subscriber watches their channel.

However, that’s not to say Turbo can’t cost streamers money. Another way streamers earn money on Twitch is through direct subscriptions to their channels. One of the main perks viewers get by directly subscribing is ad-free viewing on the channel they subscribed to. While Turbo doesn’t prevent viewers from directly subscribing to channels, it arguably removes its most enticing perk. In turn, this lowers the revenue streamers receive through direct subscriptions.

Why would streamers support Turbo?

Despite potentially losing direct subscriptions, some streamers still encourage their viewers to get Twitch Turbo. For instance, Twitch’s most-watched streamer, xQc, recently encouraged his audience not to subscribe to him and instead get Twitch Turbo. He’s quoted as saying:

“…get yourself Twitch Turbo. Twitch Turbo is wicked. You have no ads anywhere on the platform when you have it.”

Streamers who support Twitch Turbo tend to value growing their viewership and retaining that viewership over their subscriber counts. Pre-roll ads discourage viewers from trying new streamers because they have to sit through ads every time they click on a new channel. Likewise, viewers may click off of streams if they have to sit through mid-roll ads. Turbo makes it much easier for viewers to find new streamers they like. In the case of xQc, viewers who have never seen his stream but have Turbo are more likely to check out his stream than if they have to sit through ads.

Viewership and retention are incredibly important for streamers because they can lead to lucrative brand deals and sponsorships. This could be more lucrative than the cut they get from Twitch subscriptions. Of course, this depends on the streamer’s size and average viewership.

Should streamers support Turbo?

Now, Twitch Turbo isn’t for everyone. While it might be beneficial for larger streamers high in the directory to push Turbo, is it good for smaller streamers? That depends. If a streamer wants to maximize their revenue, they have to weigh the potential loss of subscriptions against the potential gain in viewership. For xQc, losing subscriptions won’t break his career. Encouraging people to hop between streams will help him grow his stream because he’s already at the top of Twitch’s directory. For smaller streamers, it may be best to hold onto your subscriptions until you grow to the top of your category.

If your viewers only watch you, then they won’t benefit from Twitch Turbo. It would be cheaper for them to just subscribe to your channel. Also, asking for people to use their Prime subscriptions on you while also encouraging Turbo is another option. This way, they get your channel badge and emotes and get ad-free viewing across the platform.

To Turbo or not to Turbo?

Twitch Turbo can benefit both streamers and viewers, but not in every instance. Whether or not you should support Twitch Turbo depends on your size and revenue streams. If your streaming career relies on subscriptions, then there’s nothing wrong with encouraging your viewers to support the stream by subscribing or using their Twitch Primes on you. Ultimately, you want to ensure your channel’s foundation is secure before building on it. Additionally, supporting Twitch Turbo is one of many ways to increase your viewership. Check out our article on increasing your viewership to learn more.