Twitch updated its guidelines on branded content recently, and streams didn’t receive it well. Twitch continued the controversy with another poorly-received TOS update, focusing on multi-streaming.
Twitch’s Terms of Service bans multi-streaming to other platforms
In this updated TOS, users can no longer simultaneously stream to platforms that offer streaming services, such as YouTube, Kick and Rumble, without written permission from Twitch. Twitch clarifies that it allows multi-streaming to mobile services that support streaming, such as TikTok and Instagram. This new policy does not apply to non-profit users streaming for non-commercial users. This clause was only included in Partner & Affiliate guidelines; however, this new guideline now applies to all users, including non-affiliates. Non-adherence to the policy will result in warnings and even account suspension if done repeatedly.
This new policy of multi-streaming caused another outrage from the creator community. Ninja, a popular streamer who is no longer a Twitch partner, is disappointed with this policy because he’s no longer making money on the platform. He makes revenue elsewhere, like streaming on YoUTube. Ultimately, the only reason Ninja still streams on Twitch is to reach as many viewers as possible. He states that this policy will lead him to leave Twitch entirely, as it doesn’t make sense for him to only stream on a platform where he doesn’t make any revenue.
This policy also creates further issues for companies like Riot and CSGO, which simulcast to YouTube while streaming their events on Twitch.
Users can still stream to other platforms
To be clear, this new policy doesn’t prevent Twitch streamers from streaming on other platforms. Instead, it’s a ban on simultaneous streaming to multiple platforms. So, for example, if you start a stream on Twitch, end it and start a new stream on YouTube, Twitch is fine with that. However, if you stream to both Twitch and YouTube simultaneously, that would violate Twitch’s new policy.
What does this mean for Twitch?
It’s getting harder and harder to see Twitch as the best place for streamers to stream. One of the major issues Twitch faces is its support for small creators in terms of discoverability. It’s been common practice for small Twitch streamers to multi-stream to other platforms to gain an audience on Twitch. That’s because it’s incredibly hard for small streamers to break out due to how Twitch is set up. The most-watch streamers stay at the top of their categories because Twitch displays the most-watched streamers first. After this policy change, it will get even harder for smaller streamers to grow on the platform.
While there might not be an all-out fire at Twitch — it still gets the most watch hours than any other livestreaming platform — we’d be blind not to see the smoke brewing. With more and more streamers looking elsewhere to stream, we may just be witnessing the slow decline of Twitch.