“Twitch is kidding us”: ZeratoR and French streamers deplore the drop in income

The streaming platform has announced to lower the remuneration of certain streamers. Even though they are the most popular and highest paid videographers, the news is demoralizing and the monopoly of Twitch is increasingly irritating.

This is the latest case that agitates Twitch: the platform will lower the salary of some of its streamers. It’s in a long letterpublished on September 21, that Dan Clancy, its president, made his announcement: beyond 100,000 dollars, Twitch will take 50% of the income, and no longer 30%.

The case has been widely reacted, whether it is the streamers affected by this amputation, or the spectators. Because not only did Twitch make this decision unilaterally, without consulting the videographers, but the revenue sharing of 70% for videographers and 30% for Twitch was not supposed to exist.

Streamers didn’t all get the same revenue share

Before continuing this article, it is necessary to come back to the income redistribution system. Publicly, Twitch has always said that videographers only earn 50% of paid subscriptions, while the platform pockets the rest. But, as Dan Clancy acknowledges in his letter, the deal was not the same for everyone: For a while we offered standard deals with premium subscription terms to some expanding streamers “. For the videographers concerned, the revenue share was 70% for them, and 30% for Twitch, which is very advantageous.

It’s not something we’ve talked about openly, but these deals are common knowledge within the streaming community. “says Dan Clancy. ” We had not established terms of reference for who would receive these offers and when. “, but in fact, these contracts” were generally offered to the most popular streamers “, he admits. This beneficial program has existed since the beginnings of Twitch, but “ over a year ago we made the decision to stop offering these premium deals to new streamers who weren’t already on them.”

His abandonment is therefore accompanied by a drop in income: For those who still benefit from the premium conditions, we will adjust these so that they retain the 70/30 split on subscription revenue within the limit of the first $100,000. Revenue generated in excess of $100,000 will be split on the standard 50/50 basis. »

“Twitch dictates all the rules of the game”

Unsurprisingly, the announcement of the reduction in remuneration does not go over well with streamers. “ It’s a unilateral decision on Twitch’s part, and it’s a problem. “Explains ZeratoR, joined by Numerama. The videographer, one of the most popular in France with 1.5 million followers, was one of the first to speak out on Twitter.

I am not a streamer alone in my room, there is a whole company behind me and we have just lost 20% of our turnover. Inevitably, we ask ourselves questions for the future. The revenue drop is expected for July 2023 — but he’s already worried about the budget. ” When I see the year 2022 and all the crazy stuff we’ve done, I tell myself that if I had had 20% less income, it would have been hard, and I wouldn’t have done everything. “.

However, he wants to put things into perspective: We do a lot of events, but for 99% of streamers affected by the decision – and there are few – it won’t change their lives..”

The disappointment is nevertheless palpable even among streamers who are not directly affected by the change. ” There were rumors that we could manage to negotiate a contract in 70-30 from 500 subscriptions “says Nat’Ali, who was not entitled to preferential treatment. ” It was really motivating, we said to ourselves that we could be much less precarious, it was a goal. There, it is terribly discouraging to know that they stopped the program. I wonder why I keep asking people to subscribe. »

Zerator // Source: Zerator / YouTube

It is also the unilateral side of the decision that tenses up: “ We are aware that Twitch masters all the rules of the game “, regrets ZeratoR on the phone, “ but they have a monopoly on the market: I think they thought it didn’t matter if the top 1% of streamers complained, because they knew they would still be the leader “. ” Twitch takes advantage of the fact that they have a monopoly on the stream, because taking 50% of the revenue is completely crazy”, abounds Nat’Ali. “No other site does this. And in the world of work, it would be absurd for a platform to take a 50% commission from freelancers. “.

“It feels like Twitch is kidding us”

Despite the disappointment, no one is surprised: ” now that Twitch is looking to be profitable, it was obvious that it was going to happen », analyzes ZeratoR. ” Other than subscriptions, there’s still little that pays off at Twitch, and there’s a lot that costs money. A leveling up is impossible, and here we are heading towards much less money for streamers. This is what YouTube also did a few years ago “, he recalls.

It’s shooting yourself in the foot in the short term, but it’s probably the only thing to do for the medium and long term so that they make enough margin to continue to exist “says ZeratoR. But Nat’Ali is not so adamant. ” It feels like Twitch is kidding us. Use the excuse of ” it’s expensive “ while Amazon (which bought Twitch in 2014, editor’s note) is the richest company in the world, it sucks. »

nat’ali
Streamer Nat’Ali // Source: Nat’Ali / Twitch

The announcement goes all the less well since in August 2021, Twitch had already announced, without warning the videographers in advance, that it was going to lower the prices of subscriptions. ” This change has already lowered my salary a lot “, regrets the streamer. ” It feels like Twitch is kidding us.”

The feeling is shared. ” I see more and more streamers telling their subscribers to stop subscribing on Twitch and go through uTip or Paypal, and I think I’m going to do that too. Everyone is fed up, and I tell myself that Twitch really needs to be wary of this “. However, ZeratoR is not worried about the future of the platform. ” It’s a loss of brand image, it’s true, but people are not going to leave Twitch. It’s hard to say how negatively this decision could impact them.” Both are in agreement: as long as Twitch has the monopoly of the stream, they will do what they want.

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