Twitch had announced new ad policies which would control the way streamers can show branded content during their streams. These policies would have a severe detrimental effect on the streamers’ ability to earn from sponsorships. Going by the new policy streamers would be prohibited from having burnt in video ads, burnt in audio ads, and display ads. The space for sponsor logos was also restricted to 3% of the screen.
These new rules received instant backlash from creators and streamers. They were quite vocal about their displeasure. OTK, a network of high-value streamers, released an open letter to Twitch on Twitter, saying,
The once-unique and admirable vision of a creator-first platform now feels like a fading and distant dream.
A message to Twitch. pic.twitter.com/uQl2eEbG6h— OTK (@OTKnetwork) June 6, 2023
This is what a chat moderator at Twitch said about the new guidelines –
These limitations dramatically impact the revenue stream for these creators and will absolutely push mid-size streamers into an income bracket too low to remain full-time on the platform.
Hey @Twitch – For clarification, is the "3% of screen size" per logo? Or total logo space, accounting for multiple logos? Does it include dead space created by logo positioning?— Anne Munition (@AnneMunition) June 6, 2023
i.e. in a recent Rivals stream, there are 8 burned-in logos which take up over 9% of the screen. https://t.co/4VRMRXXnqx pic.twitter.com/fY4reUScHu
Amidst thoroughly negative feedback, Twitch has taken the new rules back. In fact, they have removed the section about prohibited ads from their ad policy page. This is what they had to say about their decision,
Yesterday, we released new Branded Content Guidelines that impacted your ability to work with sponsors to increase your income from streaming. These guidelines are bad for you and bad for Twitch, and we are removing them immediately. Sponsorships are critical to streamers’ growth and ability to earn income. We will not prevent your ability to enter into direct relationships with sponsors – you will continue to own and control your sponsorship business. We want to work with our community to create the best experience on Twitch, and to do that we need to be clear about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We appreciate your feedback and help in making this change.
Full time streamers on Twitch depend on sponsorships and brand deals for their income. In fact a lot of charitable streaming programs benefit from the burnt in and overlaid content that Twitch was about to prohibit. Display ads and burnt in video ads are highly popular on the platform. The backlash against new guidelines was quite natural and, as you can see, effective.