Popular Twitch streamer Imane ‘Pokimane‘ Anys has been caught up in a number of controversies to kick off 2019, the latest following ads on other streamers’ channels, promoting her channel.
Twitch itself has faced the brunt of the backlash, as it’s now the second time in as many months that the Amazon-owned platform have shown ads for certain streamers on other streamers’ channels.
It started when they promoted Ninja’s ‘New Year x Fortnite’ live stream, which angered some of the most popular streamers on Twitch, to see their channels used for the promotion of another streamer.
Pokimane’s event at the Pro Bowl 2019, was in association with the NFL, and so was another major corporate opportunity for both her and Twitch itself.
Like the Ninja event, Twitch used its platform to promote the event, to the dismay of other streamers. One popular broadcaster, Strippin, wrote “I thought people were pretty vocal recently about their displeasure of other broadcasters being advertised on their channels. So why the fuck are my viewers seeing Pokimane ads, Twitch?”
While at the event, Pokimane took the time to address the debate, stating: “Companies will advertise how they advertise, and it’s not always something that’s run by us [the streamers]. […] I love to see streamers be a part of big company campaigns like this, it means that the whole industry for streamers is doing well.”
Her response somewhat resembled Ninja’s (now deleted) response when it was his stream being promoted by Twitch, stating that more viewers and growth for streaming generally was a benefit shared by all.
However, others argue that this is a ‘paid in exposure’ form of explaining away the disrespect some streamers feel by having other channels promoted on theirs.
Not all streamers feel this way though, as long time Twitch broadcaster ‘Jericho’ explained, he feels it is his (and other streamers’) responsibility to keep their viewers entertained, and an ad for another channel shouldn’t stop that.
Hot take: ads promoting other streams on Twitch are fine
Hotter take: an unnoticeable fraction of viewers will see that ad and go "screw Jericho, I'm gonna watch that instead"
Hottest take: if my stream is less entertaining than the advertised one, I deserve to lose that viewer
— TUCKER (@JERICHO) January 25, 2019
The debate is ongoing, but considering this is now the second occasion in which Twitch has adopted this approach to marketing events, it doesn’t seem like the backlash from some in the community is deterring them.