Streaming star Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys has officially committed to Twitch with a multi-year exclusivity deal, and revealed why she made the big choice to stay despite accepting “less money” to stick with the Amazon-owned platform.
In the latest move in the ongoing streaming wars between heavy-hitter platforms like Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube, Pokimane has made the call to stay put, despite rumors she could have been lured away from Amazon’s site.
After the ink had dried on the exclusive deal, the 23-year-old OfflineTV content creator took to YouTube to explain why she had made the big decision. In particular, she revealed she had taken “less money” in her current deal.
Pokimane also revealed there had indeed been other suitors in the race for her signature, and although it was “tempting” to forge a new path on another platform, she decided she “didn’t want to go to the highest bidder.”
Despite the “life-changing money” on the line, however, Anys said no to the other deals set out in front of her. There were just too many upsides to staying with Twitch she said — not least of all keeping Twitch chat itself.
“I won’t lie, these livestreaming exclusivity deals are big money. They’re life-changing money for any of us streamers. I got deals from many different platforms, but it really came down to just two,” she said in her March 5 video.
“Ultimately, I decided to take less money to stay on Twitch. I did a lot of research — on all of it: infrastructure, servers, delay. I hate streaming with a delay, chat interactions are really bad for me. I really hate long delays.
“Other platforms are going to have a much longer delay [than Twitch], which sucks. You’re moving your community around to a whole other website, so interaction is that much more important to keep them around.”
Pokimane also listed the streamer community, a simple lack of recognition for the big-time broadcasters on other platformers, and Twitch’s infamous live chat as reasons why she was happy taking the lower offer for stability.
“All these platforms are buying the streamers when they should be buying chat. It’s iconic,” the streamer said, whispering her praises for her community.
“I can’t imagine streaming without it, I think it would be a lot more boring. I’d rather take less money to have more fun, to be happier, to stay with my community, and still feel like I’m where everything started, and where I feel like I belong.
For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 2:21 in the video below.
“As well, there’s just not much other recognition on other platforms," Pokimane added as another reason she eventually decided to forego a split from Twitch.
"You could be on another site and have 10k, 20k, 30k viewers, but people won’t see you as a ‘top streamer’ because when people think of streaming they think of and exclusively look at the Twitch space. You just don’t hear about [them].”
Finally, the 23-year-old simply added she was “happy.” Avoiding the “big hassle” of jumping ship, even if it meant missing out on a “huge payday,” was fine by her. “I’m just more than happy on Twitch,” she added with a smile.
No end in sight for exclusivity streaming wars?
While Pokimane has made the choice to stick with Twitch for the foreseeable future — as have other stars like Benjamin ‘DrLupo’ Lupo and Tim ‘TimTheTatman’ Betar — many more big-name streamers have chosen to defect.
Chief among them are Mixer duo Tyler Ninja’ Blevins and Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek, both of whom ruled Twitch before they were lured away from the site by the ever-growing Microsoft platform in late 2019.
100 Thieves stars Jack ‘Courage’ Dunlop and Rachell ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter also left Twitch, though they both departed to the red halls of YouTube. They were joined by Aussie duo Lannon 'Lazarbeam' Eacott and Elliot 'Muselk' Watkins.
Finally, Facebook has weighed in on the ongoing battle for the biggest stars with their own acquisitions, including Pokimane’s OfflineTV compatriot Jeremy ‘DisguisedToast’ Wang and Smash legend Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios.
As every streaming platform continues to headhunt the biggest names in the business, it’s only a matter of time before the next streamer announces a big move — the only question now is: who will be next?