Twitch denies requests for 70/30 sub split due to “high cost” of running site

twitch with moneyTwitch/Unsplash, @sharonmccutcheon

Twitch, the most popular livestreaming site for gaming content, has responded to a request for higher revenue split for streamers, and will be capping the 70/30 split already given to some bigger streamers.

As rivals like YouTube attempt to compete for Twitch’s livestreaming crown, the incentive of higher revenue splits has been an argument for broadcasters to switch platform. Twitch has now responded with changes planned.

Twitch states that “for approximately 90% of streamers on standard agreements with premium subscription terms, this change will not affect them at their current revenue.” However, there are some large streamers who have been given a preferential 70/30 split, but on September 21, Twitch has announced that will be ending.

Starting in June 2023, big streamers on this higher split will only receive it on the first $100,000 of sub revenue, with anything after this at the regular 50/50 split.

Twitch explains why it won’t do 70/30 sub revenue split

In a September 21 blog post, Twitch President Dan Clancy explained that despite over 22,000 signing a “UserVoice” petition for the 70/30 split, the site won’t be making the change.

One explanation given includes the cost of running the Twitch service: “Delivering high definition, low latency, always available live video to nearly every corner of the world is expensive. Using the published rates from Amazon Web Services’ Interactive Video Service (IVS) — which is essentially Twitch video — live video costs for a 100 CCU streamer who streams 200 hours a month are more than $1000 per month.

“We don’t typically talk about this because, frankly, you shouldn’t have to think about it. We’d rather you focus on doing what you do best. But to fully answer the question of ‘why not 70/30,’ ignoring the high cost of delivering the Twitch service would have meant giving you an incomplete answer.”

TwitchUnsplash: Caspar Camille Rubin
Twitch streamers have been petitioning for higher revenue splits.

Clancy also claims that new innovations like gifted subs, hype trains, and the ad incentive program, have led to a 27% increase in revenue per viewer hour – every year.

“This means the same viewer hour now earns you three times more money than it did five years ago, on average. Our investments into your monetization options have already and continue to put more money into streamers’ pockets than 20% more subs revenue share would have.”

Clancy also highlights that Prime Subs, which are free for Amazon Prime members, effectively increase the revenue share to 65%. “This number varies by streamer size and location,” Clancy says, “but subscription revenue share is not the full picture on revenue share for streamers.”

The news is certain to disappoint many broadcasters who were hopeful for a higher revenue split from subscriptions. But, Twitch is clearly eager to push streamers towards other monetization paths, such as the ad incentives program.

This announcement may become lost in the noise though, as on September 20, Twitch announced a ban to many forms of gambling content on the site, which has already caused mass debate among streamers and viewers.

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