Twitch apparently testing new feature to rival YouTube Super Chats, but with worse revenue split

Dave Deiley

With YouTube gaming coming up fast on the heels of Twitch’s streaming supremacy, it was only a matter of time before Twitch started switching up its style. Testing for a new ‘Cheer’ feature was rolled out today to select US creators, a feature that’s extremely similar to YouTube’s Super Chats.

With parent company Amazon’s notorious money-hunger, in stark contrast to YouTube’s industry standard for creator pay, this move has sparked hot debate over revenue split.

A brand new ‘Cheer’ system itself now takes clear design inspiration from YouTube’s ‘Super Chat’ feature. The primary way for viewers on YouTube’s livestream platform to donate to streamers.

On Twitter, Zach Bussey revealed an email sent to select creators. Initially, it was believed the revenue split for this Cheer feature was “80% to the creator” and just 20% to Twitch.

This 80% seemed like a one-up on YouTube, which allows creators to take home 70% of Super Chats, and garnered huge interest initially, before users on Reddit and Twitter dug a bit deeper.

“Hypothetical… If someone Super Cheers $1 and pays Twitch with Paypal. Paypal fees would be roughly 52-cents. Leaving 48-cents left. The 80-20 split comes in, so the streamer would get just over 38-cents. ~61% Capital loss,” Bussey explained.

A distinction causing confusion is the announcement that the ‘80%’ advertised is an amount only paid out to creators after ‘fees’ have already been taken.

However, PayPal has in the past clarified fees for such donations.

In a statement to Dexerto in August 2021, PayPal explained: “Streamers with a PayPal business account accepting qualifying donations may have higher pricing, but if the transaction is below ~$20, and the merchant has applied and been approved for Dynamic Micropayments pricing for qualifying donations, the transaction rate would be 4.99% + $0.09.

“Therefore, in the case of the $1 example mentioned previously in the article, a streamer would net roughly $0.86, reducing the fees on smaller transactions.

The sticking point for many is that ‘fees’ is an unspecified term. “This isn’t worded very well,” viewers replied. “So I’m not sure if 80% means the Twitch fees are 20%, or if their fees are higher and you get 80% of what’s left. It says 80% after fees are subtracted. So if the fees are 50%, then you’d be getting 40% of the total bit amount used.”

Further focus has been drawn on the ‘Cheer’ feature being a replacement for bits, with the email FAQ revealing “Cheering with Bits is temporarily unavailable in channels participating in this experiment. Instead, you can contribute with direct purchase Cheering.”

With Twitch bleeding massive names like Ludwig to YouTube, with other streamers announcing they’d do the same, it’s clear that fierce competition is continuing to brew between the mammoth streaming sites. Hopefully leading to a more satisfying experience for viewers worldwide.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech