Twitch community outraged as subscriber “ad-free viewing” benefit stops working

Alex Tsiaoussidis

Twitch users fear the company is rolling out changes that force subscribers and Twitch Turbo users to watch ads, and they’re not impressed. However, the platform is assuring users it’s just a glitch.

Twitch has been making all kinds of changes to their platform throughout 2021. They’ve added diversity tags, streamlined the refund process, ramped up efforts to protect streamers from DMCA strikes, and more.

However, not all of them have been well-received. For example, they added a new boost feature that gives streamers the option to boost their discoverability for a fee. It’s been slammed by viewers and streamers alike.

Now, it seems like they’ve kicked the hornet’s nest yet again. Some streamers and viewers claim they’ve started seeing ads on channels they’re subscribed to. Being a Twitch Turbo user doesn’t seem to make a difference, either.

Twitch money laundering scheme
The Twitch community has been scrutinizing the platform’s changes throughout 2021.

Twitch streamer Olivia ‘Loeya’ Sigg was one of the first people to vent about it on social media. She uploaded a screenshot taken from the official Twitch Turbo website that includes the following message:

“Watching with Turbo means no pre-rolls, no mid-rolls, no companions, and no display ads. You may still be presented promotions and ads that are embedded into a broadcast or, in rare situations, delivered with certain simulcast content.”

She commented on it, saying: “So now you will get ads even if you are subscribed to a channel unless you decide to get Twitch Turbo as well. What the f**k? Turbo is now the only thing that will remove all ads. Bullsh*t.”

The copy on the Twitch Turbo website has remained similar to when it launched in 2013, but the platform has added more ad-free exceptions.

Hikaru Nakamura, a chess grandmaster who also streams on the platform, claimed he was seeing ads on Twitch despite being a Turbo user.

“Twitch may be testing out ads for subs, which is a horrible idea to begin with. But why am I getting preroll ads and mid-stream ads as a Twitch Turbo user?” he said.

However, one user pointed out that although some streamers believe this is a new feature being tested, it’s not the case. A screenshot from 2014 shows that streamers always had the option to show ads to subscribers.

Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel also described their reaction as “fake news.” He claimed he’s spoken directly to Twitch about it and they confirmed it was a glitch.

“This is misinformation. It’s fake news. I already talked to Twitch about this. It was a glitch. Literally.”

He also claimed they should “never remove” ad-free viewing from subscriptions or Twitch Turbo.

In the end, it seems like this whole thing was a big misunderstanding — at least, according to xQc and Twitch.

However, until the company makes an official statement acknowledging the glitch, or fix it behind the scenes, it’s difficult to know for sure.

About The Author

Alex is a former Dexerto writer based in Australia. He finished a law degree but realized it wasn't the career for him and decided to follow his dream of becoming a writer. Since then, he completed a graduate diploma and a master's degree in writing. Now he writes about his other passion; esports and gaming.