Twitch is reportedly testing out subscriber-only streams that would give non-subs a preview of the stream before forcing them to subscribe to watch the rest.
If you're a streamer on Twitch, it looks like you'll soon have to the ability to gate off non-subscribers from viewing your stream.
This new feature would give viewers a short preview of the stream before being forced to either subscribe to the channel or find one that doesn't have the same restrictions.
Twitch is testing subscriber-only live streams. No official announcement yet, but we'd expect one soon. Check out a preview at https://t.co/E7w9uxZ4LH— Streamer News (@StreamerNews) May 27, 2019
Thank you to @Tomparkes1993 @LBrGaming for tip. pic.twitter.com/xnaHyNIPFt
It's too early to tell what effect this will have on the overall viewing experience on Twitch but if enough streamers use this feature, it could create some issues.
One positive is it will help streamers bring in more income if viewers are required to sub, however, it could also turn viewers away who don't want to subscribe.
It's worth mentioning that doing this will be completely optional so it's not like viewers will have to worry about shelling out $4.99 a month to watch their favorite streamer once this feature goes live.
Twitch already gives broadcasters several ways to make the viewing experience better for subscribers. Streamers can enable subscribers-only chat which means simply being a follower won't allow you to chat. Subscribers also get to skip ads, which streamers are also able to run at their own discretion.
Many viewers think this a step in the wrong direction for Twitch and it opens the door for the streaming giant to become a "cam-girl" website.
"Oh hell yeah, private cam shows," wrote Reddit user Twitteri in a comment.
"Yikes, that's gonna suck," wrote user Kwoui, in a comment that has over 500 upvotes.
It's hard to argue with the fact that the viewing experience wouldn't be hurt with this change, of course, that all depends on how many streamers actually use it.
It's worth mentioning nothing has been confirmed yet by Twitch so viewers might be getting worked up about nothing.
If Twitch does implement a feature like this, look for them to do it in a more public setting versus just doing it on a random stream.
Esports journalist Rod 'Slasher' Breslau said he believes this feature is being tested for the Overwatch League.
from looking into it i believe these accounts are just testing the overwatch league all access pass features, and these are not new Twitch features https://t.co/gWbefWorN5— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) May 27, 2019
While that could be true, the Overwatch League's All Access Pass has worked like this for over a year now, so the feature could soon be expanding to be more widely available on Twitch.
We've reached out for comment from Twitch and will update if we hear anything back.