Marcel ‘MontanaBlack88’ Eris, the most-followed German streamer on Twitch, says he has no other option other than to leave the country following new broadcasting laws and increased taxes.
At one time the most-subscribed to streamer on Twitch, MontanaBlack is a massively popular content creator, with over 3.7 million followers on the platform.
He is the most popular German streamer comfortably, and the 6th most-followed non-English speaking broadcaster on Twitch.
However, his popularity is part of the problem, as new German regulations on broadcasters mean he is now facing strict rules, applied to any ‘broadcaster’ who averages more than 20,000 viewers.
MontanaBlack potentially leaving Germany
As reported by German website Heise, the “State Media Treaty contains new regulations for live streamers,” with anyone who averages more than 20,000 viewers requiring a broadcasting license.
These rules are affecting other popular streamers including Gronkh, Drachenlord and PietSmiet. Unge, a streamer with over 1 million Twitch followers, has already left Germany, and is now living in Portugal.
On his Twitch stream, MontanaBlack also expressed anger about high taxes, saying the German government were “taking everything away.” He says that he feels like he has “no other option.”
He explained that while he feels forced into leaving the country due to the regulations, it is not an easy decision, as he has also just renovated his home. He was also speaking to fellow German streamer, Trymacs, who faces a similar dilemma.
On Twitter, he spoke out again, saying there are no positives to the regulations, but some big negatives.
Games rated 16+ cannot be played until after 10pm, and 18+ after 11pm. It is also required that he recruits a “youth protection officer.”
Rundfunklizenz positive Punkte ———————————
Rundfunklizenz negative Punkte – fsk 16 spiele ab 22 Uhr – fsk 18 spiele ab 23 Uhr – Jugendschutzbeauftragten einstellen
Und das Ganze kann ich mir nicht aussuchen,ich werde dazu gezwungen
— GetOnMyLvL (@MontanaBlack) April 21, 2021
He finishes by stating that “I can’t choose anything, I’m forced to do it.”
The broadcast license rules in Germany only apply to audio or video broadcasts that have “significance for individual and public opinion-forming.” This does not rule out video game streaming.
Crucially, broadcasters must average 20,000 live viewers to be subject. This means if a German streamer was able to reduce their average viewership, perhaps by allowing their streaming to run during low-viewer hours, they could evade the restrictions.
According to Twitch data, only three German streamers — MontanaBlack, Knossi, and Trymacs — are at risk of being subject to the broadcast license requirements.
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However, in a statement, authorities said that even those who don’t meet the requirements for a license “are also subject to conditions.” A spokeswoman said:
“Unlicensed broadcasting is not second-class broadcasting. It is subject to the same material requirements — even without having to go through the more complex approval process, for example to mark advertising. ”
So, overall, it’s a challenging time to be a streamer in Germany, and it may force some of the big names to move their setup and operations elsewhere.