Twitch Shares Bad News for Both Big and Small Streamers

In the middle of the night, Twitch released what it described as a letter from Dan Clancy, president of Twitch, that was basically all bad news for streamers of any size on the platform. Ostensibly, the letter is about the revenue share split for subscriptions on Twitch, but it both denies the request from the community to change the split to be more favorable to all while cutting the better rate that some big streamers had in place.

Essentially, most Twitch streamers are on a 50/50 revenue share split for subscriptions while some premium deals had previously been brokered with certain streamers -- typically larger ones -- were at a 70/30 revenue share split. The latter is changing significantly, however.

"For these streamers still on these premium deals, we're adjusting the deal so that they retain their 70/30 revenue share split for the first $100K earned through subscription revenue," says Clancy in the letter. "Revenue above $100K will be split at the standard 50/50 share split. We're announcing this change now, but it won't go into effect until after June 1, 2023. After that point, streamers will only be affected once their existing contract is up for renewal. All streamers with these terms have already received this information and more via email, and we will make sure to give them exact updates and timelines as we get closer to June 1, 2023."

The letter in part addresses, and declines, a popular UserVoice post started in 2020 with over 22,000 votes asking for 70/30 to be the new normal. For those not currently participating in some kind of premium deal, the letter tries to answer why it won't be going to a 70/30 subscription revenue share split in part by suggesting that there are more ways for Twitch streamers to make money than ever before. It goes on to claim that the cost of Twitch providing the service is high.

"Delivering high definition, low latency, always available live video to nearly every corner of the world is expensive," states Clancy. "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."

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What do you think about the update on the subscription revenue share split from Twitch? Do you think there will be even more folks leaving Twitch for other deals? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming!