Twitch Crackdown on Creator Ads Sparks Calls for Boycotts and Protests

Streamers are calling on their fellow content creators to boycott Twitch after the platform announced major changes for branded content.

Twitch released new guidelines for branded streams Tuesday detailing what’s allowed in them and what isn’t. According to the new rules, on-stream logos are to be shrunk to 3% of the screen size, and burned-in video, display and audio ads are no longer allowed. What is allowed on branded streams are channel page panel ads, product placement, links in chat, discussing/unboxing products, and playing sponsored games.

Streamers are also required to display a new disclosure when their stream contains branded content. Failure to comply with this rule will result in disciplinary actions against their account, including suspension.

Asmongold, who streams MMO content, tweeted a call for his fellow content creators to either boycott Twitch or leave the platform altogether and migrate to other ones, such as YouTube, Kick, or Rumble, pointing out that Twitch imposing these advertisement restrictions does more financial harm to streamers than good in the long run.

“I don’t say it lightly but I think this is a legitimate situation where streamers should consider boycotting Twitch or moving to other platforms,” he said. “Making common and harmless forms of advertisement literally against ToS so Twitch can monopolize more of streamers’ income.”

Tips Out, co-founder of influencer network and media company OTK, wrote a statement on Twitter saying the organization will leave Twitch if the platform follows through on enforcing the new rules. Asmongold is a member of the group.

“If this goes through, @OTKnetwork will be leaving Twitch,” Tips Out wrote. “This is a direct attack on our business, staff, and all of the hard work we have put into our organization.”

Twitch’s new changes to branded content will go into effect on July 1.

As the controversy expanded, however, Twitch explained further about its policy updates in a Twitter thread today, acknowleding that it “missed the mark” with the policy’s “overly broad” language and will rewrite it to make it clearer.

“We do not intend to limit streamers’ ability to enter into direct relationships with sponsors, and we understand that this is an important part of how streamers earn revenue,” Twitch said. “We wanted to clarify our existing ads policy that was intended to prohibit third party ad networks from selling burned in video and display ads on Twitch, which is consistent with other services.”

See the full response below.

Updated on June 6, 2023 to include Twitch’s statement.

Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.

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