Two weeks ago we talked about how Twitch is getting bad press due to the rising problem of DMCA strikes against thousands of creators. In response to that Twitch implemented a tool that helps creators to mass delete all saved content, clips, highlights and VODs. At first glance this might seem like a helpful tool but there is more to it! Creators mass deleted all content and STILL received strikes for either live content or content that is saved on Twitch’s servers!
When you choose to stream on Twitch, you agree that ANYTHING streamed on the platform, becomes property of Twitch and gives Twitch the right to save your content. When a creator now mass deletes all content in order to avoid a DMCA strike, this DOES NOT include the files Twitch saved on their servers for their own purpose.
After many streamers got extremely upset with the way Twitch was handling the situation, Twitch released an apology letter which made the whole situation worse!
In this letter Twitch admits that the situation was not handled properly on their end. While providing tools to mass delete all content, Twitch admits that three day notice was clearly not enough time for creators to deal with the issue. Furthermore Twitch explains how DMCA strikes work, but does not provide a solution. The apology letter is vague at best. Not clearly stating what is allowed and what is not.
What Twitch Did Not Clear Up
While an apology is the first step in the right direction, there are many questions that have not been answered by Twitch. What happens to creators that hold the proper licences to work with musicians and display their music on stream? As of right now Twitch’s tool does not take licences into account, it simply mutes everything that appears to be copyrighted music, this also includes game audio. In some rare cases even the audio used by game developers is copyrighted to the extent that creators could potentially receive a DMCA strike for it. Twitch’s response was to simply mute the game audio, but where does this leave us? This would result in a completely silent stream with no music and no game audio. This is simply ridiculous.
Why does Twitch not simply get a licence for streamers to use copyrighted music? Another question Twitch did not address fully and simply stated they are working on it. Judging by how Twitch Soundtracks went down, this is certainly going to be a catastrophe. Twitch Soundtracks was a tool Twitch provided in order for streamers to play copyright free music. Similar tools are Stream Beats by Harris Heller or Pretzel Rock, but unlike Stream Beats and Pretzel Rock, Twitch Soundtracks was not fully licenced. This means that a creator using Twitch Soundtracks was still not safe from DMCA strikes.
Why Twitch Will Not Survive
We at Streaming Live Academy do not believe that Twitch will be around to experience 2022 if the company is continuing down this path.
The three main streaming platforms dominating the market at the moment are Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming. Both competitors of Twitch have tools and services that add to the streaming experience that Twitch does not have.
YouTube Gaming is owned by Google. The main advantage of YouTube is that it offers offline content for viewers to enjoy while their favorite streamer is currently offline. Owned by Google, YouTube videos are being favored in Google search and give the creator the possibility to get discovered and blow up 24/7 even when they are not streaming.
Facebook Gaming is owned by Facebook and offers offline content as well, along with a way to connect with friends and other creators through Facebook. Besides that Facebook Gaming offers an algorithm that rewards hard work and pushes a streamer’s growth. Again something Twitch cannot compete with. Twitch only offers live content.
Unlike Twitch’s competitors, Twitch is owned by Amazon, a company that does not provide any added value to the Twitch experience. Both Google and Facebook work well together with their streaming services and can add to the streaming experience. Why Amazon acquired Twitch is a mystery to all of us.
If Twitch is not changing soon, protecting and serving their streamers, we do not believe Twitch will be around much longer. Other platforms are becoming more and more attractive due to their added value besides live streaming. Earlier this year we had a similar scenario with Mixer and Microsoft. Microsoft sold Mixer to Facebook Gaming because it was not profitable and in the eyes of Microsoft not worth the money to keep this side project alive. And while Twitch is larger in size, it is still just a side project of Amazon. Twitch streamers are not as safe as they might like to believe they are.