‘Twitch is dying in 2021 if they do not change their course of action!’ – SLA. There has been no doubt that Twitch as a platform and company is struggling. Some creators are even afraid that Amazon, the company which owns Twitch, will pull the plug on their little side project like Microsoft did with Mixer. Now this is unlikely to happen, but does paint a good picture of what is going on. Although Twitch, as a company is not profitable, the market share the company holds in the streaming world is too big to simply give up.
So Why Is Twitch Dying?
The year 2020 has been a wild roller coaster for the entire world, but also the world of streaming has been struggling. Twitch has made many headlines this year of which none are positive. The biggest headline of Twitch this year has been the ban of Dr. Disrespect of which the public still has no information as to why Dr Disrespect has been banned from the platform. Numerous rumors are going around reaching from Doc breaking Twitch’s TOS to Twitch simply getting rid of him due to his expensive contract, freeing up funds to bring in new creators like Shroud and Ninja, who freed up after Mixer’s shutdown earlier this year. No matter the reason for Doc’s ban, what the ban does show is that no one, no matter the size, is truely ever safe on Twitch.
Shortly after Twitch strikes again with a DMCA headline. DMCA refers to copyright music and soundtracks that have been used by streamers without paying the creator for the “distribution”, aka the stream, of said music. The full wrath of the DMCA strikes has not been unleashed yet, however the fear of losing everything has had many creators delete all footage, VODS and clips, of previous streams. Despite your opinion on DMCAs, the execution seems poorly. A software is detecting if copyrighted music was used in saved footage, however does not take into consideration the possibility of the streamer having a license to the music they use. Since this matter is all AI handled, a streamer can still be struck and banned although they hold a license for the music. The AI further does not inform the streamer of which VOD or clip exactly contains copyrighted music but rather warns the streamer that there is some footage somewhere on their channel containing said music. This led to even TimTheTatMan deleting all clips ever recorded simply to avoid a ban. What is odd about this approach is that other platforms, YouTube, inform the creators of exactly where the strike might happen, and give the creator the option of cutting the part referred to the strike out immediately. This way the streamer does not have to delete a whole video or clip or even reupload a fixed video, but can simply on the platform select to remove the copyrighted music.
Why Other Platforms Are More Attractive
With all the headlines Twitch has made this year already, and surely will continue to make, creators look to different platforms. There certainly is no shortcut to streaming platforms, however besides YouTube and Facebook Gaming, other platforms are less likely to succeed. Most other platforms, for example Trovo, are a mire copy of Twitch and do not add extra value to it.
What makes Facebook Gaming and YouTube so attractive for creators is that these platforms are offering many different tools to grow a brand and make it stand out. Live streaming is simply one of those tools at a creators disposal, while Twitch has only live streaming to offer. On Facebook and YouTube you can go live, you are able to upload videos to your library, and you are also able to post pictures, quotes and everything in between, to the community feed. Both platforms offer offline content for viewers to enjoy and more important to engage with while you are not live. While Twitch only offers live content.
No one can tell what the future holds for any platform. Twitch could go out of business in the next year or in the next ten. At the end of the day the streaming world is a newly discovered world that has hardly been tapped into and no one knows its full potential yet. But what is certain is that Twitch needs to change and adapt in order to stay on top of the food chain. If Twitch will not adapt and implement serious changes, the company’s future might be in danger and what Microsoft did to Mixer, what Twitch streamers laughed about at the time, might come back to haunt them.