This has been a fairly eventful week. Twitch Executives decided to show creators just how much they think about them by announcing a new Branded Content policy (that they walked back by the end of the day and retracted a day later). They also introduced other changes that Twitch streamers may have missed and should be aware of!
This will be the first recap for many of you (thanks for signing up!), so I want to preface by saying they USUALLY aren't this long. The best way I can recap the Branded Content situation is to document it chronologically and thoroughly. I believe that last week set the stage for more changes in the near future, including monetization, the partner program, ads, and what it means to be a creator on Twitch.
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- Twitch launched a new Monetized Streamer Agreement, aka MSA, which unifies Affiliates and Partners under a common contract. It includes a clause about "Minimum Content Requirement," which says monetized creators need to create live content, quality content, and interact with their viewers. There are some implications there that Noah "MyLawyerFriend" Downs goes into depth about in this blog post.
- Affiliates are automatically opted into this new MSA, whereas Partners have roughly a year (or less) to agree to the new terms.
- The Terms of Service were also updated to include NEW language limiting ALL creators from simulcasting anywhere (except mobile-first platforms.) Previously non-monetized creators could multi-stream anywhere.
- It also introduces a new $25 fee to terminate the agreement.
- Ninja, who is NOT a Twitch affiliate or partner, can no longer continue his multi-streaming experiment on Twitch because the new Terms of Service prevent all creators from Simulcasting (except mobile-first platforms.) He's opting to add streaming on Kick to his strategy.
- WWE officially announced a multi-year partnership with Twitch.
- PR Week reports that Twitch has promoted a Head of PR.
Twitch Branded Content Situation
The best way to cover this is chronologically. So, here's how things went down over the last week in the rough order of how they unfolded.
- Twitch launches new Branded Content Guidelines. It also notifies streamers on-site with a direct notification. These changes (slated for enforcement on July 1) propose restrictive and broad definitions that could impact all creators. It includes detailed images of what is not allowed: Burned-in Video, Display, and Audio ads - and a cap for on-screen logos at 3% of screen size.
- Some Community Reactions: Annemunition, AntVenom, Asmongold, BotezSisters, CodeMiko, CohhCarnage, CourageJD, Harris Heller, Lil_Lexi, LinusTechTips, Lowco, Mizkif, MrBeast, Nathan Greyson, Ninja, OTK Network, PointCrow, QTCinderella, Sam Lupo, Theo, TipsOut.
- Twitch admits the update was 'overly broad' and apologizes for the confusion. They intend to update the language.
- Chief Monetization Officer Mike Minton jumps on a call with Twitch Ambassadors to calm some fears and get some feedback. Ambassador Statements: AshSaidHi, BarryCarlyon, StudyTme, Psyche, Radderss.
- I posted a video recapping the key points from the previous day.
- Twitch says their Branded Content Policy provides an update, saying it's "bad for you and bad for Twitch," and commits to removing the section that caused the outrage.
- Community Reactions: Bearerine, Original Twitch Partner Grubby, Gothalion, GM of Elgato Julian Fest, MoistCr1tikal, OnePeg, Tom Warren.
- Myself, Devin Nash, and others noted they did NOT remove it from the updated Terms of Service.
- CMO Mike Minton acknowledges that and says, "We will clarify the TOS. TOS changes take more time."
- CEO Dan Clancy retweets Twitch while repeating the same points. Later that same day, he reiterates the same thing on his stream.
- Twitch starts sending written email notice to Partners that their contracts will not auto-renew, and they will need to accept the new MSA.
- The Terms of Service officially changes again to remove the concerning language around branded content - here is what changed.
- Twitch announces they are sending a written email notice to Partners to inform them about the MSA.
- A couple of execs reconvene with Community Staff and Twitch Ambassadors. Commentary: Jon Brence, Lil Lexi, Lulaboo, Merrykish, Psyche.
- Devin Nash and Zach Diaz discuss Twitch on Jacob Wolf's Visionaries podcast.
For now, that's where we are. I think this sets up the first of many changes ahead. I'll be keeping an eye on Twitchcon.
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