Twitch streamers are supposed to regularily roll ads to generate revenue for themselves and the streaming platform. Many have disregarded that to a point that Twitch has now introduced automatic mid-rolls.
As with most content based platforms Twitch also generates the majority of its income via advertising. Partners have to regularily run ads during their streams or they have to pay additional fees as punishment.
But for many streamers these guidelines are not to be followed. To preserve the flow of their stream or because their audience dislikes ads, many do not run ads during their streams.
Twitch takes the initiative
Starting today Twitch will run a test for advertising on Twitch. The streaming platform will now automatically play mid-rolls during streams if the streamer himself has not run any ads for a while.
The revenue from those ads will still benefit the streamer and Twitch, just like the pre-rolls or streamer-initiated ads do. But many streaming stars and fans are unhappy with the experimental change.
One of the affected streamers is speedrunner Helix13_, who said the following on Twitter:
so you’re going to interrupt my content with an ad and I just have next to no control over when it plays? reverse this change. people leave streams when ads play; I think this could hurt creators much more than help.
— Helix (@Helix13_) September 14, 2020
But other streamers have also stated to understand Twitch’s reasoning as the need to generate income is clear. And of the easiest ways to do that is advertising to the audience on the streaming platform.
Streamers will also be able to avoid those mid-roll ads by scheduling their own ad breaks regularily. However it is still unclear how often ads need to be run to avoid the automatic mid-roll. According to the official guidelines an ad break per hour would be sufficient, but some have also said that they suspect 15 minutes as threshold
Ads won’t play for every viewer
In the wake of the change Twitch will also unlock the “Picture-by-Picture” function for all channels. This would allow viewers to still see what happens on the stream even during ad breaks.
Additionally Twitch has said that not every viewer will be subjected to mid-rolls. Twitch Turbo users or subscribers of the channels in question will also avoid the automatic mid-rolls. The streaming platform also stated, that as of now the mid-rolls should only affect a select number of users.
Nevertheless Twitch’s change is met with little support from the community. Stars like TimTheTatman have already publicy asked to opt out of the change:
how do I know if this is happening to my channel and can I please opt out
— timthetatman👑 (@timthetatman) September 15, 2020
It remains to be seen whether or not the mid-rolls will negatively influence Twitch and the streaming world. In comparison to traditional television, Twitch is still rather tame in terms of advertising.