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Twitch Acknowledges Branded Content Changes Were Bad, Actually, Tosses Out Controversial New Guidelines

By Adam

• Published 10 months ago

Published 10 months ago

After two days where Twitch appeared to unite its biggest stars against them by announcing controversial changes to its branded content policies, the website has, in essence, said it is very sorry and gone ahead and removed those changes.

twitch apology 1 twitch apology 2

On Tuesday, the site set off a firestorm of criticism by announcing it would restrict the ability of streamers to show branded content on stream, stifling some sponsorship opportunities for creators. This included limiting the size of a brand logo overlay to 3 percent of the screen and banning "burned-in" video, audio and display ads.

For many of Twitch's top streamers, sponsorship deals and branded content are how they make the majority of their money, as sponsorships go directly to the pocket of the streamer and Twitch had already angered streamers by announcing a 50/50 revenue split between itself and streamers for donations. Streamers pointed out that the burned-in ads and logo displays Twitch was banning were necessities written into contracts they'd had with sponsors.

Top streamers and content creators around the internet, including Asmongold, PaymoneyWubby, MrBeast and many others, voiced their unhappiness with the new changes and expressed they would explore streaming on other services like Kick or YouTube should they go through.

Others expressed fear for events broadcast on Twitch, like the Streamer Awards, video game tournaments and Games Done Quick, which rely on sponsorship money to ensure profitable events.

The announcement also notably came just days after Twitch's relatively new CEO Dan Clancy made contradicting statements with his own company during an interview.

Twitch walked back the changes late yesterday, saying "We will not prevent your ability to enter into direct relationships with sponsors — you will continue to own and control your sponsorship business." A Community Notes addendum on their tweet states Twitch's guidelines still forbid banner ads and embedded videos, though Ping Labs CEO Theo Browne told Kotaku on Tuesday that this was technically always the case, it's just that the rule wasn't strictly enforced.

Nevertheless, the language has troubled some of the platform's top creators, including Cr1TIKaL, who said it felt like Twitch was attempting to deceive the community it had just angered.

Perhaps time will tell if Twitch is as serious about walking back the changes as it expressed yesterday and if the terms of service will be updated to reflect their apparent commitment to allowing streamers to pursue sponsorships.

Either way, the fiasco has proven yet another controversial firestorm for Twitch, which has shaken many top creators' faith in the platform as a viable host for their content.

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