As someone who streams from time to time as a way to relax and chill with some like-minded folks, I like to keep up with what’s happening with these streaming platforms. I mean, to most people, this is their future when it comes to media consumption. As of late Twitch has been stirring up the pot with advertising Ninja’s Twitch Channel on other streamers page, and as you can imagine, that did not sit well with them at all. However, are they in the wrong?
Over the past couple of days, many prominent Twitch streamers have voiced out their disdain for what Twitch has been doing. The flame of rage was starting to burn but Twitch didn’t seem like they were planning to back down. Then comes Ninja, carrying along with him a bucket of oil and just pours that sucker into the flame, unleashing a hell-storm from which he may never escape from. By that I mean he tweeted about the situation and concluded that people are just angry because they hate him. Nice one amigo!
For me, I kinda get it. Twitch is already a heavily competitive market. The last thing you want is for your channel to advertise another competitor’s channel and consequently lose the viewers you’ve worked so hard to get. That’s the culture of streaming. You may praise and talk about other streamers, but at the end of the day, you’re competing for the views of people.
That’s like Twitch allowing ads about Mixer (their direct competitor) to run on their platform. This also actually shows how Twitch actually views its user base. Twitch doesn’t see his user base as individual entrepreneurs running an online business, to them, their user base are an assets that they can utilize to increase their revenue stream and acquire more sponsorship if needed. With traditional TV slowly fading away, if not already gone, these sponsors need a platform in which they can market their product. Twitch, Mixer and to some extent, YouTube are all the option they have now. And Twitch, as a business is looking to capitalize on this without hesitation.
According to Former Twitch executive Justin Wong, this trend is just the beginning and will not stop:
I’ve seen a lot of people also try to defend Ninja’s involvement in this advertisement but lets not fool ourselves. You can not use someone’s likeness without at least discussing it with them. Ninja is involved to some extent, whether you like to believe it or not.
Anyways, as for Twitch’s treatment of its community. Well that’s just it. To Twitch, its user base is just that, a community and not a collection of businesses. If you see yourself as a business, that’s fine but I doubt Twitch will treat you guys as one. Is it morally wrong? I mean, that debatable. I wanna say yes! Twitch must have known this would be upsetting, but they also know they community ain’t going to do something crazy like boycott it. It’s most peoples livelihood. So y’all are stuck to be honest.
That’s my take on it, let me know your thoughts on this matter.