Update: Twitch walks back its updated branded content guidelines

Update: Well, that certainly didn’t take long for Twitch to realize (see the number of people threatening to leave) that it made a mistake on its new Branded Content Guidelines. In fact, no one is Twitch walking these changes back, but now it is saying that the language was overly broad and what was in the guidelines wasn’t what they meant.

“Today’s branded content policy update was overly broad. This created confusion and frustration, and we apologize for that.”

“We do not intend to limit streamers’ ability to enter into direct relationships with sponsors, and we understand that this is an important part of how streamers earn revenue.”

“We do not intend to limit streamers’ ability to enter into direct relationships with sponsors, and we understand that this is an important part of how streamers earn revenue.”

“We missed the mark with the policy language and will rewrite the guidelines to be clearer. Thank you for sharing your concerns, and we appreciate the feedback. We’ll notify the community once we have updated the language.”

Sure Jan Meme

Excuse me for a moment while I pretend to be stupid. Do you mean to tell me that a company as massive as Twitch is, would just randomly throw together guidelines, not understand the implications of the content, and didn’t process that they would affect the entire platform? If so, perhaps there are more issues at Twitch than just making up guidelines.

If that doesn’t sound like Twitch is walking that shit back, I don’t know what does. I mean, it’s not like Twitch doesn’t have an advisory board made up of content creators that could help Twitch understand just what’s at stake and provide feedback that would empower everyone. Oh wait, they did, but I haven’t a clue as to what happened to it.

Regardless, these updated guidelines will be headed back to the drawing board, but until then, I suppose they won’t matter.

Original story below

I recently noticed Twitch was trending on Twitter, so I decided to see what it was this time. Sadly, the largest streaming site on the planet, that being Twitch, has decided to change up its “Branded Content Guidelines,” which will be going into effect as of July 1st, 2023, and I don’t see any good coming out of them.

These guidelines adhere to several things, including sponsored gameplay, channel sponsorships, product placements, and more. I’ve been going up and down these changes, and honestly, this all seems like a wrong move and will cause quite a fair bit of issues, and those who stream on the platform should be paying attention.

As for what’s going on, here’s a quick and dirty breakdown. Starting on July 1, 2023,  these are the new guidelines that everyone needs to adhere to.

  • Burned-in video Ads are LIMITED or NOT allowed
  • Burned-in Display Ads are LIMITED or NOT allowed
  • Burned-in Audio Ads are LIMITED or NOT allowed.
  • On-stream logos are limited to 3% of screen size.

Twitch Branded Guidelines changes-01

Twitch Branded Guidelines changes-02

How does this affect streamers?

With this change, Twitch is set to reach deeper into the pockets of streamers and divert that money into the pockets of Twitch and Amazon. Instead of brands reaching out to streamers, such as a company using streamers to showcase their products, this would cause them to bypass those plans and go directly to Twitch. If you can’t run ads, which Twitch calls burned-in ads since Twitch isn’t hosting them, you can’t show off their product, so why would they want to work with you?

This also would seem to affect co-streaming events since those require you to use burned-in ads, and some have an image that you are required to use and is larger than the 3% that you’ll be allowed to use per Twitch.

It’s frustrating when you think about what else this can accomplish. The bottom line is that Twitch is greedy, and this is not beneficial to streamers. Twitch is stopping streamers from generating cash flow on their own, and they would need to depend on Twitch. How’s that sound?

I can see this hurting the Fighting Game Community, any type of event such as Games Done Quick, or pretty much any eSports tournament. Take EVO, the largest fighting game tournament in North America. During match changes or downtime, various ads vary from chair companies, arcade sticks, clothes, and more are ran.  Or for smaller tournaments that need similar ads to host these events and award the contestants.

With these new guidelines, those ads will no longer be allowed to run, and that could kill off smaller events as they practically survive on ads. Fighting game events will be dead. Charity events will be dead. Many Twitch events would be dead, and that doesn’t seem like a good way to keep people on the platform.

Of course, if you choose to ignore these changes, you can expect Twitch to enforce them, and you will be penalized if you don’t follow these guidelines.

Why do this now?

The big question here is why Twitch would decide to suddenly put something like this in place. Something that is definitely going to affect a vast majority of the users of the platform and will likely have a major effect on them. Without the ability to run ads, this could ultimately force some people to stop doing what they love or depend on for extra income, or in some cases, all of their income. What’s bizarre is Twitch typically is transparent about these decisions before making them, but this one just came out of nowhere, and I’d love to know what possessed Twitch to implement it as quickly as it did.

I want to think that there is no way this will remain, and Twitch’s inbox has already been flooded with complaints about this boneheaded rule change. Only time will tell to see if Twitch will reverse course and adjust these guidelines accordingly.

If only Twitch had some viable competition that would keep Twitch on its toes instead of making silly decisions like this.