Twitch, one of the biggest live streaming platforms in the world, is gradually losing its users to major competitor websites such as the Rumble and the Kick.
Some of the top streamers have already abandoned the platform, thanks to a bunch of recent changes in their policies.
Many content creators in the online streaming category, are calling this the downfall of the giant streaming platform.
Twitch: From Heydays to Haywire
Twitch launched in 2011, is one of the biggest online streaming platforms in the world, as a platform where users could live stream their gaming videos.
Eventually, the platform enabled users to stream videos in other categories through features like Just Chatting or the IRL, these features allowed streamers to talk about anything they wanted.
Twitch gained enormous popularity and witnessed massive growth throughout the years 2014 to 2021.
With around 7.25 million active users on the platform as of August 2023, Twitch rose from a humble game streaming platform to become the 35th most visited website in 2021.
However, since 2021, there seems a decline in Twitch’s active user base has been seen.
A Twitch stats tracking website SullyGnome reports a 7.2% decrease in average viewership and hours watched in the past year (last 365 days).
Impact of Twitch’s Infamous Security Breach of 2021
In 2021, Twitch suffered a major database breach, which turned out to be disastrous later on.
The anonymous hacker leveraged a misconfiguration on the platform, gaining access to user data and even Twitch’s source code.
More than 100 GB of data was posted online that presented a list of top streamers on Twitch and how much they were earning from Twitch, a subsidiary company owned by none other than Amazon.
The hackers revealed that they were in possession of the platform’s source code along with the monetary details of the top streamers. Twitch later admitted that the data breach was possible due to an error in their server.
The breach did impact the reputation of Twitch, and many of the top streamers went under the impression that the platform is not secure.
This came as a major blow for Twitch, who struggled to balance the critical situation.
Twitch’s Series of Bad Decisions
Twitch has managed to make the headlines on different occasions.
For instance, they created quite a stir when they tried to prohibit sexual content on their platform through a vague redefinition of the term itself.
Many people found their stance to be quite sexist and biased.
In 2021, streamers on Twitch faced a phenomenon they termed “hate raids,” where a streamer’s feed was suddenly filled with hundreds of hate posts and messages.
This frustrated the streamers and some of them even organized a Twitch walkout to focus on the problem.
Although Twitch managed to put a lid on them, the company made another hasty change in 2022, by announcing that they were not ready to enforce the exclusivity deal the platform had with the streamers.
Previously, streamers on Twitch had an exclusive deal with the company, which did not allow them to simulcast their content on other platforms, such as Facebook Streaming and YouTube Live.
Twitch stated that simulcasting may lead to ‘sub-optimal experiences’ for the users.
Since YouTube Live and Facebook Streaming were top competitors, Twitch did not want their streamers to simultaneously stream on those platforms as well, hence, the exclusivity deal.
However, in a way, Twitch used these deals as a way of incentivizing the streamers and included lucrative offers and considerable bonus payouts.
According to the new policies, effective since June 2023, Twitch redefined how users will conduct sponsorship deals on the platform.
The platform prohibits the users from showing display ads and sponsorship logos stating that they should not take more than 3% of the screen space.
Although this may not affect the smaller creators on the platform, this policy will severely affect the bigger streamers who may miss out on thousands of dollars worth of deals.
On top of that, Twitch mentioned that from June 2023, the top creators on the platform would receive pay cuts on their donations and subscriptions.
Twitch creators generally received $5 to $25 from their fans and supporters in the form of monthly subscriptions.
Prior to that, streamers could negotiate on the percentage of the cut they can keep for themselves.
Although the average cut was 50/50, a more recent analysis showed that Twitch was keeping almost 70% of the subscriptions and donations.
This did not sit well with bigger streamers on the platform and eventually, many top streamers abandoned Twitch to migrate to YouTube.
For instance, Mr. Disrespect, TimTheTatman, and Ludwig left Twitch and moved to YouTube Live. They brought together a staggering total of 74.3 million hours of watch time on YouTube!
Rise of ‘Rumble’ – New Hub for Streamers
While Twitch was busy making all the changes, it started facing severe competition from newer streaming platforms in the market such as Rumble and Kick.
Although Twitch offers a wide range of tools for creators and has a well-established platform, it is currently saturated with streamers, this is a problem for new streamers since discoverability is poor on Twitch.
Taking advantage of this issue, Rumble launched in December 2021 as an alternative to Twitch.
Although Rumble is a relatively new platform, it has grown in popularity and attracted many streamers on its platform, this is because Rumble has less competition, offers all the basic tools, and is a growing platform.
The most important reason is the fact that Rumble offers 100% of sub-splits with the streamers, this means that a streamer can get 100 percent of the subscriptions and donations received from viewers.
This is a superior monetization policy to Twitch, it helped them onboard some of the biggest streamers such as Destiny, iShowSpeed, and Kai Cenat, who have more than 21 million followers on YouTube.
Migrations Continue to ‘Kick’
Another competing live-streaming platform, called Kick was launched in January 2023.
The founder of Kick is Tyler Faraz Nicknam, who was previously a streamer on Twitch, better known as Trainwreckstv or Trainwreck. It is quite similar to other streaming websites with a major focus on gaming.
Unlike Twitch, Kick is more receptive to adult-oriented content.
One of the top streamers on Twitch, Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, recently signed a $100 million deal for moving to Kick and another top streamer, Amouranth stated that she too, is leaving Twitch for Kick.
Reports suggest that almost 1 million people have migrated from Twitch after seeing a couple of behemoths changing sides.
MoistCr1TiKaL Terminates Twitch contract
Charles White, better known as MoistCr1TiKaL, is a dominating figure in the world of streamers, with millions of viewers across YouTube and Twitch.
In his YouTube channel named penguinz0, Charles shared a video where he mentioned that he has reached the end of the contract and they have reached a mutual agreement on the termination.
Cr1TiKaL mentioned in that video that this would enable him to be more flexible and spread his wings as a creator.
He also said that his first post outside Twitch will be on YouTube and teased live episodes of his popular show Moist Wrestling League which may come out later.
These episodes are extremely popular on Twitch and he hopes they will do great on YouTube as well.