Streamers are urging Twitch to change to a fairer revenue split on the platform.
A post on Twitch's UserVoice, originally added in December 2020 by streamer SaltyWyvern, has gathered momentum and now become the most voted post on the forum. It requests for Twitch to change both the revenue split and the minimum payout.
At present, the Amazon owned platform offers a 50/50 revenue split with streamers on subscriptions and has a $100 minimum payout. It's clear from the votes on UserVoice - almost 20,000 at the time of writing - streamers are keen for this to change.
This suggestion for @Twitch to "Increase the #SubSplit and Lower Payment Threshold" has now received the most support of any UserVoice idea.— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) January 6, 2022
12,419 votes and counting.https://t.co/ywwBcbLyxR#TwitchNews pic.twitter.com/3MgPKsccP2
By comparison, YouTube and Facebook Gaming appear more streamer-friendly.
YouTube offers a 70/30 split in favour of streamers, with multiple ways to monetise streams. It's also possible for streamers to set custom membership tiers, choosing prices and channel perks.
Facebook Gaming, meanwhile, has waived all revenue in favour of streamers. There's a catch though: this is only for subscriptions purchased on desktop, even though mobile devices account for almost 80 percent of viewership. Otherwise, the revenue split is 70/30, just like YouTube.
We?re doubling down on creators. Facebook has waived all revshare from subscriptions until 2023! Yeah, you read that correctly. You?ll continue to receive 100% of your subscriptions when purchased on desktop.— Josh (@CatchMeStreamin) June 7, 2021
This applies to Partners, Level Up and all FB creators. #CreatorFirst
What's more, Facebook Gaming allows streamers to set the price of subscriptions, even if overall viewership lags behind Twitch.
"The current revenue split is too stifling for aspiring streamers," Twitch streamer Lowco told Eurogamer. "So much so that I think it'll become a major factor in streamers flocking to growing streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook in the next year.
Indeed, where the top Twitch streamers will still earn millions of dollars with the current revenue split, it's smaller streamers who suffer the most with a blanket revenue split across the whole platform.
Says Lowco: "Most streamers are not in a position to be full-time, although many would like to be. A higher revenue split could have a tremendous impact on so many streamers who are looking to go full-time or at least cover some of their bills."
Twitch, meanwhile, is continually embroiled in controversy - from hate raids against marginalised communities, to data leaks and testing a boost feature that would seemingly aid bigger streamers but ultimately had no real impact.
Big movement right now to get Twitch to adjust revenue splits for all streamers. If you?d like to vote for this you can do so here: https://t.co/ix1MnpwRZE— Lowco (@LowcoTV) January 5, 2022
"Aside from a fairer revenue split, streamers are really looking for Twitch to improve discoverability and do more to elevate smaller creators," says Lowco.
"There are so many talented streamers with wonderful communities that are deserving of a spotlight. Those streamers can be really tough to find and there's only so much a streamer can do to get discovered on the platform. The major sentiment right now is that Twitch doesn't do enough to support smaller streamers."
This is why so many streamers are looking to diversify their income, seeking support and donations on alternative platforms like Patreon and Ko-Fi.
However, former Twitch employee Sam Chen posted a Twitter thread suggesting that big streamers on Twitch are a loss leader.
Here are the real economics of the #SubSplit market no one wants to talk about: (or maybe they don't understand)— Sam Chen (@djfluffkins) January 7, 2022
1. Big streamers are a loss leader, every time someone who averages 5k (probably lower) goes live, Twitch loses money. Their paid subs will never be enough.
Chen suggests the "best chance for Twitch to have a fair sub split is to adopt progressive taxation of the biggest streamers. The bigger you get, the less you get per sub". This is unlikely to be a popular solution among the streaming community.
It's unclear why Twitch has stuck to the 50/50 revenue split. It did not respond to a request for comment by Eurogamer.