Twitch Scraps Exclusivity Clause, Allows Streaming On Rival Platforms
Twitch has been dipping in and out of hot water for the last year or so. From a string of controversies ranging from working conditions to hate raids and from payout percentages to strange new features, 2022 has been a rocky year for the streaming platform. However, there have been efforts from the firm’s leadership to patch up the holes in its community in recent months. Now, in the latest bid to win a little affection, it seems that Twitch has scrapped the exclusivity clause that keeps partners and affiliates locked into the platform.
Before this update was made, partners (and to a lesser extent, affiliates) could not take their live content to another platform. As a result of the ‘contracts’ signed between partners entering into the programme and Twitch itself, an exclusivity clause was agreed to, locking streamers into a partnership with Twitch. According to an email circulated by the platform, partners are now free to broadcast live on rival platforms such as YouTube and Facebook Live.
But there are some limitations to this update…
Diversification Is The Path To Success
In a definitive statement on Twitch’s FAQ-based help section, it is explained that:
Once your Twitch live streams end, you may live stream elsewhere immediately.
This is the core limitation of the update, but it’s a relatively minor one. Put simply, it means that even the best streamers in the world on Twitch are still not able to ‘multicast’ or ‘simulcast’. This means that they’re not able to stream to Twitch and YouTube at the exact same time, for example. However, provided the partner or affiliate isn’t live on Twitch, they’re more than welcome to broadcast their content on YouTube or Facebook Live – or any other streaming platform, for that matter.
However, there’s one allowance where that limitation is concerned, and that’s the fact that all Twitch streamers can multicast to a mobile platform. So, for instance, a streamer could put out a Twitch and TikTok stream at the same time without worrying about breaking any exclusivity clauses. Reportedly, Twitch is still not willing to budge on multicasting restrictions for the simple reason that they can create a ‘sub-optimal experience for your community’.
In the email that confirmed this news, Twitch said:
Starting today, you are now allowed to create live content on other platforms. This means you have more flexibility to explore how to use different, off-platform features to further build your community and interact with streamers off Twitch.
Times Are Changing
This update is fantastic news for streamers looking to diversify their portfolio, even if it does come with its limitations. Once upon a time, top-tier streamers were willingly abandoning their Twitch Partner status simply so they could stream on other platforms.
As TwitchCon San Diego approaches – one of the biggest events of the year for the platform – the leadership team is eager to please as many users as possible. There are still many areas of the platform that need adjusting, such as the ways in which streamers are supported on the site, but at least steps are being taken. Recently, Twitch adjusted another age-old feature, giving content creators the ability to perfectly describe their stream with customised ‘tags’.
While it’s too little, too late for some people, it’s a broad leap in the right direction for others.