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Twitch is testing automated mid-roll ads and streamers don't sound happy

Twitch is experimenting with ads and the company is getting a tidal wave of negative feedback from streamers and users.

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If you're on Twitch, then this week is probably not off to a good start for you. On Monday, the minds at Twitch got the idea to roll out a new feature. In an effort to support content creators, the company will start rolling out mid-roll ads for some viewers. Within minutes, Twitch streamers chimed in and the reception was not positive.

First, let's allow the company, in their own words, to explain exactly what's happening by looking at the Twitch website:

Beginning in September, as part of an ad experiment, some viewers may begin to notice that they are receiving ads during streams that others in a channel aren’t receiving.

Like pre-rolls, these are ads triggered by Twitch, not by the creator. Unlike a pre-roll, these ads will never play before a stream starts.

Creators will be paid for every one of these ads that run, just like they're paid for pre-rolls and ad breaks that they run. And, we've enabled Picture-by-Picture in all channel categories, so viewers can enjoy an uninterrupted ad-viewing experience.

As we experiment and learn more about what works, we'll communicate with our community and provide updates on our evolving ad experience.

Essentially, this means that a handful of Twitch users will randomly bump into an ad at some point during a stream. That's leaving a lot of Twitch streamers unhappy, many of them making their feelings known in the replies and through quote tweets. Let's look at a few reactions.

All of this sounds terrible for anybody watching a stream. It sounds like a total disaster from an esports perspective. Let's examine a couple of a really good points from Dragon Ball FighterZ commentator Damascus and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate commentator Chia.

If there's a silver lining to this, it's that this seems to be going over so negatively that there's a chance that Twitch might reverse course. If enough content creators chime in, it might convince the company to go in a more viewer-friendly direction. (Editorially speaking, we have a Twitch channel here at Shacknews and we think this sounds pretty foul, too, for what it's worth.) For now, the mid-roll ads already appear to be active and it already looks to be detracting from the overall Twitch experience.

We'll be sure to monitor this story as it develops. For more on Twitch and any other decisions regarding ads and such, keep it on Shacknews.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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