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.
🔬 Starting today, we'll be testing automated mid-roll ads for some viewers. These ads will directly support the Creator and won't run if the viewer has had an ad break in that channel recently. Your feedback is welcomed to help shape this feature!— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) September 14, 2020
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.
I do not think this is gonna go over well with anyone honestly. https://t.co/OiD58ySxqb— GrandPooBear (@GrandPOOBear) September 14, 2020
This is such an awful and terrible feature, literally no streamer wants this. You're interrupting live content and disrupt the flow of the people who make your platform exist in the first place. Did you even ask a single streamer before implementing this or just look at the $$$— Char (@CharOnTwitch) September 14, 2020
No no no no I don't want my viewers getting ads randomly as they're watching. This sounds awful— Teo (@TeosGame) September 14, 2020
My feedback is welcome so here it is: no.— Sebastien Defrance (@Velvetshadow) September 14, 2020
Pre-roll is already a pain, with an estimated - and correct me if wrong - 30% bouce-rate (ie. people leaving immediately).
Now you're telling me that my LIVE stream will be disrupted in the middle of it? This can't be serious.
please don't slowly force us into running ads. I'm begging you.— B SUPREME (@BaerTaffy) September 14, 2020
Can we not do this? I'll run ads manually if I'm taking a break or setting up for another game, not randomly in the middle of my content. If you're doing this, make it an option the streamer can easily turn off, or just... don't make it an option. It doesn't work for live content— 🏳️🌈Mr_Shasta🦦 (@Mr_Shasta) September 14, 2020
feedback: please no. let creators control when ads are played. non-subs already have to watch ads when first clicking onto a stream. this is not good for creators at all. (I’ll also submit this to the feedback link)— ˗ˏˋ m i s c h a ˎˊ˗ (@mischacrossing) September 14, 2020
Aside from the obvious of this turning off viewers, it can hurt the streamer. Conversation keeps streams alive. I can't imagine asking questions or being deep in a great convo with my chat just for half my viewers to randomly be left out because of an ad.— Renae Wittenkeller (@RenaeIRL) September 14, 2020
Unless you are forcing midroll ads as a replacement for preroll ads? Is that the idea behind this? It might be a better alternative if we can still have the option to disable them by running ads manually at the right times.— Lumi (@MissLumii) September 14, 2020
If you give me 100% of the cut, I'll run ads.— Fitzy (@HeyFitzy) September 14, 2020
I don't like how you are *forcing* ads DURING my stream. What if a cool moment happens, and it's missed?
Terrible decision. How about we do what FB Gaming did today, and get us to play music freely w/o being DMCA'd instead of this??
always really fun to see the changes that twitch is willing to make to further monitize their platform at the cost of creators.— sharpie 🐣 #G4NeedsSharpie (@dapurplesharpie) September 14, 2020
great to watch as they ignore all the feedback of people who have used their platform for several years just to make a few extra bucks.
a joy, tbh. https://t.co/2XZE4maisD
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.
Yeah whoever thought this was a good idea needs to chill lol— Damascus (@zDamascus) September 14, 2020
My feedback is simple: No. Can I at least opt out of this? Imagine an ad happening during grand finals at the clutch moment? https://t.co/SikGaWC8hQ
How can this work for esports events??? It could be interrupting crucial times outside of the broadcasters control...— PG | Chia 💚 (@CLASH_Chia) September 14, 2020
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.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Twitch is testing automated mid-roll ads and streamers don't sound happy
I despise mid-roll ads on YouTube. They don’t even respect the breaks that the creators insert these days.
I always end up thinking the video is done and click off to something else.lol