Twitch expands ad programs to pay streamers more money

Twitch is expanding its ad incentive program to include more creators and pay them more money. Earlier this year, Twitch began offering select streamers a flat, guaranteed payment in exchange for running a fixed amount of ads during a fixed number of hours. Now, Twitch is opening up the program to include more partners and is changing the way it structures payouts to pay creators more.

Originally, payouts earned with the ad incentive program were calculated using a CPM model. Basically, streamers would get a flat rate for every 1,000 ads watched on their channel.

“We found that a fixed CPM model wasn’t the most straightforward way to share revenue with creators,” said Mike Minton, vice president of monetization at Twitch, in an email to The Verge. “So we’re now launching a new model that’s not only easier to understand but also increases ad payouts by paying creators 55 percent of the revenue for each ad that runs on their stream.”

Though affiliates are not yet included in this new program, which rolls out June 15th, they will qualify for the 55 percent of ad revenue starting in August so long as they run three minutes of ads per hour. Twitch will also disable the highly annoying pre-roll ads for users who run ads for that same amount of time.

“Our ad products are built for Twitch’s live and interactive environment, and we’re continually working to add less intrusive ads experiences for both viewers and creators,” Minton said.

According to Twitch, the 55 / 45 split of ad revenue will “ensure [Twitch] can pass price increases through to creators.”

Back in April, a Bloomberg report stated that Twitch was investigating ways to increase earnings by potentially decreasing revenue share with its top streamers. The report sparked immediate backlash from the platform’s best-known names; however, Twitch has not confirmed that it will make any changes to its current model. This new expansion to its ad program may be a way to potentially soften the blow for any as-yet-unannounced changes.

Income reliability has been one of the biggest pain points for Twitch streamers. The ad incentive program was created to eliminate some of the stress of not being able to reliably calculate monthly earnings. Twitch is notoriously tight-lipped about streamer payouts, and outside of a 2021 data leak that revealed what some streamers were paid, we don’t know what the average streamer makes on the platform. However, according to Minton, “creators have earned over $1 billion in earnings in 2021, including earnings from subs, Bits, and ads. This is a more than 50 percent increase compared to 2020.” What that number is in relation to the money Twitch itself brings in — on the labor of its streamers, you’ll remember — is anybody’s guess.

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