Top live-streaming gamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins are part of the pricey, multimillion-dollar content deals that Twitch and YouTube are gradually pulling out of as they abandon their strategy of luring talent with big contracts.

Twitch Chief Executive Officer Dan Clancy told Bloomberg News during the TwitchCon conference in Las Vegas that paying seven and eight figures for contracts with gamers is a strategy that has “created this bidding war, and I don’t think that’s a sustainable business.” YouTube is also prepared to stop providing large-scale contracts and intends to reduce the duration of agreements as well as the terms of payment.

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In order to increase watch time and ad income, YouTube and Twitch have been vying for the loyalty of prominent influencers who draw viewers back to their respective platforms. The platforms expected that the millions of fans that exclusive, well-known live streamers would attract would more than cover the expense of these enormous contracts. Nonetheless, a lot of influencers, such as Blevins, returned to Twitch after experiencing a sharp drop in viewers.

Twitch discontinued demanding exclusivity from its paid streamers in 2022. According to Clancy, influencers can now share their live streams on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, as reported by Bloomberg News.

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In addition to allowing fans to use their favorite streaming applications rather than signing up for various platforms to watch all of their favorite influencers, this expands the net to increase views. Additionally, it makes it easier for specialty streaming platforms to attract talented users. Kick, for example, recently inked a $100 million contract with Felix “xQc” Lengyel, a Twitch celebrity.

These big-ticket purchases are expensive, and the viewership isn’t high enough to cover the costs. Because it limits influencers to a single platform, the exclusivity restriction hurts them. Twitch paid Activision Blizzard $90 million in 2018 to stream their Overwatch League esports coverage only. The stream relocated to YouTube after the contract expired, but its audience size declined there as well.

According to Clancy, Twitch will change its rules going forward, providing only a small number of unique offerings.


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