2022 is shaping up to be a rough year for content creators and sellers trying to make a living through major tech platforms. Sellers on Amazon and Etsy are already facing increased fees and now new pay cuts may reportedly make their way to Twitch.
A new Bloomberg report citing people familiar with Twitch’s pay planning claims the company wants to incentivize streamers to run more ads in addition to considering reducing the portion of subscription fees allocated to performers. More specifically, the site’s top streamers would reportedly see their share of subscriptions dip down from 70% to 50%, according to Bloomberg. The company is also considering introducing multiple pay tiers with different criteria required to qualify for each. All told, these changes are intended to boost Twitch’s profitability, though it could come at the expense of their community’s most active users.
Twitch did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
On the flip side, the sources speaking with Bloomberg said the company may consider easing up on its exclusivity restrictions which would let creators stream on other platforms and potentially raking in some additional income there as well.
The tentative monetization considerations come amid a time of flux at Twitch. On one hand, the company’s riding high on a pandemic induced viewership surge. Some 24% of U.S. internet users between the ages of 16 to 64 said they began watching more live streams during the pandemic, according to GlobalWebIndex data viewed by Insider Intelligence. On the other hand though, even with that uptick in eyeballs, Twitch is simultaneously reeling from what Bloomberg calls a mass “exodus” of employees disappointed in the company’s direction. Some 300 employees reportedly left Twitch last year, with another 60 leaving in the first three months of 2022. Some top creators have left too. In the past year both DrLupo and TimTheTatman, two prominent streamers, left the site for rival YouTube.
Twitch streamers aren’t the only ones bracing for a financial squeeze from their Big Tech bosses.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced it would add a 5% “fuel and inflation surcharge” to third party sellers who use the company’s fulfillment centers as a way to offset increased costs. In a notice to sellers viewed by the Associated Press, Amazon said increased hourly wages, construction costs, and new hires during the pandemic were all to blame for the increased price hikes. Still, Amazon wasn’t exactly struggling as a company during the pandemic, though. In the first quarter of 2021, the company posted a record $108.5 billion in revenue which comes out to nearly triple its revenue from the same time the previous year.
Over at Etsy sellers went on strike and issued a digital boycott over what they viewed as exorbitant increases to seller fees. Etsy recently tried to increase seller transaction fees by 30% which would in effect raise the seller fee from 5% to 6.5%