Twitch’s Recent Gambling Content Ban Leads to 20 Percent Viewership Loss
Posted on: November 4, 2022, 12:12h.
Last updated on: November 10, 2022, 05:42h.
Twitch changed its policies last month, removing certain gambling content from the menu. A few short weeks later, an analysis of traffic flows on the streaming platform shows that the policy change has left its mark.
Twitch’s updated “Prohibited Gaming Content” section was an effort to appease certain streamers who have fought to reduce gambling on the platform for years. It effectively suspended four domains from being promoted to Twitch, including stake.com, robot.com, rollbit.com, and duelbits.com.
Under the new policy update, users are prohibited from sharing links or affiliate codes with websites offering dice, roulette, and slot games. But because of differences in time zones, some users could stream gambling content for several hours even after the new rules were enacted.
The decision to remove some gambling content has received a lot of backlash and according to the data company that covers the iGaming industry, Casinolytics, the decision is now hurting the company’s popularity.
Fall from Top
Twitch remained the king of streaming content in the year’s third quarter. It was responsible for 95.9% of the entire audience in the period, while YouTube held 4.1%. YouTube still commands the lead regarding reviews, replays, and big-win videos, but Twitch remains the undisputed champion of casino live streaming.
It now represents 74% of the market, according to the Casinolytics report. Before the policy change, it controlled around 96% of the market. Twitch is still at the top, but the 22% drop in only a matter of weeks is significant.
As a result, Twitch could be looking to offset the difference through new ad revenue channels. The company recently confirmed that it’s testing new ad streaming services, with an ad channel possibly running concurrently alongside the streamer’s content.
When it began the transition, Twitch said it will more closely scrutinize whether streamers are using a virtual private network (VPN) to circumvent geolocation-blocking tools. In addition, it is now more consistently monitoring whether gambling streamers who promote to US audiences have an operating license from a major gaming authority.
The changes were good news for YouTube; its popularity increased following the Twitch policy update. The Casinolytics report shows that the platform has seen an on-average 40% increase in its reach since the Twitch transformation.
Some users began to stream simultaneously through Twitch, YouTube, and Dlive. Not surprisingly, Twitch’s four targeted gaming entities quickly jumped to Dlive, the alternative platform that the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as being popular with “white supremacists and other extremists.”
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