Before this week, Twitch viewers would typically only see a video advertisement when first clicking on someone’s stream, making sure they didn’t miss a moment of the action. That changed a few days ago when Twitch implemented compulsory mid-roll ads, removing creators’ ability to choose when they were shown. There was a huge outcry about the ads and, at least for now, Twitch has removed them from the service.
Several streamers complained about the change, emphasizing that the amount of content they’d be losing was not worth the extra revenue they’d be getting from having the mid-roll play during their gameplay sessions. Especially if multiple people are playing the same popular game, it could be the difference between a viewer staying on a channel or checking out someone else’s gameplay.
Hey Bryonato, we’ve concluded the test, so viewers will no longer see mid-rolls. We’ve gone through a lot of the feedback provided on the original tweet, UserVoice, etc and will take this into account before we execute on any future ad changes.
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) September 17, 2020
The official Twitch Support Twitter account clarified that it had finished its advertising test this week and that viewers would no longer see mid-roll. It also said it was taking users’ feedback into account regarding these changes, but it also stopped short of promising to not re-implement mid-roll in the future. With competitive games like League of Legends, Street Fighter, and Fortnite drawing big numbers on Twitch, this would have the potential to interrupt matches during their biggest moments. It’s like if the NFL cut to a commercial during a goal line stand.
Twitch does have some big talent returning that it can tout, however. Ninja recently signed a new exclusive agreement with Twitch after a year on Microsoft’s now-defunct Mixer. He’s joined by Shroud, who also signed a new agreement.