Twitch’s CMO says competition from rival platforms is good for creators

Anton Ioffe - October 28th 2023 - 6 minutes read

In the ever-evolving digital arena, competition is not just inevitable; it's broadly beneficial, particularly for content creators. Twitch's CMO offers insights on the matrix of competition in the streaming industry, and how this rivalry prompts innovation and enhancement in the platform. In this fascinating piece, we delve into how the head-on battle with alternative platforms such as YouTube and Rumble has spurred Twitch to deliver superior features, transforming user experiences. More than that, explore how this thriving competitive landscape aids in diversifying Twitch's community, offering a myriad of gains for all artists who call it home. Prepare for an in-depth analysis that perfectly synthesizes the profound impact of competition on the Twitch ecosystem.

How Competition from Rival Platforms Benefits Twitch Creators

Twitch's most recent change in strategy is perceived to inherently benefit creators by enabling them to tap into other live streaming platforms. This bold move effectively allows partnered creators to stream content off-platform, including on competitive mediums like YouTube and Facebook Gaming. The primary advantage of this new policy is the expansion of creators' audience reach, exploration of different features offered by other platforms, and having more room to interact with streamers outside of Twitch. More so, this shift in strategy underscores the importance of thriving in competitive environments where creators are kept not by contractual obligations, but by the appeal and conduciveness of the platform's ecosystem.

Indeed, competition among live streaming platforms is complex, and often manifests as battles for signing up the most famous streamers into exclusive contracts. This practice has notably evoked criticisms, especially given Twitch's track record of drastically altering its revenue-sharing default from a 70/30 split to a 50/50 split for top streamers. Whilst this change has sparked worries about financial precarity among full-time creators, it also paints the truth about how platforms can manipulate profits in the absence of serious competition. This highlights the crucial role played by competition in maintaining a balance in the platform ecosystem and indirectly preserving the financial wellness of creators.

Further, amidst the scepticism surrounding this new strategy, the move could potentially mould a new model within the digital economy, where platforms are pushed to create conducive environments for creators rather than tying them with exclusivity agreements. Alternatives like YouTube, Rumble, and Kick that have been used by some of the top Twitch figures, for instance, provide not just alternatives but testbeds for innovation due to competition. Creators who have been disciplined or banned from Twitch also find reprieve in these platforms. Therefore, the potential downside of losing creators to rivals is counterbalanced by the fostering of an ecosystem that values creators' choice and freedom, indicating that competition can indeed serve as a catalyst for streaming platforms to be more creator-centric in their policies.

The Innovation Booster: Twitch's Response to Rival Platforms

The competitive landscape of live streaming platforms has served as a potent catalyst for innovation within Twitch, aiding in keeping its platform dynamic. Historically, rivalry centred around inking exclusive contracts with famous streamers, with Twitch assuming a defensive stance to retain its top creators. However, rival platforms such as YouTube, Rumble, and Kick have risen as powerful alternatives for the content creators, even attracting some of Twitch's highest earners and those disciplined by the platform. This competition has undeniably spurred Twitch to devise inventive responses, underscoring the indispensable role of competition in driving advancement.

Interestingly, the financial boon reaped by Twitch — around $2.8 billion in revenue in the past year — doesn't negate the pressures of rival platforms. This raises questions about whether Twitch can maintain an equilibrium in its platform ecosystem amid intensified competition. A case in point was the backlash Twitch received upon announcing its plan to reduce the 70/30 revenue split favored by top creators to a 50/50 split, sparking criticism about financial instability. Meanwhile, other platforms offer more financial incentives to creators, thereby fostering competitive tension that prompts Twitch to reevaluate its tactics.

A significant repositioning in Twitch's approach may mark an industry evolution, with respect to talent retention. Given the palpable discontent and possible exodus of creators to rival platforms, Twitch may have to shift from a strategy of exclusivity to creating environments that creators willingly opt to remain. By releasing partners from exclusivity clauses, Twitch might just be pioneering a new approach in the digital economy. This evolution reiterates that competition not only sparks creativity but also requisite changes, redefining the strategies employed by dominant players like Twitch. The effects of such shifts promise to be more than just skin-deep, potentially altering the very norms and models of creator retention in the digital landscape.

Enhancing the Twitch Experience: New Features Spawned Through Competition

Faced with an increasingly competitive digital landscape, Twitch chose not to shrink, but to stride with the times. The arrival of formidable rivals set the stage for an overhaul in Twitch's strategy, leading to the introduction of advanced features that addressed the evolving needs of its creators. By bringing innovation to the forefront, Twitch not only fortified its own platform but also spurred market-wide change.

As competition escalated, Twitch seized the opportunity to differentiate itself by introducing distinctive features that enhanced the community experience. Born from this competitive crucible were signature enhancements such as Squad Stream and Twitch Rivals. These features, aiming to maximize interaction, stand testimony to Twitch's dedicated commitment to enhance the user experience—a commitment forged and fueled by competitive forces.

When competition heated up, Twitch responded not by retreating, but by reinventing. This willingness to adapt and innovate led to a significant transformation in the platform's user experience. As rivals pushed the boundaries, Twitch responded by diversifying its content and nurturing a fertile ground for innovative broadcast styles. This marked shift did not just increase viewer engagement, but also cultivated loyalty among its users. Thus, competition has served as a catalyst for Twitch, guiding its evolution and enabling it to strike a delicate balance between embracing innovation and upholding its unique identity—crafting a uniquely engaging digital experience in the process.

Diversification and Expansion: How Twitch's Community Stands to Gain

By embracing competition rather than shunning it, Twitch is essentially opening the door for further diversification of its community. For one, it allows existing creators to stretch their creative wings and potentially gain exposure to new audiences on rival platforms, bringing back fresh ideas and perspectives to their Twitch broadcasts. This ripple effect can invigorate the Twitch community as a whole, filling it with renewed energy and innovation. Additionally, newcomers to Twitch may find the freedom of platform choice appealing, adding to the platforms demographic diversity.

Furthermore, the shift encourages greater interaction and collaboration not just amongst Twitch creators, but across platforms as well. With the removal of its exclusive broadcast policy, Twitch creators are now free to participate in joint streams with creators from other platforms. This freedom to explore off-platform features and collaborations can lead to a cross-pollination of audiences, which can boost viewership numbers and expand creators' reach. This will particularly benefit smaller streamers who are looking to grow their communities.

Finally, allowing creators the freedom to broadcast on other platforms fosters a more creator-centric ecosystem within Twitch. By letting creators explore different mediums without the fear of losing their Twitch partnership, it conveys a sense of trust and respect towards the creative community. In the long run, it is these creators who will carve out Twitch's place in the digital sphere as a platform that truly values and supports its community. This renewed relationship between Twitch and its creators, cultivated by embracing competition, is a definitive win for the broader Twitch community.


Competition from rival platforms has proven to be beneficial for content creators on Twitch, according to the platform's CMO. The article explores how the competition has spurred innovation and enhancements on Twitch, allowing creators to tap into other live streaming platforms and reach a larger audience. Additionally, the competitive landscape has prompted Twitch to reevaluate its policies and become more creator-centric. The article highlights the role of competition in driving advancement, enhancing the user experience, and diversifying the Twitch community.

Don't Get Left Behind:
The Top 5 Career-Ending Mistakes Software Developers Make
FREE Cheat Sheet for Software Developers