Come on, man, I just wanna watch Elden Ring speed runs while I eat my breakfast. Do I have to watch an ad?
Here’s why Twitch ads are getting ridiculous:
Twitch has so many ads because it is the easiest monetization option (especially for new streamers) and because there is a huge incentive to encourage streamers to use Twitch Ad Manager and (for partners) the Ad Incentive Program.
In this article, I’ll explore these three reasons in detail and provide some more useful info on Twitch ads (scroll down if you want to see how you can turn off Twitch ads).
Ads are the simplest Twitch monetization option
Ads are the simplest way for Twitch streamers to earn money for their content. That’s especially true for smaller streamers.
Take a look at the list of different monetization options below and ask yourself if any of them are easier than an advert being automatically served to someone simply viewing a stream:
- Ad revenue
- Affiliate marketing
- Merchandise sales
- Twitch Bits
While subs will provide the most reliable income for streamers, you still need to overcome the big hurdle of getting a viewer to part with their cash.
Plenty of people make donations to their favorite Twitch creators. These gifts – plus Twitch Bits – can create significant income for streamers but they are less reliable than subscriptions.
Just for comparison, it’s worth noting that YouTube Gaming offers creators a much higher revenue share than Twitch (70%) for ‘fan funding’ revenue (like memberships and superchats).
Affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and merch sales can be the most lucrative of all Twitch monetization methods but are only really worth thinking about if you’ve created a serious following (at which point you’ll already have earned plenty of cash via ads and subs).
Twitch Ad Manager
Twitch streamers who run ads via Twitch’s Ad Manager can earn a 55% net revenue share for showing 3+ minutes of ads per hour.
That’s almost double the rev share on offer for streamers who don’t opt in or who show less than three minutes of ads per hour.
These sorts of numbers make it pretty easy to see why there are so many ads on Twitch these days. You’d be mad not to run the three minutes to get nearly double the bag.
Twitch Ads Incentive Program
Streamers who have progressed to Partner level get an even sweeter deal via the Twitch Ads Incentive program:
Twitch introduced the program in February 2022 and revised it to offer better incentives from April 2023:
- Partners can join, take a break, or select a different recommendation at any time
- Partners will get revenue estimates specific to their channel
- Revenue estimates are shown instead of fixed payouts
- Partners can adjust their ad settings outside the recommendations and still earn 55% net ad revenue
Can Twitch affiliates turn off ads?
Twitch affiliates can’t turn off ads, but there are several options available to them that can help improve the viewer experience, including:
- Start delay – scheduled ads won’t trigger for up to 30 minutes after you start your stream, so you aren’t interrupted while getting into your flow;
- Snooze – delay the upcoming ad by five minutes (this can help ensure that ads don’t interrupt important moments during the stream);
- Turn Ads Manager off – this gives streamers the most control over ads on their channel (at the potential cost of reduced revenue).
Does subscribing on Twitch remove ads?
Yes, subscribing to a Twitch streamer will remove ads on that specific channel. You’ll still be served ads on any channel for which you do not have an active subscription.
Unless you stump up for a Twitch Turbo monthly subscription. One of these bad boys will unlock ad-free viewing across all of Twitch – no pre-rolls, no mid-rolls, no companions, and no display ads.
The janky experience created by ads might well be one of the reasons that Twitch is losing streamers and viewers but, personally, I would never pay $8.99 purely to get rid of ads on Twitch (just like, look at your phone or close your eyes and stretch out for 30 seconds).
However, you do get other benefits with Turbo, like an expanded emote set, custom chat colors, an exclusive chat badge and, for creators, extended broadcast storage (60 days – up from 14).
Does AdBlock work on Twitch?
This post on AdBlock’s official help center is a bit confusing. It says that AdBlock works on Twitch but, at the same time, expresses frustration that Twitch is immediately detecting blocks and they are struggling to find a solution.
In any case, even when AdBlock does manage to block an ad on Twitch, you just have to stare into the black void of nothingness as the video player will show a muted screen until the ad is over.
I never thought anything could be worse than an intrusive video ad but I think staring at a black rectangle is actually worse. I guess I’m totally lost to capitalism.
Final thoughts on Twitch’s ad obsession
Twitch has so many ads because ads are just so damn easy to serve. You don’t need to get anyone to subscribe or engage in any way other than directing their eyeballs toward a stream.
Ads are easy as pie for the creators, too – Twitch’s Ad Manager and Ad Incentive Program make sure of that. And why wouldn’t the creators want to optimize their most reliable revenue stream?