Twitch announced its plans to begin selling video ads in its partners’ live streams which can’t be blocked by third-party ad blockers. These ads will roll out this week and will be delivered through Twitch’s new SureStream video technology platform, which also offers smoother and more reliable streams, including ads.
The goal is to offer broadcasters a better experience than third-party ad networks could provide, which Twitch says cause technical issues due to the way they insert ads from external sources. But obviously, the larger goal here is to bring more of those potential advertising dollars in-house, so Twitch can profit by hosting its ads natively.
The SureStream platform also addresses the problem that advertisers face about the growing use of ad blockers. Twitch’s SureStream ads, once enabled, won’t be able to be bypassed by viewers, even if they have a third-party ad and content blocker enabled, Twitch noted in its announcement. This also means Twitch’s partner broadcasters will be able to generate more ad revenue, as their ads are no longer blocked. (Twitch and streamers will have an ad revenue share split, but the company declines to say how much.)
Some ad blockers may figure out how to workaround SureStream, but to what extent is still unclear. For what it’s worth, Twitch’s blog post puts it like this: the technology “will reduce the efficacy of such software.”
“Since the video ads played by our streamers during their broadcasts are an important source of revenue for them, it’s our responsibility to constantly improve the advertising experience for all parties in the Twitch ecosystem,” said Jonathan Simpson-Bint, Chief Revenue Officer at Twitch, in an announcement. “SureStream helps ensure they can keep doing what they love while providing a more seamless experience for viewers. It also helps attract and retain advertisers who are now able to effectively reach an elusive audience.”
This update will help the Twitch dev team to begin fixing the long-standing ad value problem. Your ears will thank us. You will also get a more seamless ad playback experience with less pausing and freezing, better ads via a faster removal process of problematic advertising, and a faster experience that gets you back to the stream once the ad plays.
For Partnered Streamers
The hope is that SureStream will provide partners with more opportunity to earn revenue from ads. Subscriptions will become more valuable as the ad-free benefit gets more meaningful, while the overall experience for viewers will be improved, making content more sticky.
Broader reach and more reliable delivery of ads make Twitch a more attractive ad platform, which helps bring in more ad revenue opportunity for streamers.
Twitch is well aware that many dedicated Twitch viewers use software that bypasses ads, and is hoping that the rollout of this technology will reduce the efficacy of such software. Twitch also says that it is agnostic when it comes to the use of ad blockers.
You are free to use it, or not, as you see fit.
SureStream should help them provide the best experience possible for the whole of the Twitch community. There are more ways than ever to both support streamers and have an ad-free Twitch experience via Twitch Prime subscriptions, Turbo, and individual channel subscriptions. For those that can’t or choose not to subscribe, watching ads is another way to help support the people making the content you like to watch.