What it Will Actually Take for Twitch to Fix its Problems

Although Twitch is still the champion when it comes to game streaming, it’s also riddled with severe problems. Especially lately, as it has been in the news for a myriad of things including “hate raiding.” So, what will it take for Amazon to step in?

From a business perspective, quite a bit. Sure, they roll out a few things here and there to calm the masses as part of the PR work. But in reality, it’s part of a massive company.

And that’s where the problem lies.

So, today, I’m going to play the role of Devil’s Advocate.

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What Doesn’t Work to Address Twitch Problems

Over the past few years, I’ve seen a variety of things suggested to force Twitch’s hand to make things better. And for the most part, the vast majority of them failed miserably.

And it’s not from a lack of trying, either. As with dealing with Activision when addressing Blizzard, you have to deal with Amazon when addressing Twitch.

A Single-Day Boycott

For everyone to stop streaming on a specific day sounds and looks good on paper. But in reality, it’s not all that effective for a few reasons:

  • Not everyone is going to quit streaming that day.
  • One day doesn’t make enough of a dent in the bottom line of a company that pulls in billions per year.
  • Veiwers know they’re favorite streamers are just going to come back tomorrow.

Boycotts are a nice sentiment and have been known to force change. But in this case, it really doesn’t hurt Amazon enough to make Twitch fix its underlying problems.

Big Streamers to Move Off Platform

There have been a few big streamers move off the platform over the years. Though, does it really make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things?

Most Twitch viewers have several favorites they watch. And if one of them goes to something like YouTube, the viewers might follow. But, they’ll come back to Twitch to watch the other streamers.

And in some cases, when a big streamer leaves, someone else gains popularity to fill the void. Viewers who are adamant about watching content on Twitch will just find a new favorite.

Hashtags on Social Media

Using hashtags can bring attention to issues. We see it all the time for some pretty horrendous activity. But at the end of the day, the company can simply choose to ignore the arguments.

Especially when the company brings in as much money as Twitch and Amazon.

Sure, hashtags work exceptionally well to spread awareness. However, it’s simply not enough unless there is some seriously deviant behavior going on.

Complaining to the Ether of the Internet

And lastly, blogging or otherwise complaining to anyone who’ll listen on the Internet really has very little impact. Do I think for one second Amazon gives a rats ass about this blog post?

Absolutely not.

Unless you have the ear of a very wealthy contributor or in the pocket of a politician, major companies really don’t care. They’ll do the bare minimum as part of public relations and then be done with it.

Yes, you might be able to stir up a bit of controversy. But this time next month, all is forgotten and forgiven. A new layer of Internet drama will quickly take its place.

What Would Work to Fix Problems on Twitch

Although it sounds pretty hopeless, all is not completely lost. However, the measures it will take for Twitch to see the light are grandiose and extreme.

It’s not impossible, but it is highly unlikely. Especially given the nature of people who really don’t care about certain problems.

Mass Exodus of Viewers

Consumerism. That’s the primary focus of any company around the world, let alone the United States. Without people to consume content, Twitch and Amazon would lose big.

But as I pointed out a few minutes ago, it’ll take more than just a handful of righteous viewers boycotting for a single day. Otherwise, the small loss to Amazon would be nothing more than an operating expense.

No, I’m talking about a massive movement pulling more than half of the viewers from Twitch for an extended period of time. The platform will quickly lose value to advertisers, who in turn will pay less for ad space.

Unfortunately, something like this is probably never going to happen. Because, a) not enough people care about specific causes to actually make the massive exodus that is needed, and b) a lot of people don’t have the perseverance to go the amount of time that would be needed.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible. Only that it would take the majority of viewers to really make a difference for Twitch to fix its problems. Since consumers are apparently OK with everything going on, there’s really no hope.

People are still willing to buy bits, pay for subscriptions, or buy goods from their favorite streamers through Amazon-affiliated sales.

Mass Exodus of Advertisers

When advertisers start pulling contracts from Twitch, it hurts the company’s bottom line in profound ways. Take a look at the YouTube Adpocolypse.

And it’s happened more than once.

For most companies, hitting them in the wallet is a way to get their attention. It worked well for YouTube, well, for the company anyway. A lot of creators are still feeling the brunt of the blow.

But still, advertisers were pulling out rapidly, which threw YouTube into a panic.

The bottom line is that a blow to Amazon’s wallet will have to be significant. I’m not just talking about one or two corporations, here. I’m saying a massive movement to pull ads and revenue.

Compared to the mass departure of consumers, this is a more likely scenario. After all, advertisers forced YouTube, a corporation backed by Google, to make massive changes.

The thing is that Twitch is a different animal compared to YouTube in how it operates and generates income. A mass exodus of advertisers might not be enough depending on how Amazon adjusts to the blow.

Or, I’m Completely Full of It

So, I’m not an expert in economics, business, or sociology. I could be completely wrong in this case. But from someone who has been on both sides of major corporations and their actions taken, the above is a plausible scenario.

No matter how you slice it up, though, it’s going to take more than a few dozen or a hundred streamers to “take the day off” for Twitch to fix its problems.

The end game would have to involve prolonged periods of not generating income for the company. Unfortunately, there will always be those streamers and viewers who simply don’t care and will continue to keep the platform propped up.

What about the argument that “at least I’m doing something?” That’s good and all. But unless you can convince tens of thousands of people to do that same something, it’s not going to be enough.

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Twitch Definitely Has its Problems

The nature of the Internet makes various issues thousands of times more difficult to address. Bots, trolls, automation, and more can easily make life hell for any streamer.

Before Twitch begins to fix its problems, something major might have to happen. And usually, those events are north of horrible.

Let’s just hope that those in charge of the platform pop their heads out of their ass before it becomes too late.

How many more viewers and streamers have to move to YouTube to prove a point to Twitch? A lot! But, I think it’s something that is coming much sooner than later.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop to name a few.