Many have been wondering why famous streamers Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo and Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar left Twitch for YouTube. It may ultimately have been a simpler choice than many assumed.
Back in August, the duo announced that they were set to leave Twitch and move to YouTube Gaming after signing big-money deals with the video streaming platform. According to a report from the Washington Post, their move stems from the fact that Twitch is moving away from offering streamers pricy exclusive contracts. This was demonstrated by a reported low-money offer made to DrLupo despite the fact he entered into a two-year exclusive deal with Twitch worth millions in 2019.
This isn’t exclusive to DrLupo and TimTheTatman, either. Star streamer Félix “xQc” Lengyel’s agent Ryan Morrison noted to the Washington Post that there is still some big money changing hands, but “it’s not where it once was.” MMORPG streamer AsmonGold discussed the phenomenon himself on Twitch during a recent stream.
Alongside the money, Twitch’s exclusive streaming contracts have significantly tougher demands for contracted talent. This includes demands for 200 hours of live streaming per month on Twitch, compared with YouTube Gaming only requiring 100 hours of streaming per month. Meeting this 200 hour per month requirement would call for streamers to average about six hours and 40 minutes of streaming every day.
Ninja, shroud’s failed Mixer deals empower Twitch
Twitch’s move away from blockbuster contracts comes as Twitch negotiates from a position of strength over the entire streaming scene. This stems from the death of Microsoft-owned streaming platform Mixer and a failure by both YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming to gain serious traction.
In 2019, Mixer signed massive contracts with Michael “shroud” Grzesiek and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins for their exclusive streaming rights. Microsoft was hoping that the addition of two of Twitch’s biggest stars would attract their fan bases and lure in more viewers. That didn’t happen.
Though the signings of shroud and Ninja did a lot in terms of attracting new streamers to the platform, the number of new viewers was negligible after the initial buzz. Twitch’s market share actually grew in the aftermath of the Ninja and shroud signings, with Microsoft tapping out of the streaming game completely in July 2020.
Though YouTube Gaming still has a sizable share of the overall video game live streaming market, it seems as though Twitch’s standing as the industry leader is cemented even as it loses a few of its most popular streamers. Though Twitch would take a hard hit if too many of the most popular names stepped away, the company seems to believe it doesn’t need to spend big anymore to keep hold of all of its biggest names. Streamer Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren predicts that this will lead to an exodus from the platform.
“DrLupo just signed with YouTube exclusively, which, I will say, there’s going to be a bunch more people soon. I can’t leak,” Ludwig said earlier this month.