Today, Twitch is rolling out something it’s calling “multiplayer ads” in closed beta. They’re ads triggered by streamers that all viewers watch. (Currently, ads shown to viewers are targeted; these are not.) After one of these ads plays, creators can run a poll for their viewers that awards the streamer bits depending on how many viewers participate.
“In true Twitch spirit – we want our creators and fans to have the opportunity to experience everything together, and support their favorite creators along the way,” wrote a Twitch spokesperson in an email.
Twitch has been tinkering with its ads a lot this year. Between September and November alone, the company has gone from testing unskippable midroll ads to breaking ad-blockers.
As a streamer myself, I think multiplayer ads are a pretty logical development because nobody is happy with the state of Twitch ads right now. They’re intrusive, and they also don’t benefit most creators. (CPMs are pretty low.) Multiplayer ads, on the other hand, will benefit creators more directly, presumably at higher rates than traditional CPMs — even if those payments are coming in the form of Twitch’s own currency. For reference, 1 bit is equal to 1 cent. The Twitch spokesperson confirmed that bit payouts on multiplayer ads are additive to traditional CPMs, so running these ads will pay out twice.
It’s nice to see Twitch experimenting with new ad formats beyond traditional, targeted video ads. Here’s hoping it gets creators paid more!