Twitch ads: Why you should run ads on your stream (and why not)

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I’m not very impressed by the way Twitch is currently running their platform when it comes to respect to the content creators. It’s quite hard to be found on the platform and signing an affiliate contract might not even be the best choice if you’re new on the platform, but that is a post for a different time. Today we’re looking at ads on Twitch and why you should (or shouldn’t) run them on your streams.

Twitch ads can be used by partners and affiliates. Ads can be ran while they are streaming. An ad break can be manually activated by a streamer in their creator dashboard. If the streamer hasn’t ran an ad for a while, viewers will be shown a pre-roll ad before they enter the stream.

Pre-roll ads are terrible for your conversion rate (how many people stay in your stream, basically) – which means that you actually might lose out on potential viewers by running ads on your streams.

Why Twitch ads are terrible

While there aren’t any concrete numbers to point to in regards to this conversion rate, a quick poll in his chat by marketing specialist Devin Nash suggests that over 30% of people have left a stream because they get ads before they have even watched a second of the streamers’ content.

What this all basically means is that being an affiliate can actively work against your own interests. Showing pre-roll ads might actually turn off people from watching you. Therefore, I recommend that you run your own ad breaks on your own schedule. Maybe you have some downtime between games. Or you need to grab a glass of water, so why not run a small ad break?

You can easily run ad breaks from your Creator Dashboard, which you can access under your profile picture in the top right of Twitch. Actively running ads yourself allows you to have new viewers skip the pre-rolls. When you’ve run ads, you’ll even get a countdown timer so you can see how long pre-rolls are still disabled.

Hey Twitch, are you paying us enough?

Alright, so now you know how to run these ads. Is it even worth it? Unfortunately, I’d have to say no. The only reason why it is worth it is mentioned above: Twitch basically forces you to run ads by annoying your potential viewership away… Unless you run ads yourself to skip the pre-rolls. To add insult to injury, you’re not even getting paid what you should!

To explain this a bit better, I have to tell you about CPM. CPM is the cost per mille, which is basically what Twitch pays to you per 1000 views. Twitch uses a seasonal CPM, which means that it changes depending on the season. Big companies often have to pay more to advertise when we’re closer to the holiday season. This raises the CPM because these companies have to out-bid each other.

Twitch ads might get thrown in your face because of pre-rolls...

All of the affiliates and probably most of the partners have the same CPM. On a website like YouTube, this is completely different. Google has a different CPM for every different video category. The advertisers then place a bid based on the algorithm, which allows certain content to be way more profitable since it is targeted better to specific audiences.

Does this all still make sense?

Twitch just says “This is the CPM, deal with it” and makes it the same for all creators, while your specific content might make them way above average CPM. Twitch pockets the difference, while you don’t even know what you should get. That piece of content might make way more money on YouTube.

Forever content

I recommend you to start a YouTube channel in conjunction with your Twitch channel. If you know how to edit, I’d recommend you start posting some highlights to YouTube. Your content should get a place where it can retire peacefully! The content might even bring some new people into your streams. It’s hard to find new creators on Twitch, so think about it.

Remember to use ads! Not because of the money it’s going to generate for you, but because you don’t want to scare away your potential viewers. Remember to disable your ad-blocker for content creators you support. It’s not much money that they will make from this, but even these small amounts might help!

Are you starting to stream? Make sure you pick a good category to do this in.


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