Streaming platform Twitch has revealed its 2023 features roadmap, which includes changes to pre-roll adverts, new chat engagement tools, and more options to help users better manage their brand deals. Changing pre-roll ads to be less annoying is easily one of the biggest changes on the horizon, provided that Twitch members can commit to running three minutes of ads every hour, according to chief product officer Tom Verrilli and chief monetization officer Mike Minton.
“Running three minutes of ads per hour in any way will disable all pre-rolls–they no longer have to be split into 90-second ads every 30 minutes,” Verrilli and Minto explained in an open letter. “We’re applying our Picture-by-Picture experience to the majority of pre-rolls that viewers do see.”
For mid-roll ads, Twitch is also experimenting with tools to let users know that the stream they’re watching is about to take an ad break. Verrilli and Minton explained that Twitch might even add a snooze option for these promotions. For streamers looking to make their sponsorship deals stand out, Twitch is also working on special assets that will be field-tested by a select few streamers first, in an effort to make these deals feel more “effective and authentic” on the platform.
“Starting with channel skins and clickable branded graphics, streamers can easily place these brand assets onto streams, above chat, and other places on your channel page for a less disruptive and more engaging sponsorship experience,” Verrilli and Minto added.
On the technical side of running a channel, Twitch will provide more details on viewer demographics, optimal streaming times based on this data, offline streaming solutions, and an enhanced mobile viewing experience that is being designed to be more on par with what desktop users view. Twitch is also looking to create new tools that can be used to promote channels on other platforms, such as exporting clips for vertical short-form video formats such as TikTok or YouTube Shorts.
Streamers will be able to pin up to 20 of these clips to a channel page and enhance them with emotes. Lastly, a new Sound Bites feature for viewers will be made available as a new monetization tool, allowing viewers to pay to trigger sound alerts. All of these changes will gradually roll out over time, with Twitch planning to make more formal announcements when these features go live.
Twitch began making several major changes to the platform last year, starting with host mode being retired and cracking down on online gambling. A big shakeup for Twitch’s revenue model will go into effect in June and will see streamers keep 70% of their subscription revenue on the first $100,000 earned, after which the share will revert to a 50/50 split.
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