Exclusive contracts on Twitch: the bitter truth

Twitch has an easy-to-understand system of working with streamers. It means all content makers are divided into three groups. The broadest class is common streamers who don’t get special treatment when broadcasting and cannot properly monetize their work.

When a content maker shows some success, he may become an Affiliate. This status opens up wider opportunities for streaming and getting money. And when a broadcaster becomes well-known in his categories, has tens of thousands of followers, and makes streaming a full-time job, he may level up to Partner.

Partners get the best conditions the platform can offer. But actually, there is also a fourth group of streamers on Twitch — those who have signed exclusive contracts. Let’s find out how a streamer can get a unique offer from Twitch.

Exclusiveness on Twitch

Sure, making content on Twitch doesn’t forbid broadcasters to be active on other streaming platforms of socials. They can communicate with their audience by using any tools they want.

But Twitch is exceptionally jealous of high-quality content. Affiliates and Partners cannot simultaneously run broadcasts on Twitch and other streaming platforms. A streamer’s account may even be banned or suspended for such a violation.

A streamer might download the recorded video to YouTube, Facebook, or any other website. But the original broadcast had to be on Twitch only. That was a competitive struggle with other live-streaming platforms like YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Mixer, etc.

On May 2022, Twitch announced some significant changes to its affiliate and partner programs. Many streamers thought that Twitch allowed simultaneous streaming. And got lots of bans.

Twitch did change its policy, but simultaneous streaming was still forbidden. The Twitch Affiliate Agreement says that the content made on Twitch is exclusive to the platform for 24 hours after the initial broadcast. It means that if a content maker ends the stream on Twitch and downloads it to YouTube or any other platform that very hour, he may be banned. But if he does so the day after, everything is fine.

However, a streamer may end the live stream on Twitch and start a new one on YouTube immediately. Creating unique content on other platforms is allowed.

Twitch is utterly jealous of exclusive rights. And that’s why other live-streaming platforms started to use it by signing exclusive contracts with famous Twitch broadcasters.

For example, in August 2021, DrLupo told his fans that he had signed an exclusive deal with YouTube. His Twitch account had 4,5 mln followers and was ranked #48 worldwide.

The streamer doesn’t reveal the contract value, but we reckon it’s millions of dollars.

Interesting, but earlier, in 2019, DrLupo got such a deal from Twitch. And he has been streaming exclusively there for two years.

Interesting, but earlier, in 2019, DrLupo got such a deal from Twitch. And he has been streaming exclusively there for two years.

Exclusive streamers’ deals with other platforms affect Twitch pretty much. As for now, 6 of 50 top broadcasters are inactive due to such contracts. And be sure that the audiences of these content makers went to other websites after them.

Dozens of world-known streamers used to leave Twitch because of contracts with other platforms. It meant millions of dollars of lost profits. Maybe, that’s why Twitch owners decided to loosen the grip and legally allow Affiliates and Partners to use other live-streaming platforms.

Twitch exclusive contracts: strange and expensive

Twitch also signs exclusive contracts with top streamers. So let’s find out who you need to be to get the deal. We’ve researched and analyzed 18 top-rated Twitch streamers who signed an exclusive contract with Twitch… or dismissed it for any reason over the past five years.

No one knows how Twitch chooses content makers to offer an exclusive deal.

For example, Ninja, the #1 streamer on Twitch, has never received some special offers from Twitch. Moreover, in September 2022, he even lost his Partner status. But xQc, who ranked 5th on Twitch, got an exclusive deal in 2019 and would be streaming on Twitch only until March 2023.

Ninja, the #1 streamer on Twitch, has never received some special offers from Twitch. Moreover, in September 2022, he even lost his Partner status. But xQc, who ranked 5th on Twitch, got an exclusive deal in 2019 and would be streaming on Twitch only until March 2023.

Actually, all offers we looked through seemed to have nothing similar. But during the research, we made some assumptions.

Even if you’re on the top list, it’s nothing.

Being a top-rated streamer is not enough to get an exclusive offer from Twitch. Cause no more than 15% of top-rated content makers from the top-200 rating ever got a special offer from Twitch or negotiated it.

Moreover, even if a streamer is highly interested in an exclusive deal, Twitch may directly refuse him.

For example, meet Asmongold. He’s #6 by average viewers in December 2022. Also, he has almost 3.4 mln of followers million followers, making him #66 in the overall rating. He told his followers that рфв had requested a special offer a few times but got nothing more than a refusal.

Twitch did not offer me a custom contract. I was going to see if I could get one, but they [turned it down]... they didn’t end up offering me one.

“Twitch did not offer me a custom contract. I was going to see if I could get one, but they [turned it down]… they didn’t end up offering me one.”

It’s weird cause Asmongold had astounding 18,300 paid subscribers on Twitch in his best times. It means Twitch earned over 40,000 dollars monthly with him. But he was very critical of Twitch in the past when discussing changes and policies of the platform. So that may be the reason why he was rejected. But, of course, he hadn’t been informed why his offer wasn’t considered.

However, even if a content maker hasn’t said bad things about Twitch earlier, it doesn’t improve his chances of getting a special offer.

Twitch exclusive contracts have nothing to do with broadcasting categories, rule violations, and odious streaming style.

Yeah, here is good news: a streamer may get an exclusive deal even if he doesn’t give a damn about decent behavior and has little respect for the rules. Just don’t go off the rails, and don’t criticize Twitch very much. However, a few temporary bans wouldn’t become an obstacle.

For example, xQc is a gambling-addicted streamer. And he doesn’t deny it. Also, he got temporarily banned three times over the last three years. Nevertheless, he’s got a special offer from Twitch and keeps streaming exclusively on Twitch.

On the other hand, Amouranth, the most-watched female streamer on Twitch, has never received any special offer from Twitch. She also makes pretty peculiar content: sexualized broadcasts in “Hot Tube,” “ASMR,” and “Just Chatting” categories. Amouranth is really popular, having 6,1 mln followers. But Twitch has no intention of making her such an offer.

Amouranth is really popular, having 6,1 mln followers. But Twitch has no intention of making her such an offer.

Financial and brand impact are the only features considered by Twitch. Just business and nothing personal.

Sometimes Twitch wants to keep top streamers from leaving.

The platform is clearly aware that famous streamers drive the live-streaming market forward. So Twitch definitely keeps an eye on top broadcasters. If a well-known content maker is going to leave Twitch, he often receives an offer that is impossible to refuse.

In 2020, Pokimane, the most famous female content maker on Twitch, told her fans that she was going to leave streaming. Sure thing, people were thrilled, but the streamer kept silent. Then, a few weeks after, Pokimane suddenly said she had signed an exclusive streaming deal with Twitch.

In 2022, she re-signed the deal and continued her exclusive streaming carrier on Twitch.

In 2022, she re-signed the deal and continued her exclusive streaming carrier on Twitch.

Sure, it may be just a coincidence or even a play with the audience, but it’s not a single case. At least three top-level streamers have got exclusive offers shortly after their talks about leaving.

There are no strict rules for Twitch choosing streamers to offer them exclusive contracts. But still, a streamer must be among the best 100 streamers worldwide, create unique and original content, and be a charismatic and memorable personality. If so, there is a chance.

Twitch made up to five special offers for streamers each year. That’s not much cause YouTube has from 15 to 20. Other platforms use this tool to improve the online rate and poach some people from Twitch. All that is left to Twitch is to prevent such situations by offering something interesting first. And that’s the point. The biggest live-streaming platform is afraid that it may lose all famous streamers at once.

That’s why it’s so inconsistent in offering streamers some big deals. For Twitch, it’s not a tool for improving and growing up. It’s just a safety belt. And definitely, it’s not the strongest Twitch side. So unexpectedly, exclusive contracts on Twitch are just lotteries. It’s great if you get one, but if not, you still might be the brightest streamer in your category.