On the same day that Twitch revealed intentions to reorganize how it compensates its top streamers, the company’s senior vice president of global artists announced her departure.
The adjustment may cause a significant drop in earnings for higher-profile streamers who have come to rely on Twitch as their main source of income. This week, Twitch made its contentious revenue split announcement, which will have a significant influence on the revenues of the platform’s top streamers. Up until now, top achievers had access to contracts with subscription revenue splits that were advantageous (70/30). Streamers will now divide the revenue 70/30 until they reach $100,000, at which point it will decrease to 50/50.
Most content creators won’t have a big problem with this adjustment because it only impacts the tiny percentage of streamers who make $100,000 or more per year from subscriptions, but famous streamers may leave the platform in search of better offers elsewhere.
In a message to her staff, Constance Knight said that she is starting a “new adventure that provides exciting growth opportunities for me both professionally and personally,” presumably moving into another position “in the creator space.” Knight, who has held important positions at both Instagram and Youtube, has had a distinguished career as a content creator.
The timing of her decision seems suspicious, even though it’s unclear whether the change in Twitch’s payout of streamers is to blame for her departure.
Knight is hardly the only senior executive to depart Twitch this year. Both the chief operational officer and the chief content officer of the platform left earlier this year, and neither post has been filled since. The platform appears to have experienced leadership and strategy issues, losing touch with the content creators who enable the platform.
Questionable choices like promoting in-stream advertising placements that detract from the live viewing experience and demanding more money from top streamers seem to signal that the platform is having trouble coming up with new revenue-generating ideas.
With the recent crackdown on a number of gambling streams and the alarming revelation of over 2,000 child predators on Twitch, Amazon’s live streaming service has been struggling. The platform has come under fire from well-known content creators, including Dr. Disrespect, for the recently announced income change, and with top executives leaving, it’s going to require a significant change to get the platform out of this rut.