In 2014, Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN shocked the gaming world with the acquisition of streaming company Twitch. Amazon paid $970 million and came in while Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL was also in talks.
Twitch has been a dominant presence in the video game streaming world, signing exclusive deals with many of the biggest gamers. Over the years, several big names have left the Twitch platform, with most landing at rival YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet.
Why Are Streamers Leaving? There are a number of factors going into top streamers leaving Twitch. A big reason is financial as YouTube appears to be signing large contracts with top names to grow its gaming division.
YouTube also gives more revenue to its content creators compared to a reported 50/50 split that Twitch offers most users.
Twitch has also been the subject of hate raids, where offensive comments are posted in the chat. Many Twitch streamers took part in #ADayOffTwitch calling for changes from the streaming company.
Demands included allowing streamers the ability to deny incoming rage, restrict based on age and implement additional anti-harassment tools.
“We support our streamers’ rights to express themselves and bring attention to important issues across our service,” Twitch told TechCrunch.
Twitch has a 72.3% market share of the streaming space, according to Streamlabs, but could see that figure fall if it continues to lose top names.
Here is a look at some of the high-profile exits.
1. Timthetatman: On Wednesday, Timthetatman shared a video announcing his future plans in gaming, announcing a deal to stream exclusively on YouTube.
“I’m Timthetatman and I have a huge announcement,” Timthetatman said.
The famous streamer looked back at his past jobs before announcing his move to YouTube featuring an appearance by another name on this list Jack CouRage Dunlop.
“Tim it’s time, the future is now,” CouRage says in the video.
The move to YouTube reunites Timthetatman with many gamers he used to play with that had already made the switch.
Timthetatman has 2.6 million followers on Twitter and 3.9 million followers on YouTube. On Twitch, Timthetatman was one of the most popular streamers with over 7 million followers.
2. Dr. Disrespect: After being banned by Twitch, popular streamer Dr. Disrespect took his massive following to YouTube.
“Timmy Tenders is coming over to YouTube, huh champs,” Dr. Disrespect said live during a stream while smiling.
Disrespect had told viewers that Timthetatman was not allowed to play with him live on stream as Twitch wouldn’t allow it.
Dr. Disrespect, CouRage and Timthetatman did a live stream Thursday reuniting and featuring other top streamers that had over 80,000 live viewers at the time of writing.
Disrespect has 3.5 million followers on YouTube.
3. CouRage: Jack CouRage Dunlop is one of the most well-known streamers and a co-owner of 100 Thieves, a top eSports team.
CouRage left Twitch in 2019 to sign an exclusive deal with YouTube.
CouRage has 3.4 million followers on YouTube and was part of a stream Thursday with Dr. Lupo and Timthetatman. His following has grown from 1.85 million at the time of his exclusive YouTube deal.
4. Dr. Lupo: Prior to the announcement from Timthetatmean, Dr. Lupo announced his move from Twitch to YouTube earlier this week. Lupo told the Washington Post that part of the deal was more flexibility over his time spent with his family while noting he was also “secure for life.”
Dr. Lupo has 2.2 million followers on YouTube. Lupo joins Timthetatman in leaving behind a big following on Twitch, where Lupo had 4.5 million followers.
Lupo is known for playing games like Fortnite and had often streamed with Timthetatman and Ninja in the past.
Lupo was part of a streaming team that played “Among Us” with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar in a push to get young people to vote.
5. Valkyrae: One of the most popular female gaming streamers, Valkyrae left Twitch in January 2020 to sign an exclusive deal with YouTube. Valkyrae was the first female gamer signed to 100 Thieves.
“I’ve been a gamer my whole life, but there’s a lot of things that I want to do beyond just streaming,” Valkyrae said.
The streamer said that going to YouTube could help expand her brand and branch out into fitness and beauty, as well as blog more.
6. Ninja: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins left Twitch to stream on Microsoft Corporation MSFT streaming platform Mixer. The platform was eventually sold to Facebook, Inc. FB and shut down.
Ninja was a free agent for a year and streamed on YouTube to his 24.1 million followers. One Fortnite video has over 13.9 million views on YouTube.
In September 2020, Ninja announced a move back to Twitch in an exclusive deal.
Ninja spoke out about Dr. Lupo and Timthetatman leaving Twitch to be good for the industry.
“Everyone that is left on Twitch, now has more leverage to stay on the platform by getting a better deal, or they could leave as well,” Ninja said.
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