Twitch has announced it is establishing a policy of “complete transparency” on paid or sponsored content, which it refers to as “influencer campaigns”.
“Because of a lack of clear best practices and shifting regulatory guidelines, coupled with a sometimes less-than-transparent sponsor relationship, these kinds of campaigns have become a bit of a dark corner in the industry, and that’s bad for everyone,” the company said in a new blog post.
“For these reasons, gamers can tend to look skeptically on the ecosystem because they don’t know what is paid-for content and what is not. It also opens influencers to potential criticism.
“While we have always encouraged our broadcasters to acknowledge if they are playing games as part of a promotional campaign, we are now establishing a much more transparent approach to all paid programs on our platform and hope that it sets a precedent for the broader industry. Simply put: We want complete transparency and unwavering authenticity with all content and promotions that have a sponsor relationship.”
As a result, all sponsored content with be clearly marked with a tag on the front page and even an acronym in Tweets advertising the content.
This new policy only applies to campaign deals brokered (or “driven”, as it says) by Twitch itself, so individuals are free to continue not declaring their sponsorships, if they want to. Hopefully they won’t want to; transparency can help forge relationships with your audience, whereas being caught not disclosing sponsorship can have very unpleasant consequences.
Amazon recently forked over $1 billion for Twitch, which is one of the largest streaming video service sin the world.