Twitch is launching a dedicated category for hot tub streams after claiming that it’s received pushback from advertisers and viewers on how the trend has taken over the stage.
The new “pool, hot tub and beach” category means producers allow them to stream what they want, while Twitch offers advertisers a more convenient way to prevent ads from running on streams they don’t approve of.
Twitch pulled ads from some Hot Tub streamers without warning. In a statement: the company said it was a mistake.
A spokesperson said, “We didn’t warn the affected creators at the time, and we should have – our creators trust us.” Twitch said the ads were suspended at the request of advertisers and is now working with individual creators to “reinstate ads where proper.”
“Being found sexy by others isn’t against our rules, and Twitch won’t take enforcement action against women, or anyone in our service for their perceived attraction,” the company wrote in bold in a blog post this afternoon. The post is a surprisingly direct message from a technology company facing competing interests and problems that most other companies would best address vaguely.
In particular, the advertising suspension hit Amouranth, one of the biggest streamers on the platform. Her channel is now airing advertisements again, although it seems that her hot tub streams have been removed.
Twitch says it’s policies aren’t changing on what is and what isn’t on the platform. The company isn’t going to stop people from streaming in hot tubs or swimwear. While sexually suggestive content is prohibited, context-fit clothing, such as bathing suits at the pool, is allowed.
Twitch says that adding a new category to give advertisers more control over which streams their ads run on isn’t a long-term solution. But it sees it as a short-term solution, stating that it allows viewers to avoid or explore Hot Tub content and gives creators a place to continue streaming it. Brands will be able to opt in or out to place advertisements on the stream in that category.
Hot tub streamers are women, and they often face sexist harassment from men who don’t like seeing them or their success on Twitch. Twitch’s new system plays into it to an extent – it takes their streams out of the very popular “just chatting” section and moves it to a brand new hot tub section, but also confirms that this type of streaming is Allowed and welcome stage. In its blog post, the company states, “First, no one deserves to be bothered for the content they choose to stream.”
But this can be bad news for creators. The so-called “hot tub meta” has been a huge success for streamers, but the reason for participating in it is that more viewers generally mean more advertising revenue. If Twitch cannot add advertisers to the hot tub section, fewer streamers may be willing to participate.