Twitch's surge in hot-tub streams has led to advertiser pushback. In response, the streaming service agreed to add a whole separate category dedicated to hot tubs rather than banning them. This way advertisers can choose not to promote their products on more 'adult' streams, or, more likely, new products can be targeted specifically at the viewers of such channels.
Any fan of twitch will be aware of how popular hot tub streams have become. The sex appeal of certain channels has been accepted as part of the service's ecosystem since its inception. However, the recent trend seemed to go beyond the pale for Twitch, even leading to certain streamers being punished. If you're not familiar, hot tub streams are exactly what they sound like. Many believed that there would be a reckoning, and Twitch would ban the practice, but instead, they've surprised the community by announcing plans to create a dedicated hot tub stream category. If you need to catch-up on the hot tub meta, be our guest:
- Black Hot Tub Streamer Banned By Twitch: Racism?
- Indiefoxx: Hot Tub Streams Are Better Than Gaming
- Hot-Tub Twitch Ban: Amouranth is Losing $500.000!
Why Did Twitch Create A Hot Tub Category?
Twitch will create a Hot Tub category to allow advertisers to filter out those streams, without having to ban the channels completely. In an open letter to the community, this weekend Twitch expressed their desire to speak 'candidly' about the subject. They drew a clear land in the sand by defending hot tub streamers as part of the Twitch streaming service and wrote:
While we have guidelines about sexually suggestive content, being found to be sexy by others is not against our rules, and Twitch will not take enforcement action against women, or anyone on our service, for their perceived attractiveness.
...but at the same time, they do have advertisers to answer to, and so by making a new category they feel they can please both parties. As they say,
Brands can either opt-in or -out of this category based on whether it aligns with their target audiences, like they can today with any other category.
For now, at least, this seems to be a fair compromise between corporate and community concerns.
When Will Twitch Have A Hot Tub Category?
The Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches category is live as of now. But, Twitch have clearly also stated that 'this is not intended to be our long-term solution'. So, how long this category will remain available is unknown.
While Twitch might have found a solution for the present moment, this is undoubtedly not the last time that they will be forced to decide between fostering more adult content and drawing a hard limit. Whether too much of this content will drive away their core user base is yet to be seen. We'll keep you updated on this story as it develops.
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