Twitch Live Content Exclusivity Explained

Since April 24th of this year, thousands of broadcasters on Twitch have been invited to join the Twitch Affiliate program and have done so with rather impressive results. Muxy.io recently looked at the data on how the Affiliate program changed cheering across Twitch and the results are impressive. While this program introduced new ways for broadcasters to engage their communities and monetize on Twitch, it also introduced some questions surrounding the Affiliate agreement.

The live content exclusivity section seemed to generate a lot of questions, especially from those who were broadcasting to multiple platforms. Some broadcasters who were putting their highlights up on YouTube, or uploading prerecorded content to Twitch also where hoping to get further clarification on how this applied to them. So… what exactly is the section 2.2 of the agreement saying? Let’s take a look!

Section 2.2 Live Content Exclusivity: Solely for User Content that is live audio-visual works (your “Live Video Content“), starting from beginning of the Initial Broadcast of any Live Video Content, and continuing for a period of twenty-four (24) hours following the end of the Initial Broadcast of such Live Video Content (the “Exclusivity Period“), such Live Video Content is exclusive to Twitch (even as to you).”

This first part is pretty straight forward. Essentially if you use Twitch to stream content, that content is “exclusive” to Twitch for 24 hours after your broadcast ends. “Wait!” you say. “What exactly do they mean by ‘exclusive’ and how do I share my content?” – Glad you asked!

“During the Exclusivity Period of any Live Video Content, you will not, nor permit or authorize any third party to, broadcast, stream, distribute, exhibit and otherwise make available such Live Video Content in any manner. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you have the right to make any Live Video Content available, during the Exclusivity Period, solely via the Twitch Services.”

Here Twitch is saying you (or someone on your behalf) can’t dual stream the same live content to another platform or upload your archived broadcast (to YouTube for example) until 24 hours after your broadcast ends. What this doesn’t do is restrict you from broadcasting on other platforms. You could immediately start up a new cast on another platform once your Twitch stream ends, so long as that content is not also being broadcast on Twitch.

They also outline here that you can still share your content during the Exclusivity Period using “Twitch Services”. They define this in their TOS as “consisting of the website available at http://www.twitch.tv, and its network of websites, software applications, or any other products or services offered by Twitch”.

“After the Exclusivity Period of any Live Video Content, the license to such Live Video Content will become non-exclusive and you will have the right to broadcast, stream, distribute, exhibit and otherwise make available such Live Video Content in any manner and format desired by you”

What can you do after the Exclusivity Period ends? Upload or stream the content on any other platform you want!

“The ‘Initial Broadcast’ means the initial broadcasting, streaming, distribution, or other exhibition of Live Video Content via the internet, whether such Live Video Content is broadcast on a real-time, live basis as the subject event is occurring or such Live Video Content has been prerecorded and is being initially broadcast for the first time via any manner or method of streaming.”

The important take-away here is that Twitch may consider prerecorded content to be “Live Video Content” if it’s being broadcast for the first time.

Bottom line – if you currently dual stream to multiple platforms and still wish to be an Affiliate, you should consider adjusting your schedule to split up your broadcasts or at least evaluate if the monetization on Twitch will make sense for you and your communities.