Twitch's Exclusivity Policy Changes and the Challenges of Being a Female Streamer

Anthony DiMoro
The Gamactica Podcast with Anthony DiMoro & Erin Steeby(Twitter: @GamacticaPod)

In a brand new episode of The Gamactica Podcast, Anthony DiMoro sits down with Twitch Partner and content creator Erin Steeby to talk about Twitch's new view on exclusivity, the challenges of being a female streamer, and more.

Last week, Twitch announced their new, updated terms regarding their Partners streaming on other platforms, which came with a catch, and led to a lot of discussion within the industry of content creation.

"I think it's a really great thing, it's a wonderful idea" she said of the new policy changes. "So creators can have more freedom and see what works best for them, what platform they like best, what the viewers like and what they enjoy. It's also great for them, content creators, to see what works for them but also reach out to different kinds of communities and people on different platforms, so I think it's a win."

Part of the new policy allows streaming to other platforms, but will not be allowed to do so for long periods of time, or for the entire duration of a stream. That segmenting of content could prove problematic for creators.

"That would be a struggle then" Steeby says. "That would be hard if you have to segment things then that could absolutely chop up your content, lose momentum, I think it would be a real struggle to do what you do, especially live form content. I still believe that Twitch is on top in that way, but I think it would struggle. I know that a lot of people have struggled specifically using TikTok for live-streaming and gaming, I personally don't think it translates, at least right now. But I think it would be difficult if you had to chop it up or that there were still terms that you had to abide by where you could only do so much on YouTube, or Instagram, or Facebook, or TikTok."

Content creation and live-streaming has faced a myriad of issues over the last few years, and the treatment of female streamers within the space has certainly been a topic of conversation. Steeby spoke about her career creating content on Twitch, and some of the challenges she has faced.

"Oh boy" she started. "When I first started on Twitch it was that 100% of the time. Now, since starting my own channel, I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had, but there are definitely some times where I'd feel, whether it would be working with somebody I feel like in particular, in terms of working with a brand or another company I haven't experienced that where I feel like if I was a man it would've been different, but in terms of streaming in general and with conversations I have had with other folks within the realm of streaming I have felt completely not good enough."

"In general, if I were a man, a lot of the comments and things that I have read and seen about me, whether it be in chat over my span of the years that I've been streaming or on social media, I definitely have felt like none of this would have been said had I been a man" she continued.

"Now, even at one point in my career I felt like I needed to have something more feminine to be appealing, but that's also because how I was brought on to the platform of Twitch and live streaming content on the internet" Steeby says.

"I had no idea what it was about. Nothing. And it was shown to me through masculine, male, misogynistic eyes. That was the angle that I was introduced to this platform and I was even told that you have to be available, you have to look available, you can't say you're in a relationship, you have to have sexual tension, and all of these things were told to me when entering this sphere and that, definitely, took a long time to shed, it took a few years to be able to get through that and not only be comfortable with myself and know that I will be okay by not participating in that anymore and just really truly being myself. That I don't want to not only work with those people, I don't want those kind of viewers, those kinds of people in my community."

"I feel like it's evolved a lot, and I think it has gotten way better, but in the beginning I would say it was a bit more toxic in general."

Catch more of the interview, which includes a discussion on influencer marketing, over on YouTube.

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CEO of Gamactica and Elite Rank Media. Contributor to Sports Rants, Fright Nerd and Search Engine Watch. Former contributor for Forbes and Huffington Post. Covers sports, internet marketing, gaming, entertainment, and the content creation industries.

Miami, FL

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