Twitch TV and Ad-block

This post is in response to Twitch TV’s recent ‘Experiment’ blog post.

Since the inception of Twitch TV, the biggest problem I have had with the service is how ads are delivered and going on three years the same problems still exists – that is why I use ad-block exclusively for Twitch TV (only domain I block).

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Instead of trying to combat ad-block directly, which Twitch TV seems obsessed with doing, they should be trying to improve their service. If they fixed even a few of the following issues and said so in a blog, I would see the issues are no longer there and remove ad-block.

Rather than ranting and raving I’m going to just break-down in a handy-dandy list my problems:

  • Irrelevant ads – this is something Twitch has been getting better at with their dedicated sales team, but it is still a recurring problem. Surely in this day and age the technology is easily accessible (it is) to deliver ads based on demographics.
  • SOUND BLAST! – I use a pair of headphones that are quite sensitive; I turn all sound sources to ~5-10%. So, when I am listening to a stream in the background then suddenly an ad rolls and the sound cranks to 100% I fall off my chair and throw my headset off… seriously annoying.
  • Pre-rolls – My issue with these isn’t quite as significant. I don’t mind pre-rolls, but as with the previous problem it can be annoying when somebody links me a short VOD and I get a 30s ad. Or when the video player breaks – or my connection breaks – or a dozen other things happen to cause a pre-roll to run inconveniently.
  • Interruption in live broadcasts – I never watch VODs, I like being able to say “I was there when that happened, watching with a million others”. The most infuriating thing is when you miss the big play and can’t rewind because of a badly timed advertisement, either run by an ill-advised broadcaster or broken video player.
  • Broken advertisements – A 30 second ad can interrupt the big play, but a 30s ad that requires you to get up from your lounging to click skip or continue to go back to viewing is frustrating.

These are the reasons I use ad-block on Twitch TV alone. I didn’t even know ad-block existed before Twitch TV, YouTube video advertisements didn’t bother me.

Honestly, I feel for Twitch when they are losing probably more than half the ad-revenue to ad-block, but they make it so hard on themselves. They make out as if people using ad-block are the great evil that must be purged when they aren’t even addressing the issue but are instead fighting it.

In the past other large networks have looked to their visitors, asked why they use ad-block and what they can do to fix it. Perhaps instead of aggressing ad-block users Twitch should be assessing itself.

Another initiative Twitch TV could adopt to retain lost revenue could be a better Turbo service, which is something they should have regardless. It is beyond me why they aren’t working with publishers to do Turbo exclusive giveaways, like Curse.com and other sites do.

Give Turbo users benefits in the games they play. IP and RP in League of Legends, skin giveaways, coupons for gaming sites (such as Amazon’s gaming department they are pushing hard), access to private livestream events and videos (coaching, early gameplay footage, etc).

Make the Turbo feature something people actually want rather than basically being a donate/support Twitch button.

Until the day Google or Mozilla go out of their way to ban Ad-block from their app stores, or the government makes it illegal forcing them offline, it will always exist. Reality is Ad-block is making a ton of money from large networks like Google paying them to be white-listed, if it was removed from app stores it would just popup somewhere else.

Yours sincerely,

A beloved user.

PS: Love you but hate you, Twitch TV.

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