While streaming services like Netflix continue to lead the online video market, there is a robust contingent of user generated content sites, like YouTube and Twitch. But as these services become a mainstay in the industry — and in the lives of users — problems are starting to develop. One of the biggest problems is sponsored content and paid placement.
As we previously detailed, there’s an insidious trend in which video game companies try to get popular YouTube creators to give positive opinions about their products. Sometimes, these deals have shady rules on how the campaign should be conducted. To wit, Twitch has decided to update its policies and user interface to make perfectly clear what is sponsored content — and what isn’t.
“Simply put: We want complete transparency and unwavering authenticity with all content and promotions that have a sponsor relationship,” an official blog post reads. Hopefully this means viewers will be able to tell which content is sponsored.
As for Twitch partners and influencers: “We have never and will never require positive sentiment or suppress negative sentiment via any influencer in any campaign.” This means that viewers can trust video creators. What’s more, they can trust the content in the video marketplace.
This may just be another step Twitch is taking toward legitimacy, as it did by silencing copyrighted content prior to the Amazon acquisition. Regardless of motive, it’s a positive step for the user-generated video industry, and for the Internet at large. Sponsored content is fine, the Twitch blog acknowledged, it just has to be disclosed properly.