Jean Fang

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Amazon’s Twitch is the leader of the video game streaming market, controlling 76% of this market in the Americas and Europe. The video gaming market is rapidly expanding, exceeding its entertainment counterparts, including music and film, by wide margins in profits; experts valued the global gaming market at $229.39 billion in 2022 and expect it to grow to $401.32 billion by 2027. Amazon paid $1 billion to acquire Twitch in 2014 in a business move to capture the views of the gaming audience; on Twitch, popular streamers broadcast themselves playing video games to thousands of devoted fans. Based on recent controversies that have made the news, Twitch’s updated streamer contracts as of 2022 and its nature as a livestreaming platform cause complications with its Terms of Service, revenue split, and protection of both streamers and viewers, resulting in legal ramifications. This paper seeks to identify streamers’ key complaints about their updated contracts and compare their offers from other streaming sites to understand what prompts streamer migration from a content creator standpoint. Additionally, this article explores how Twitch can modify its streaming contracts through changes in payment terms, safety regulations, and website usage arrangement to better appeal to both content creators and their audiences. Through examination of the Twitch streamer contract and Terms of Service agreement, this paper will recognize potential weaknesses in the protection of streamers’ rights and profits that can lead to future lawsuits or legal trouble if not addressed.

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