I’m not going to make any claims about how the future will look for Twitch if Article 13 goes through, and if it goes through there’s a bunch of question marks surrounding the issue.
What it does illustrate is how tightly tied a lot of Twitch streamers, and probably yours as well, are to Twitch itself. This goes no matter if or if not you’re in Europe. What I mean is that a lot of streamers careers rise and fall depending on the rise and fall of Twitch itself.
Ask yourself; what would happen if Twitch went away next month? Where would your stream go? Would your “digital imprint” still exist?
Far too many would really just disappear without any trace of ever existing outside of the Twitch ecosystem. While I doubt that Article 13 will be that it’s an impossible gamble to say that something might come along to make that theory a reality.
What can be done now?
Well first of all you should write or talk to your representative in your country if you’re in the EU. I do feel it’s an important step to take to ensure a free and open internet.
The second thing is to ensure that we’re not over reliant on Twitch as a platform or income source. Because if any of those goes away so does everything that’s built on there.
To further safeguard it’s important to start to build up your brand even outside of your Twitch channel. You’re on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook? Great! However, those are still not platforms that you own and control.
The benefits of owning your brand, and to an extent your future business, is that it’s not going anywhere unless you decide to remove or move it. You have the control just like the perceived idea that you have full control of your Twitch stream (you don’t).
Build something, anything
Website, community, etc. It’s really anything that’s decentralized away from Twitch, that you can have more control over. It’s all about having some place where you can collect or push traffic. Something that you even can move if needed. But at the end of the day it’s all about taking back control over the survival of your brand, and its future. While it might sound as if it’s a non issue just imagine if Article 13 has the worst outcome possible and there’s only a limited version of Twitch in Europe. Don’t care since you’re not in the EU? How many of your viewers are from the EU? What if they no longer can see the content that you want to make?
There’s of course the added benefit of being able to show the full force of your brand to other brands, companies or your own viewers. You’re able to take control over the experience that a viewer, or brand, get before or after they’ve interacted with you.
This is not about moving away from Twitch. It’s about safeguarding your own future so no matter what outside factor might come along you can still operate and communicate in more than just social media.
I’m happy to be back and writing again. The output will probably be less but still have the same impact. You’ll probably notice a shift in my Twitch related business as well, just as this article says, I wanted to build something that will be stable in the future as well. My aim now is to transform the way Twitch streamers think about branding rather than creating branding assets.