Amazon's livestreaming platform Twitch has confirmed to GamesBeat that it has fired a number of its employees. According to Esports Industry Insider Rod "Slasher" Wroclaw Twitch is said to have cut more than 25 people from its Twitch studios and marketing teams – though the company did not confirm this number.
A spokesman for Twitch said in a statement that GamesBeat was told that the layoffs are a result of relocating resources to prioritize segments that are most dear to livestreamers and viewers.
Here's the full message from the Twitch spokesperson:
"The record-breaking numbers split In our 2017 retrospective, Twitch continues to grow and evolves with success stories from Overwatch League to Fortnite's groundbreaking streams to sustain this momentum We are aggressively pursuing a growth strategy for 2018 with a workforce growth of around 30 percent, and while we have team adjustments in some departments, we are focusing on priority areas that are most important to the community. "
So, Twitch plans to continue hiring, and a source told me that the company currently has 1,500 employees. But it could not bring people into specific groups in Twitch anymore. In a tweet, Slasher said the company told its employees it was "overburdened". And Twitch's commentary reflects that mood.
Twitch yesterday announced more than 25 people from Twitch Studios and community / marketing teams, including several high-profile employees who have been with Twitch since then, it said. People learned that Twitch had "overwhelmed" and this should be readjusted.
– Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 30, 2018
Twitch is in the midst of a growth spurt in terms of viewership. The Fortnite: Battle Royale phenomenon led to a record audience for certain streamers, including a specific program in which rapper Drake played the game live on the site. This has resulted in people appearing in large numbers, and it has also turned into a big payday for streamer. Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, who played with Drake, earns $ 500,000 a month from more than 200,000 subscribers. Each of these 5-dollar subscriptions costs $ 2.50 for Twitch and $ 2.50 for Ninja.
But many people do not pay anything extra. Instead, they use the Twitch Prime service, which gives each person who signs up an Amazon Prime account a subscription that they can use on each Twitch channel. Most of the $ 500,000 that Ninja generates each month comes from Twitch Prime subscriptions, and Amazon has to pay $ 2.50 to Streamer.
While this model creates massive incentives for creators to use Twitch, the company may see higher spending on its other products. Once a person subscribes to a Twitch Prime account, they may be spending real money on a standard $ 5 sub-subscription. Or maybe people will put money into the Twitch's bit tip system, which also costs it.
But as Twitch continues to experiment with its business model, it has less need to produce and market its own content. The company's streams are not nearly as popular as people like Ninja. And Twitch seems to be most interested in making these community creators bigger than anything else.