Twitch is constantly trying out different advertising techniques. The latest innovation comes in the form of “multiplayer ads”, an interactive video ad which the streamer can trigger when they choose. It’s currently being trialed, before potentially rolling out wider.
What Are Multiplayer Ads?
Twitch has introduced a new form of advertising that it’s amusingly dubbing “multiplayer ads”, a name that makes them sound more exciting than they really are.
Multiplayer ads are currently in closed beta and are only available to streamers who have been invited to test them.
When these ads run on a stream, they will look much like any other ad you usually see on Twitch. However, once it has finished, you will get the option to participate in a poll.
Voting on this poll rewards the streamer with bits. This is Twitch’s virtual currency, where 1 bit equals 1 cent. The more people who vote, the more bits the streamer receives.
Ordinarily, bits have to be purchased by the user and then given to the streamer as a way of supporting them. In multiplayer ads, the viewer doesn’t pay anything—the bits come directly from the pockets of Twitch.
If you are a subscriber or Twitch Turbo member, you “may not” see these multiplayer ads. That wording comes from the multiplayer ads support page, suggesting that the ad-free benefit usually enjoyed by these groups won’t always apply here.
For now, multiplayer ads will only show for desktop users. Mobile users will begin seeing them in early December 2020.
How Do Multiplayer Ads Work for Streamers?
If you are a streamer who has access to multiplayer ads, you can run them from your Creator Dashboard by clicking the run ad quick action button. The associated poll will also appear on your screen.
You can’t endlessly run these types of ads, as they are in limited supply, though Twitch hasn’t specified the exact number.
According to The Verge, multiplayer ads will pay out twice—once for the traditional CPMs, and again for any bits collected through the poll.
If you have feedback on multiplayer ads, whether you are a streamer or a viewer, you can submit it via Twitch UserVoice.
Twitch Is Experimenting With Different Ads
Multiplayer ads are just one of the new type of ads that Twitch is experimenting with. In September 2020, to some controversy, the site introduced automated and mandatory mid-roll ads that streamers have no control over.