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Why should you think twice before using ads on your stream

Chrissy Berickon November 17, 2019

As a streamer, you’re always on the lookout for new ways to generate money from your stream, and running Ads are one of the most proven ways to do so. Streamers on Twitch, for example, get access to the Ads tool once they obtain the Twitch Partner status.

What are Ads

Ads on streaming platforms are similar to the ones you see on TV and in other media sources. Advertisers pay platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Mixer to have their videos shown before and during streams, usually to promote a service or a product.

In Streaming, the streamer is in charge once they have the partnership status and they can decide whether the Ad will show when the viewers first lands on their channel. Furthermore, Streamers also have the ability to run ads mid-stream (Twitch calls them “mid-roll ads”, but the feature is notoriously known as the “Ad Button”.)

Do Ads negatively impact viewership?

The golden question, often asked by streamers is – “will Ads negatively affect my viewership count?”

And the answer to that question is a decisive… maybe.

But seriously, there is no definite answer simply because Ads are only a tool, but the impact will be based on how you use that tool.

The bottom line to realize is that for a Streamer, your viewers are there to watch your content, and ad videos are simply not that. That’s why, if your stream is more ads than content, you may see significant losses in viewership.

However, that doesn’t mean Ads shouldn’t be used. When done right, Ads gives the Streamer an opportunity to make money during breaks without losing a single viewer.

How to use Ads without losing viewers

There are various ways to use Ads on your stream in a way that is natural and feels right for the viewers.

To do that, you may wish to understand the involved technicalities of running Ads on twitch – head over to our full guide to running Ads on your stream.

Basically, ad breaks can be between 30 seconds and three minutes long. The streamer is the one who decides when to activate the Ads and for how long. The revenue generated by the Ads are directly based on how many people watched it.

The best way to run Ads without losing revenue is by communicating naturally to the viewers. Express to them that these Ads support you, and if you’re a Twitch Partner, you may also activate Ad-free experience for Subscribers. That way, by running Ads you create more value for your subscription, and also allow those viewers who do not have the financial ability to contribute through subscriptions or donations, back your stream in another way for free.

Another thing to keep in mind is, that not all viewers will see the same Ads. Among other things, Ads are determined based on each viewer, and some viewers who watch the stream using a PC may have an Ad-Block installed, which will block the Ads.

How many Ads should I run during a session?

The golden rule regarding the quantity of Ads during one stream is that there isn’t a golden rule, simply because it’s really up to you and your audience.

Generally speaking, the community that came to see your stream are not interested in Ads, but rather in your content; With that in mind, they would gladly wait a few minutes of Ad break while you get refreshments to continue watching your content.

However, using Ads too much or too out-of-context (like during big Fights or important in-game moments) will ruin the viewing experience, and may directly result in viewers leaving the stream.

To conclude, Ads can be a one of the revenue sources available for a Streamer as a regular income source. Using them right will maximize your Revenues and might even increase the value of your other revenue-generating products, like Subscriptions. However, using them too much, or too out-of-context, will lead to decrease in viewership.

Lastly, keep in mind that your viewership number is the most important metric that is directly connected to the sums of revenue you can generate, so you must make sure this number always increases, even if that means using less Ads. Eventually, this number represents the people who are interested in you and your content; invest in their trust and interest, and you’ll continue to grow and generate more revenue, and remember: building trust and interest takes time, but ruining it is just a matter of pressing a button.