Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar is the second Twitch streamer to leave the platform this week to broadcast exclusively on YouTube. Betar announced his departure from Twitch on Twitter Wednesday. Ben “DrLupo” Lupo announced Monday that he, too, was leaving the platform.
“We’re building the best gaming platform in the world for creators, publishers, & gamers,” YouTube head of gaming Ryan Wyatt wrote on Twitter, referencing Betar’s move to YouTube. Betar is leaving behind seven million followers on Twitch to join a growing community of exclusive gaming streamers, like Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter and Jack “CouRage” Dunlop.
Betar told Insider that the deal with YouTube will give him more flexibility in streaming, and allow him to spend more time with his family. Lupo spoke similarly about the exclusivity deal in an interview with The Washington Post.
“Family time is crazy important, [as is] reducing the amount of pressure, because mental health is crazy important,” Lupo said in the interview, adding that he spent years streaming for 60-70 hours per week. “Everybody’s just trying to secure the bag, right? There’s no shame in that. That’s literally why everybody gets up and goes to work, right? So of course, the financial situation that YouTube presented me without a doubt is like, you know, I’m secure for life. Everybody’s trying to get to that point. Why would I say no to that?”
Twitch has long been ubiquitous as the go-to place for video game streamers, but that’s changing. In past years, streamers left the platform in droves, lured out by exclusivity deals at other platforms. In 2019, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins — one of Twitch’s biggest stars — left the platform for Mixer. (When Mixer shuttered, Blevins returned to Twitch.) Twitch is still the most-watched streaming site, and by a lot, according to a Streamlabs report. But, it seems, streamers are prioritizing something other than sheer viewership numbers — be it money, more time off, or more personalized involvement in the platform.
The latest string of departures from the platform comes as Twitch streamers are opting out of streaming for a day in a movement labeled with the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch. While some of Twitch’s larger-scale streamers, like Betar, may have had more personalized support from Twitch, others are frustrated by a lack of action on the company’s part, following a wave of “hate raids” to different channels. In these hate raids, a chat is flooded with offensive rhetoric, with bots taking over chats with hundreds of racist, sexist, and transphobic messages. Twitch said it’s working on a fix, but streamers don’t see it as enough.
Many of Twitch’s largest streamers have not acknowledged the action — for instance, Blevins is streaming currently to more than 15,000 viewers.
Betar’s departure, of course, is unrelated to the Twitch blackout, but it’s a notable departure on an important day for the company. Streamers, across all levels, are looking for other options.