Twitch over the last decade has risen to prominence throughout the internet specifically in the gaming community. This article focusses primarily on the research of Taylor (2018) and Lin et al. (2019) which outline ‘Twitch’s’ (https://www.twitch.tv/) features as a platform and how they impact their audience. Using this research as a base a comparison between ‘Twitch’ and previous entertainment medias is used to argue that streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ have changed the relationship between creators and fan communities empowering them by, requiring creators to interact with their community to succeed, integrating fan communities into content production, and enabling fan communities to have a greater influence over the content they receive.
When a large societal change occurs, it is often theorised by scholars that the change will result in the erosion of community and the rise of the internet is no exception (Hampton & Wellman, 2018). While communities with the rise of the internet have changed in many ways this is not necessarily negative which can be seen in the flourishing of communities such as fan communities in the digital space. The rise of peer-to-peer streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ have played a large role in the flourishing of fan communities providing a platform that encourages the empowerment of fan communities. In contrary to the arguments that community is eroded by the internet outlined by Hampton and Wellman (2018) the emergence of streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ has changed the relationship between creators and fan communities empowering them by, requiring creators to interact with their community to succeed, integrating fan communities into content production, and enabling fan communities to have a greater influence over the content they receive.
Streamers and their Community
Through the research of Taylor (2018), Sjöblom et al. (2019) and Lin et al. (2019) ‘Twitch’ can be understood as a live video broadcasting platform that utilises aspects of social media platforms to create a participatory experience. It is important to note that with the unique qualities of being a celebrity on a streaming platform such as ‘Twitch’ it has become the norm within both audiences and researchers such as Sjöblom et al. (2019) and Lin et al. (2019) to refer to them as streamers rather than celebrities. It is discussed by Taylor (2018) that streamers on ‘Twitch’ are primarily funded by direct donations from their viewers rather than advertisements. As a result, streamers are encouraged to engage with and grow their fan community to maintain a steady income (Taylor, 2018). Streamers engage with and grow their community primarily through the live chat featured alongside the video broadcast on ‘Twitch’ which allows them to generate discussion within their audience as well as answer users’ questions and donations in real time (Taylor, 2018). This in comparison to fan communities of the past increases the interaction between the creator and audience.
Fan communities before platforms such as ‘Twitch’ as discussed by Leaver (2008) and Cavicchi (2011) where far more separated from the creators with fans creating their own magazines, newsletters, and conventions while producers provided commentaries and interviews to provide interaction with their fan communities. While this shows that there was still interaction between fan communities and the creators it was to a much lower degree than what is seen on ‘Twitch’. The segmented discussions that once took place in semi-private spaces such as newsletters discussed by Cavicchi (2011) that where often out of sight to creators have been collected and moved into the public chats of streams being put directly into the view of streamers who create the content (Taylor, 2018). In doing so the discussions are not only made visible to streamers but as discussed by Taylor (2018) and Lin et al. (2019) need and are expected to be interacted with if a streamer wishes to succeed in monetising their audience. This overall results in a greater importance being given to the audience and their ideas empowering the impact of their appreciation and concern in the creation of the product. This has led into the increased integration of fan communities into content production seen on ‘Twitch’.
Integrating Audience and Content
When observing streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ their most unique feature is the live chat accompanying the video which enables live input from the audience (Lin et al., 2019; Taylor, 2018 ). The chat on ‘Twitch’ as outlined in Lin et al. (2019) is located next to the video broadcast and provides a scrolling text feed where fans can send messages and use emojis created by streamers to engage with each other and the streamer functioning similarly to a crowd at a live event such as a concert. Lin et al. (2019) uses comparison to traditional spectator events such as sports or concerts where it is frowned up for the audience to individually address the creators to illustrate the degree of uniqueness provided by the live chat. By encouraging audience-performer discussion alongside the traditional audience-audience discussion an environment is created that encourages a participatory community where streamers integrate their audience into the production of the stream (Lin et al., 2019; Taylor, 2018 ). Many examples of how fan communities are integrated into the stream content can be seen within the streams of Ludwig Ahgren (2021) with fan integration ranging from simple changes such as the fan’s name appearing on screen to the fan being able to play a game with the streamer live or the audience being able to vote on decisions made in a game. Another example of how the fan community can be integrated into the content is discussed by Lin et al. (2019) where some games through ‘Twitch’ plugins allow fans to change elements of the game itself to challenge or aid the streamer. These examples when compared to the involvement of fan communities in entertainment of the past allows for an increased degree of fan engagement.
The ways in which fan communities predating platforms such as ‘Twitch’ engaged in creating content is discussed by Price and Robinson (2017), Myer and Tucker (2007) and Cavicchi (2011) fans would produce content such as fan magazines, newsletters, conventions, music videos and fan fiction. These examples of fan community content where inherently separate to the original piece of content produced by the creators as they were being made by the fans themselves (Cavicchi, 2011). The observable difference between fan involvement in content production before and after streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ is that before fan’s produced only their own content that was separate to the official content, meanwhile after as discussed by Taylor (2018) and Lin et al. (2019) fans have increasingly been involved in the creation of the official content. This as a result has increased the influence of fan communities on the content they consume while as outlined by Taylor (2018) enhancing the overall entertainment and social experience of engaging in the fan community. The improvements previously mentioned have collectively empowered the fan community which has led to fan communities current state where they have a large and immediate influence over the content they consume and the creators who produce it.
Influence of the Community
As discussed in the first two sections ‘Twitch’ as a platform has empowered fan communities by bringing their discussions into the streamers’ immediate view and involving them in the creation of content (Lin et al., 2019; Taylor, 2018). With this empowerment of fan communities, they gain a large influence over the content and creators themselves. It is discussed by Lin et al. (2019) that as streamers grow increasing the size of their community, they become locked into the type of performance that they provide as their community comes to expect a certain type of product. These expectations combined with the live nature of streaming give the fan community the ability to quickly use their influence to change the content of a stream because as discussed by Taylor (2018) and Lin et al. (2019) contributions from the community not only play a large roll in funding the stream but also largely benefit the enjoyment of the stream that is derived from its social aspects. This means that the community when displeased by the provided content or the creator themselves can decide to not provide both monetary support and engagement which when considering the research of Lin et al. (2019) and Taylor (2018) could greatly decrease a streams quality and viewership by withdrawing features that are integral to the experience, therefore directly decreasing the streamer’s income. This combined with the fan community’s ability to utilise the live chat as discussed by Lin et al. (2019) to show their displeasure towards the current content allows the community to pressure the creator to change their content or themselves to the fans desire or suffer a loss to their income. Using the streamer Sanchovies (2021) as an example, he is known for playing the video game ‘League of Legends’ which he built his content around and that is therefore expected by his community. It can be seen when observing his viewership that when he does not play ‘League of Legends’ he loses large amounts of viewers which as a result means that he rarely varies from the game to maintain his income (Sanchovies, 2021). This shows how fan communities in theory can utilise the influence they are provided by ‘Twitch’ to alter the content they receive. This in comparison to fan communities before ‘Twitch’ enables fan communities to have a quicker and stronger influence over the content they receive.
Fan communities before streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ as discussed in the previous sections where primarily separate from the creators of content and the original content itself because they where often semi-private groups that were not immediately visible to the creators (Cavicchi, 2011; Myer & Tucker, 2007; Price & Robinson, 2017). This as a result removes the majority of the fan communities influence over the content because they firstly are not integral to its production and secondly their comments are not immediately visible to the creators. This along with older medias not being a live production results in communities only having a small influence over the content they receive as it has already been produced before community feedback is provided. This is the most prominent of the observed differences between fan communities before and after ‘Twitch’ because as discussed by Taylor (2018) and Lin et al. (2019) the level of community engagement provided by streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ are not replicated in other media.
In conclusion streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ have changed the relationship between creators and fan communities empowering them by making engaging with fan communities integral to success, involving fan communities in the content production process, and providing fan communities with a larger influence on the types of content they receive. This empowerment of fan communities presents a contrary perspective to those highlighted in the research of Hampton and Wellman (2018) as it shows that the internet has the capability to not only change communities but, in some cases, make them stronger.
Ahgren, L. (2021, April 4). Ludwig. Twitch. https://www.twitch.tv/ludwig
Cavicchi, D. (2011, July 31). Fandom Before the Internet: The Fan Club Directory. The Ardent Audience. http://theardentaudience.blogspot.com/2011/07/fandom-before-internet-fan-club.html
Hampton, K. N. & Wellman, B. (2018). Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media. Contemporary sociology, 47(6), 643-651. https://doi.org/10.1177/0094306118805415
Leaver, T. (2008). Watching Battlestar Galactica in Australia and the Tyranny of Digital Distance. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, (126), 145-154. https://doi.org/10.1177/1329878X0812600115
Lin, J. H. T., Bowman, N., Lin, S. F., & Chen, Y. S. (2019). Setting the digital stage: Defining game streaming as an entertainment experience. Entertainment Computing, 31(1), 100309. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.entcom.2019.100309
Meyer, M. & Tucker, M. (2007). Textual Poaching and Beyond: Fan Communities and Fandoms in the Age of the Internet. The review of communication, 7(1), 103-116. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/15358590701211357
Price, L. & Robinson, L. (2017). ‘Being in a knowledge space’: Information behaviour of cult media fan communities. Journal of information science, 43(5), 649-664. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551516658821
Sanchovies. (2021). Sanchovies. Twitch. https://www.twitch.tv/sanchovies
Sjöblom, M., Törhönen, M., Hamari, J., & Macey, J. (2019). The ingredients of Twitch streaming: Affordances of game streams. Computers in human behavior, 92(1), 20-28. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.chb.2018.10.012
Taylor, T. L. (2018). Twitch and the Work of Play. American Journal of Play, 11(1). 65-84. https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/2166298203?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo
24 thoughts on “Twitch.TV, Empowering Fan Communities”
Reading this from a twitch streamer’s perspective it was very fun and insightful to read! The statement you mentioned regarding the power a fan community holds is actually something I never thought about since I’m only a part-time streamer. This sheds light to how scary it can be being a full time streamer, since majority of a steamer’s income comes from the “fan community” they’d automatically feel a lot of pressure to shape themselves into what the fan community wants to see and hear. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ve seen a lot of streamers who get burnt out from putting out content which directly impacts their source of income.
My question to you is (if you are a streamer yourself), How do you avoid getting burnt out from content creation? Do you feel extra pressured not knowing how much your monthly income will be?
(If you are a casual twitch viewer) What are your thoughts on the current hot topic of “Hot tub streamers”?
Hope you’re doing well. I’ve really enjoyed reading your paper as I am a frequent user of Twitch in the gaming world. I agree with your conclusion where you mentioned “‘Twitch’ have changed the relationship between creators and fan communities empowering them by making engaging with fan communities integral to success, involving fan communities in the content production process, and providing fan communities with a larger influence on the types of content they receive”. With the growing of streamers in other platform such as Facebook. Will this impact Twitch’s performance?
Feel free to read my paper regarding how social media can help individuals who are suffering with mental illness: https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2021/2021/04/28/how-social-media-such-as-twitter-and-discord-can-help-individuals-with-mental-illness-and-build-communities-online/
Thanks for the feedback, In regards to your question while it is hard to say definitively so far these platforms have failed to put a noticeable dent in ‘Twitch’s’ viewership. In the future an impact in the viewership may occur through deals such as those seen with then likes of ‘Ninja’ and ‘DrDisrespect’ as they have previously shown to have at least a noticeable impact.
I hope you are doing well. Thank you for your paper, I commend you for your thorough work on this topic. Twitch has definitely improved the gaming community by ensuring that it is made mainstream.
However, I would have really liked it you’d talk more on the monetary aspect of how streamers since you mentioned gamers, are using this platform to make income.
I read you mentioned on how their income can be decreased by low contents etc. Do you think there are still Twitch streamers who are not skilled at the game they play but are still “famous”? Do you think there are still some streamers using this platform in the wrong ways to gain money?
There are many streamers, mainly females, who like to flaunt their body and make it sort of a “softporn” to make money while playing games despite having low gaming skills. What are your thoughts on this? Is it fair compared to other streamers who try to create original contents?
I would love to hear back from you!
Thanks for the feedback, I’ll do my best to answer your points here:
Firstly on the monetary aspect, I chose not to talk in depth on this as I believed that it was not of great importance to the overall discussion of community although I do believe that especially with the short length of the paper I could have incorporated a deeper discussion of the monetary aspects of being a streamer especially to further illustrate the power this provides the audience.
It is shown in papers such as that of Sjöblom et al. (2017) as well as observation of ‘Twitch’ itself that there are many genres on ‘Twitch’ where it is not necessary for a streamer to be good at the games they play. It is also discussed by Lin et al. (2019) that there are many aspects other than skill that draw viewers to streams such as the parasocial relationships created between a streamer and their audience.
In regards to weather some methods of gaining money through the platform are wrong I believe that this in the end comes down to the morals of who you ask as if it is being allowed on the platform it is not wrong at least in regards to the platforms rules. To keep this answer short without going into specifics I do believe that morally some methods used on the platform are questionable at best.
In regards to you final point about how females may sexualise themselves on ‘Twitch’. Personally I don’t have a problem with the practice itself as it is well within the right of an individual to dress as they please. Where I believe this does become a problem is in the fact that ‘Twitch’ is a platform targeted largely at children with users being able to make accounts from the age of 13 suggesting this content may be better suited to platforms with an older target audience. On the question of fairness I don’t believe that this is unfair and their is another paper within the conference that I would suggest reading to further understand this in particular.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to discuss these points relating to ‘Twitch’ as a whole.
Other conference paper: https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2021/2021/05/08/its-not-just-about-the-looks-sincerely-from-all-the-girls-in-the-gaming-industry
Sjöblom, M., Törhönen, M., Hamari, J., & Macey, J. (2017) Content structure is king: An empirical study on gratifications, game genres and content type on Twitch. Computers in human behavior, 73(1), 161-171, https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.chb.2017.03.036
Lin, J. H. T., Bowman, N., Lin, S. F., & Chen, Y. S. (2019). Setting the digital stage: Defining game streaming as an entertainment experience. Entertainment Computing, 31(1), 100309. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.entcom.2019.100309
This is a pretty thorough description of Twitch and how it functions that
“It is discussed by Lin et al. (2019) that as streamers grow increasing the size of their community, they become locked into the type of performance that they provide as their community comes to expect a certain type of product.”
Perhaps this is an issue of small sample size, but I proceeded to check out the views on a Twitch streamer I follow. (Backup of Twitch streams – I can’t find any viewer numbers on Twitch.)
Under that logic, you’d expect that he’d have an obvious difference in views between his “core” content, and that which deviates from it, but I have to say it doesn’t appear that way. Generally, it does better, but then sometimes it doesn’t. The “same product” can cause a video to vary by hundreds of thousands of views.
Does your reading give you much of an insight on this behavior, or not?
Thanks for introducing me to the concept of Twitch, something I haven’t used before and will definitely check out. As an avid music lover, I find myself seeking out fan communities of certain bands to discuss their music and general fandom. At the moment I am part of a Facebook group for the UK band Idles official community called AF Gang that is endorsed by the band, so there is also an element of advantage to it being official by way of hearing first about new music, tours, appearances etc. I do find that often the members steer away from the discussion of the music and leverage the group of seemingly like minded individuals to discuss personal and political issues. Do the fan communities on Twitch blur the line between a fandom group with a common interest and a general online community also?
To answer your question I do believe that there is some influx of outside discussion into ‘Twitch’ streams focussed on gaming although I do think that it would be to a lower degree than that you have discussed occuring in platforms such as ‘Facebook’ due to the more fluid nature of the ‘Twitch’ chat that makes individual comments become less noticed therefore somewhat drowning said political issues in the other non related noise. From personal experience on the platform the influx of these conversations usually occurs during large controversies or events such as an election.
On the other hand some fandoms intentionaly blur the line between outside issues and gaming such as the fandom of ‘HasanAbi’ (https://www.twitch.tv/hasanabi) who intentionally mixes gaming and political comentary.
I enjoyed reading your paper and I think you very clearly presented your own perspective on the topic being discussed. I agree that Twitch as a platform opens the door for the development of incredible online communities. I have found Twitch communities to be very loyal and personally not experience any toxic ones. This could be thanks to good moderation on the platform.
The live chat feature is what drives streaming in my opinion. Without this feature available people wouldn’t be as drawn to live-streaming since the engagement aspect is largely what people find attractive. It massively boosts the sense of inclusiveness, where the presenter can engage directly in a live setting with specific individuals. Furthermore, people who are part of Twitch online communities remain loyal to a presenter and will return to watch their streams. In comparison, I’ve noticed that most live streams on platforms like Instagram and TikTok attract a less consistent viewer audience.
You’ve written a great paper, and brought to light some valuable points, in your argument against Hampton and Wellton.
Well done Brodie.
Thanks for the kind feedback, I agree with you discussion of the importance of the live chat with it being the primary feature differentiating streaming from other media forms. This opion is also largely reflected in the majority of papers I referenced in the paper.
Great work on your paper, While I knew about Twitch’s existence, I am not active on the platform or the community. I thought your paper did a great job of educating me on the interesting element occurring in this digital space.
Your points about the empowerment of fans and the audience are really fascinating. The television industry is becoming increasingly shaped more and more by online fan engagement, but nowhere near with the immediacy and interactivity of what you have pointed out here. It’s interesting that the digitalization of media content continues to blur the lines between producers and audience increasingly. Your point here that the Twitch audience is becoming part of the performance really illustrates this in real-time. Digital audiences really do hold greater power to shape content.
I really enjoy learning about Twitch through this paper – Well done Brodie.
Thanks for the kind words, I agree that ‘Twitch serves as a prominent example of the bluring of audience and content that is facilitated widely by digitisation. I’m glad that my paper allowed you to learn about ‘Twitch’ as a platform.
Hey Brodie! Thanks for a brilliant paper, it peaked my interest as I have yet to utlilise this platform but my children already do. It helped me to gain a better insight to its functions and I can now tell my daughter that I understand her addiction to certain streamers. Understanding it better has challenged me to look further into this platform and find out if I can find my own fan community! I thought Munika Gukhool offered such an interesting perspective as a streamer, I had not thought to consider that aspect of Twitch. It’s fascinating how much interplay there is between being a sponsor to being a streamer. This much more personal connection (even assumed) is what really grows these communities, isn’t it?
I’m glad that my paper could provide some understanding of the platform that could be useful in understanding your daughters interests. I know personally the platform can be quite confusing to those who are not active users as I have found out when discussing the platform with my Dad. As for your question yes I would argue that the personal aspect of live streaming platforms such as ‘Twitch’ is the largest contributor to their appeal and growth.
Your paper was really engaging as I often watch twitch streams myself and a point that really resonated with me is the ability to donate directly to streamers and encouraging them to continue on the platform.
I personally think this is such a freeing way of supporting and contributing to content you love as a fan and you get to choose who you donate to unlike cable tv for instance, where you pay a monthly price for range of channels and you end up watching just half of them.
A bonus is that you are not alone and you can socialize in the live chat, as you mentioned!
I agree with your perspective on Twitch redefined the relationship between content creators and fans. Thank you for shedding light on this topic.
I appreciate your compliments regarding my paper.
I agree with your comments about how the method in which you can donate to streamers offers a much needed change in the way conumers can support creators as it allows individuals to better allocate their donations while recieving immediate gratitude from the creator themself.
Your paper immediately caught my attention since I am a Twitch affiliate. I totally agree with you that fans play a huge part in the success of a streamer. It can be really difficult for me to make a living on the platform if I don’t interact properly with chat. I don’t think am allowed to go in much detail so I won’t. While streaming, I found out that being personal with my chat works but ofcourse there are limits. What I mean by personal is calling them out when they come in like “Hey! I’m glad you stopped by! How was your day?” This keeps the engagement with the stream and sometimes I would invite them to play with me. Unfortunately, this has its downside since if I don’t set boundaries, they act like we’re friends and feel entitled to what kind of content I give. I found myself stuck playing one game once because of my audience which caused me to have a burnout as well as making me hate the game. It is such a tricky situation. If I do things that I love, I might not get as much views but if I do things they love, it might take a toll on my mental health.
I really enjoyed your paper. The fan community does hold a great power over streamer no matter how small or big they are on the platform.
Thanks for the input Munika I appreciate the insight you could provide as someone who themself has to utilise the platform to grow.
Your point about having to set boundaries with your viewers is quite an interesting topic when considering the relationship between a streamer and their audience. I had considered discussing this in the paper and belive it’s known as parasocial relationships.
I also found your points regarding the restrictions the fan community can create interesting as this could be an area that was further discussed in the paper.
As someone who has very recently started using Twitch to watch streamers play my favourite game, this paper immediately grabbed my attention. I really like how you incorporated comparisons between fan participation in gaming prior to streaming and participation now in the Twitch era. Magazines, newsletters, and fan fiction were quite isolated ways of participating in fan culture. The closest thing we had to the ‘liveness’ and connection of Twitch were gaming conventions, where people could play together in real time and connect with fellow gamers on a personal level. Though the money, effort, and organisation required to hold conventions meant they were few and far between. The beauty of Twitch is that it is easily accessible every single day, and allows for persistent connection between gamers. To me, Twitch is participatory culture at its best, where fans can share their gaming journey among each other, and spark meaningful discussion about the games they enjoy. It’s such a social way to experience gaming, which really challenges the notion that it’s an antisocial or isolating hobby. Thanks Brodie, I enjoyed learning from you!
I agree with you on the importance of the sociality involved with streaming and would myself argue that it is one of if not the most important aspects when observing the success of Twitch as a platform rivaled only by the participatory aspects of the site which you also mentioned in your comment.
I loved reading your paper!
I agree that fans are an integral part of Twitch communities, and without a fan base or regular viewers it can be guaranteed you will not grow on the website. I think this has definitely empowered viewers/fans because of this, but I also think this mentality has also created risks within the Twitch community.
The mentality that if a content creator I watch and donate money towards, suddenly plays a game I do not enjoy etc.. I can then withdraw my support and it would effect their income – has created hostile pockets within the communities. In certain cases it has manifested stalkers, threats etc.. because the viewer believes they are ‘owed’ something by the content creator.
For streamers like Ludwig etc… the threat of viewers leaving because of scenarios like this would probably not even be noticed but smaller or not as high profile it would definitely impact their finances if this was their primary source of income.
Definitely scary to think about that their are viewers out there believe they are owed something as they were integral to building the creators community.
The points made in your comment are important to consider when thinking of this topic because as you have discussed while platforms such as Twitch have empowered fan communities this has came with many downsides for the creators themselves.
I suspect that future scholarly research regarding Twitch now that a base library of research has been created will focus on the impacts of the platforms design many of which you have outlined.
Overall I agree that this element of Twitch is quite problematic which is why in the paper I tried to avoid outright listing it as a good thing and instead just showing it as an improvement from the fan perspective.
your report gave me a good understanding of the amount of control the fan community has regarding the production of content on Twitch. To be honest, I had no idea what Twitch was, so thank you. Your paper aligns with mine in discussing fandom communities but I would say that the Twitch fans have much more immediate control over the production of content. My paper* focuses on the music fandom community. While this community can have an influence regarding what artists are signed by record labels determined by the artist’s popularity on Social Network Sites and platforms, they don’t engage on such an intimate level with the recording artist to influence how their music is produced while in the production stage. Instead, they hold influence after the music has been produced. However, both fandom communities do have an impact on the revenue of the artist or streamer and are important in how content is ultimately produced and received by a wider audience, giving them a certain amount of power to make or break an artist or streamer.
Do you think that the Twitch fan community holds too much power in determining content? As you mentioned in your paper Sanchovies (2021) seems unable to move away from playing the ‘League of Legends’ game due to the demands of the fans which must hamper him in expanding and attracting new fans.
I’m happy that my paper was able to provide enough information for someone unfamiliar with the platform.
I’ll make sure to read your paper as similarly to your understanding of Twitch I have a very minimal understanding of how the music industry actually functions in regards to their fanbases although I suspect that there will be many similarities between the two.
In regards to your question I do believe that the amount of power that fan communities now hold on Twitch is to a degree problematic as while it has greatly benefited the communities it has shown to have many drawbacks for the creators themselves such as the point you discussed about streamers being restricted from expanding.
Thanks for your feedback I look forward to reading your paper.