Asmongold: Viewership fixation is unhealthy for Twitch

"It's really cringe."

Screengrab via YouTube.com/Asmongold

Asmongold is by far the most-watched World of Warcraft streamer on Twitch, he told his audience today the obsession with viewer numbers isn’t good for the platform.

Going through chat logs of people who were banned in his channel, Asmongold was doing one of his regular stream activities by allowing people to try to appeal being banned in his channel.

Along with filling out a google form, people who applied to be unbanned were vetted on stream by none other than Asmongold himself, who reviewed each person’s chat logs to scrutinize their application.

For one particular appeal, an Asmongold viewer was banned after making a joke about Asmongold’s viewer count at the beginning of a stream before a lot of his audience had filed into the channel.

While Asmongold unbanned that viewer, he explained what his thought process is about chatters who talk about view count and why he and his moderators aren’t a fan of people posting about viewership.

“I don’t really like people who like to talk shit about streamers’ viewer counts,” Asmon said. “It’s really cringe. … I do think the focus and fixation that viewers have on view count makes streamers feel like it’s really important, and because streamers feel like it’s really important, it discourages creative pursuits on Twitch, and people taking risks and doing different types of content.”

Asmon, in particular, has grown his stream to be one of the top 10 most-watched channels on Twitch in the past year, and while a large part of that is due to a higher than average volume of WoW-related content, his success is about more than that. 

For some content creators who are still working on developing their brand, changing things up, like Asmon is known to do, isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Some smaller streamers are working to build their viewership to be partnered and others who are already partnered might be trying to do what they can to turn their hobby into a full-time job.

When those types of streamers are at the mercy of their viewers, the daunting task of maintaining and building viewership can be exacerbated by Twitch trolls talking about how many people are watching them.

This makes it so that oftentimes a streamer will plan streams more conservatively without thinking outside of the box to develop content that people didn’t even realize they wanted to see.

“They don’t want to lose viewers, and have their viewers shit on them for it,” he said. “I actually think that it’s very unhealthy for the website in a number of ways.”

While Asmon didn’t go into more detail, he said that the complexity of the topic is such that he might ultimately have to make a video on YouTube or Twitter to fully dive into it.