It appears Twitch is planning to enable a pay-per-view option for certain streamers with a new subscriber-only broadcast option.
Twitter account @StreamerNews posted a tweet about a Twitch account named “hgg_cheering_test.” The tweet included a screenshot from HGG’s stream that showed an unfamiliar message: “hgg_cheering_test is streaming for subscribers. Your free preview ends in 03:50.”
The message also included basic info about the benefits of subscribing and concluded with, “watch and chat during subscriber-only streams.”
This apparent move toward a pay-per-view format was widely panned by Twitch users who felt it only benefited large streamers and tournament organizers, effectively offering no real advantage or benefit to viewers.
Based on the channel’s bits, the “HGG” in the channel’s title is suspected to be the acronym of Hearthstone Global Games, a tournament that pits players from different countries against each other.
One Reddit user said they completed a survey in November, which foreshadowed this move.
The user wrote, “I knew this day was coming… They were gauging interest on what kind of services on Twitch people would pay for and how much they would spend.”
The Reddit user included screenshots of the subscriber survey, which featured questions about DVR features allowing viewers to rewind live streams; private coaching lessons from pro gamers; ad-free viewing, a feature that was taken away from Twitch Prime; and subscriber-only streams and videos.
Another element of disdain for the apparent incoming feature relates to risqué streamers. These streamers, which are incredibly polarizing among Twitch viewers, are perceived to wear revealing clothing in order to encourage viewers to donate or subscribe.
A segment of the Twitch community have speculated these streamers would attempt to broadcast racy content behind the paywall of a subscriber-only stream. And while some viewers are upset about this, the broadcasts would likely abide by the site’s terms of service.
No official statement has been made by Twitch, however it does appear that the implementation of this feature is more of a “when,” than an “if,” even with some fans’ outrage building.
If the Hearthstone Global Games will in fact be the first channel to host a subscriber-only stream, we could see the feature in action potentially as soon as May 31 when week three of the 2019 first season begins.