The live streaming platform Twitch has reportedly made changes to its internal API code to add a Brand Safety Score for all its individual streamers – as revealed by cybersecurity researcher Daylam Tayari who posted screenshots on his Twitter handle. The score will rate how “brand friendly every streamer is based on things like chat behaviour, ban history, manual ratings by Twitch staff, games played, age, automod and more”.
In the screenshots of the code shared, the score is referenced in relation to ads. Advertisers can use the ‘Brand Safety Score’ as a metric for picking streamers to collaborate. Currently one of the primary ways marketers work with streamers on Twitch is through the site’s bounty board – where streamers can choose from a list of brand deals by playing games or watching videos with their audience for an automatic payout.
A Twitch spokesperson said, “We are exploring ways to improve the experience on Twitch for viewers and creators, including efforts to better match the appropriate ads to the right communities. User privacy is critical on Twitch, and, as we refine this process, we will not pursue plans that compromise that priority. Nothing has launched yet, no personal information was shared, and we will keep our community informed of any updates along the way.”
Allowing marketers to match their ads with the right audience is an acceptable practice on the web. This is especially useful for content that’s meant for a mature audience. For example, an alcohol brand would only choose to advertise on channel if the streamer is 21 years or older.
If we go by what the proposed code says, the factors which decide a streamer’s Brand Safety score are as follows;
- Streamer’s age
- Streamer’s ban history, with reason for any suspensions
- Streamer’s relationship with Twitch
- Automod and the automod level
- A manual rating by Twitch staff
- Partnership status
- Age rating of game being played
- Stream set to ‘mature’ or not
Whether the streaming platform chooses to continue with this or not, is something that we will have to wait and see.