After his highly publicised and extremely lucrative move from Twitch to YouTube, Ludwig Ahgren has fallen foul of a curious problem related to the difference in the two sites and how they handle copyright claims, one that has rather taken the shine off his big announcement. In his own words, Ludwig “didn’t realise I actually have to make content on this website, I can't just react f---ing anymore, I keep getting banned…”.
The quote, given to Hasan Abi, ironically while Hasan was live on Twitch, sums up the difference between the sites, and how they deal with copyright issues. While Twitch is incredibly reactive for the most part, happy to deal with problems after the fact, Ludwig’s work on YouTube seems to be getting far more actively and heavily moderated, leading to at least two bans since his move from Twitch.
The bans relate to live streams where Ahgren was watching other content while ‘reacting’ to it, a common practice among Twitch streamers. The reason this is so different on YouTube is their active Content ID system, developed by owners Google, that looks for and bans in real time streams that are playing content already uploaded by other channels. If you are pinged under this system, your stream can be taken offline, even without the creator being aware.
According to Ludwig, the likes of Hasan, Mizkif and xQc could not make the same switch for this reason, something Hasan was quick to dismiss as ‘literally not true’, but his predicament does somewhat expose the amount of semi-original, or react content some ‘creators’ rely on. Twitch is happy to broadcast hours of people watching other videos and claiming their reactions are ‘transformative’, while YouTube asks their creators to, well, create instead.
This is an important issue for Ludwig, as most contracts require the creator to hit certain benchmarks for streaming in order to be fulfilled, and not being able to easily top up your hours watching other people’s work could make that harder. Other creators like Valkyrae are in that boat already, with the 100Thieves owner recently reflecting on that problem on Twitter, stating she needs some 200 hours of streaming in the next month to fulfill her own obligations.
One slightly curious aspect of the situation is who, if anyone, is to blame for what has occurred. While Ludwig’s ascent on Twitch was incredible, it was mainly built on his streaming for long periods, with chunks of his famous subathon even dedicated to just watching him while he slept. YouTube have previously signed creators like Dr Disrespect and Tim the Tat Man, who are known for their gameplay, which is not something you could confidently say of Ludwig.
Likewise Ludwig was already active on YouTube, uploading video content and stream highlights, meaning he must have had some prior knowledge of the differing standards across the two sites. What is for sure is that future talent choosing to take the money to leave Twitch will need to be mindful of the different standards required on other sites in future, or risk the same embarrassing start as Ludwig to life on a new platform.