Ads are important on Twitch in the same way they’re important on any website that relies on advertisers for revenue. (Hello from Vox Media.) But it is a war. Ad-blockers keep websites ad-free, and then the sites themselves innovate around the blockers. Escalation is the norm.
It’s also the background for the current ad-based controversy on the streaming site. Twitch pushed an update that broke uBlock, a popular ad-blocker. UBlock users were suddenly greeted with a pop-up noting that they may be using a third-party tool or browser extension that “is impacting site performance” every 10 or 20 minutes — a little like a site-triggered midroll ad.
A spokesperson from Twitch told me that users were getting that specific pop-up because the tool they’re using is manipulating the site code. This person stressed that the midroll experiment was over and added that Twitch hadn’t actually changed the overall ad density