Last week, Twitch banned one of its top streamers — Guy Beahm, better known as Dr Disrespect — for broadcasting from a public bathroom at E3. The ban now puts Twitch in a tricky position: Twitch needs to show that violating the company’s guidelines comes with real punishment, but a lengthy suspension means losing one of the platform’s biggest stars to competitors, like YouTube.
Beahm is one of Twitch’s most popular streamers, with more than 3.2 million followers and approximately 20,000 paid subscribers, according to analytics firm SocialBlade. Subscribers pay at least $5 per month, which Twitch typically takes a 50 percent cut of, while non-subscribers are served with ads before the stream kicks in, with Twitch earning the majority of revenue when they play. Losing Beahm means losing viewers and subscription revenue that Twitch can’t easily redirect the way YouTube might just autoplay on a different person’s video.