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Twitch to Cease Operations in S. Korea, Underscoring Streaming Industry Challenges

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin / Unsplash

Seoul, South Korea - Twitch, the global game streaming platform owned by Amazon, has announced plans to cease operations in South Korea by February 27, 2024. 

The decision marks a significant shift in the digital streaming landscape and highlights the complexities of operating in international markets.

Why It Matters:

Twitch's exit from the South Korean market signals a notable global game streaming industry shift.

The move reflects the broader challenges of digital streaming services in adapting to different market conditions.

Twitch's departure has the potential to impact the South Korean streaming community and reshape the competitive landscape in the region.

The Key Points:

  • Operating costs: Twitch CEO Dan Clancy cited high operating costs in South Korea, including network fees that are reportedly ten times higher than in other countries, as the primary reason for the exit.
  • Market challenges: The South Korean game streaming market is growing and valued at about $114 billion, but Twitch has faced setbacks, including reduced video quality and the discontinuation of VOD services.
  • Competitive landscape: Market leaders such as Naver are preparing to launch its streaming platform, CHZZK.
  • Global strategy: In October 2022, Twitch revamped its revenue-sharing model with streamers globally, signaling broader strategic changes within the platform.
  • Industry reaction: There is skepticism about Twitch's reasons for leaving Korea, suggesting that the decision could be influenced by broader profitability concerns or Amazon's strategic positioning.

What They Say:

Industry observers have varying opinions on Twitch's exit from South Korea. 

Some believe high network fees are a significant factor, while others speculate on the overall profitability of the South Korean market and Twitch's strategic positioning within Amazon's broader business interests.

What Comes Next:

As Twitch prepares to exit the South Korean market, the focus is shifting to helping South Korean streamers find alternative platforms.

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