Twitch Creates “Hot tub” Category in Response to Controversy

This week Twitch announced that they have added a category for hot tub streamers. This comes in response to a growing controversy as the trend of “hot tub streaming” blew up on Twitch in recent weeks.

Over the past few months the “hot tub meta” has been a growing trend on the Amazon-owned Twitch Streaming platform. Streamers would wear bikinis and stream from kiddie pools or hot tubs. Sometimes streamers played games but mostly these were in the Just Chatting category. It became a way for the streamers known for pushing the envelope with sexually risque content to skirt the rules.

The popular Twitch streamer Amouranth quickly jumped in on the trend and topped the ‘Just Chatting’ category with her hot tub streams, and as more streamers joined in the category was overwhelmed with hot tubs, pools, beaches and other variations on the trend. At one point the streaming group OfflineTV held a group hot tub stream in celebration of Pokimane’s birthday.

This trend has drawn heavy controversy for the highly sexual nature of some streams. In response to this advertisers pushed Twitch to permanently demonetize Amouranth’s streams, meaning she can no longer run ads on her streams and get a share of the ad revenue. However, Amouranth is still a member of the Twitch Partner Program and can earn money through subscriptions and bit donations, and she is still able to promote her other social media including her OnlyFans.

Twitch’s announcement blog gives the official O.K. to hot tub streams as long as they are in the new category on the site. Some have found this move not to be a proper solution to the problem, as it leaves the hot tub streams, including those that skirt the line of 18+ content still on the site where they can be potentially easily accessed by underage viewers. Others have noted that is a continuation of the pattern of Twitch to favor and give special treatment to certain creators with large audiences, and be more lenient on sexually suggestive content in general. Shortly following the hot tub announcement, Twitch announced 350 new tags that users can use to tag their streams. A move that some in the community have wanted for a long time.

Now that the hot tub meta has been officially sanctioned by Twitch there is sure to be a shift in streamer content as the trend continues to gain steam. It is unknown at this time if Twitch’s advertisers will be on board to run their ads on hot tub content, or if there will be more demonetization cases similar to Amouranth.

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