Twitch is downgrading Korean livestreams to 720p because of increased operational costs
In a blog post specifically for the South Korean public, Twitch announced that starting on September 30, the community’s broadcasting quality would be reduced to 720p. The operating costs in South Korea have “continued to climb,” according to the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform, and things are likely to stay that way for the “foreseeable future.” Twitch announced that they would be adjusting the stream quality for South Korean viewers in order to address the problem.
“In order to find a new solution so that we can continue to operate our service in Korea, we will adjust the original quality for Korean viewers on channels where transcoding (quality adjustment) is available from September 30th. In other words, the video quality in Korea will be up to 720p on channels where transcoding is provided. “
The new change was released just a few days after platform president Dan Clancy unveiled an improved streamer payout scheme. Clancy disclosed that the firm would switch the revenue split for streamers from 70/30 to 50/50 for a restricted group of partnered content producers. The decision was made, according to Clancy, because it costs the platform $1,000 a month to supply high-definition content to a streamer who broadcasts 200 hours of content.
“Delivering high definition, low latency, always available live video to nearly every corner of the world is expensive. Using the published rates from Amazon Web Services’ Interactive Video Service (IVS) — which is essentially Twitch video — live video costs for a 100 CCU streamer who streams 200 hours a month are more than $1000 per month.
A similar justification was given for the downgrading of streaming for the South Korean audience to 720p. In the FAQ section of the blog post, Twitch said that they are following South Korean laws and regulations and that they are paying all network costs in good faith.