Steam, Twitch Want Full Disclosure for Sponsored Content

/ Oct 6, 2014

Twitch_alist

By Robert Workman

In this day and age when sponsorships can really pay off, both PC game channel Steam and broadcasting service Twitch have launched new terms that will help clarify what content is sponsored on its website, and what content is not.

With Valve’s Steam Discovery Update, which launched this week, the company has introduced the ability to turn users into “curators,” providing special landing pages with handpicked games and recommendations. This will allow for finding certain games within an ever-growing marketplace, although there are certain terms that need to be followed. With paid content, for instance, Steam’s T&C division requires full disclosure from any curator looking to add it to their specific page.

“If you’ve accepted money or other compensation for making a product review or for posting a recommendation, you must disclose this fact in your recommendation,” reads the Steam page.

This follows controversy over accusations of particular journalists taking payment for a recommendation of a title, or some other form of compensation for a positive opinion.

Meanwhile, Twitch has taken a similar stance, asking for the highlighting of sponsored or promotional content on its video service. In short, if a broadcaster is playing a particular title as part of an influencer campaign, it has to disclose those terms.

“Gamers can tend to look skeptically on the ecosystem because they don’t know what is paid-for content and what is not. It also opens influencers to potential criticism,” said the company’s VP of marketing and communications Matthew DiPietro in a blog post (via GamesIndustry International). “While we have always encouraged our broadcasters to acknowledge if they are playing games as part of a promotional campaign, we are now establishing a much more transparent approach to all paid programs on our platform and hope that it sets a precedent for the broader industry. Simply put: We want complete transparency and unwavering authenticity with all content and promotions that have a sponsor relationship.”

The broadcasters are still able to specify whether deals were made specifically with the publisher. “To be very clear this pertains specifically to Twitch-driven campaigns and sponsorships,” said DiPietro, answering the question in the comments field.

What do you think? Will full disclosure go a long way into easing what content is paid for or what isn’t?

This article was originally published on alistdaily.com, the insiders’ source for editorial focused on entertainment marketing news, and content partner with VideoInk. It’s been lightly edited from its original version. Follow [a]listdaily on Twitter @alistdaily or subscribe for the latest news, data, and more in your inbox.

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