What was the Twitch data leak?

What was the Twitch data leak?

If you missed it, there was a massive data leak recently of information from the live streaming service, Twitch. There was a lot to learn from the leak surrounding wealth in the digital creator community. Let’s get into it below. 

Quickly, what happened with the Twitch hack? 

Earlier this month, Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch was hacked, with more than 125GB of data leaked. A user from the site 4chan claimed they were behind the leak, with part of the leak including information about how much certain creators earn from Twitch. Altogether, revenue data of 4.9 million accounts was made available. 

Twitch over the weekend assured its community that the hack only resulted in minimal damage. Twitch said, “Twitch passwords have not been exposed. We are also confident that systems that store Twitch login credentials, which are hashed with bcrypt, were not accessed, nor were full credit card numbers or ACH / bank information”. 

What did we learn? 

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the leak revealed the earnings of many creators. After analysing some of the data, WSJ found the top 1% of Twitch streamers made over half of all money paid out in 2021. The vast majority of Twitch streamers have made less than $120 this year so far. But here is where it gets interesting, this disproportionate wealth distribution is not specific to only Twitch. 

According to Axios, the top 1% of podcast earners make the vast majority of podcast ad revenue. Similarly, with the platform Substack, the top 10 publications collectively make more than $20 million a year in subscription revenue. 

What is being done to support the smaller creators? 

Both Apple and Spotify have introduced new creator programs to help more creators receive payments. Many platforms have also introduced tipping (or similar) features, including Facebook, Clubhouse, Instagram and Twitter. However, taking Twitter as an example, when the platform first introduced the feature, only $6,000 of revenue overall was brought in during its first two weeks of implementation. And it still remains unclear whether options like tipping will solve the wealth distribution issue with the digital creator community.

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