Twitch Shuts Down In Korea Due to High Operating Costs

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Twitch declared the closure of its services in Korea due to high operating costs. Read on to know more.

Twitch to Shutdown in Korea on February 27, 2024 KST

Expensive Operating Costs Cited as Reason

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The decision was announced by Twitch CEO Dan Clancy, who cited prohibitively expensive operating costs as the reason for ceasing operation in Korea. The shutdown will take effect on February 27, 2024.

In a Twitch blog post, the CEO stated, "Ultimately, the cost to operate Twitch in Korea is prohibitively expensive, and we have spent significant effort working to reduce these costs so that we could find a way for the Twitch business to remain in Korea."

To mitigate the high costs, Twitch experimented with a peer-to-peer model for source quality and reduced source quality to a maximum of 720p. However, despite these efforts, network fees in Korea remained ten times more expensive than in most other countries.

Twitch Exit Timeline

Twitch detailed a timeline for its exit process:

 ● On February 26, 2024 (PT) and February 27, 2024 (KT): Streamers who have selected Korea as their country of residence during onboarding will no longer be able to monetize through Twitch products. Additionally, viewers in Korea will be unable to make purchases on the platform.
 ● Starting March 16, 2024 (PT) and March 17, 2024 (KT): Streamers will receive their final payout.
 ● On June 3, 2024 (PT) and June 4, 2027 (KT): Affiliates and Partners will be off-boarded from Twitch.

For users abroad who have qualifying active subscriptions set to Korea as their onboarding country, they are able to request refunds from December 6, 2023 until March 27, 2024.

For more information, check out Twitch's blog post and support document.

Twitch Disables Video-on-Demand for Korea

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Earlier in January 2023, Twitch disabled video-on-demand (VOD) content for Korea to comply with the country's government regulations. Twitch Korea also reduced the maximum quality of its videos to 720p on September 30, 2022. Likewise, it blocked Korean users from viewing VOD content starting December 13, 2022, to ensure compliance with Korean legislation.

Twitch and other global content providers, including Youtube and Netflix, have faced challenges in South Korea over network usage fees and regulatory compliance. Korean streamers affected by the closure are expected to migrate to local streaming platform, AfreecaTV, according to The Korea Times.

Source:
An Update on Twitch in Korea
Amazon-owned Twitch threatens to leave Korea due to regulations
Twitch to be switched off in Korea for VOD from Feb. 7

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