The world’s largest online streaming service Twitch will be shutting down all operations in Korea.
In a statement shared by Twitch CEO Dan Clancy, he regrettably announced the cease of operations of Twitch in Korea.
This morning, I shared with our community in Korea that we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Twitch business in Korea on February 27, 2024 KST. We understand that this is extremely disappointing news, and we want to explain why we made this decision and how we are planning to support those impacted.
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. First, we experimented with a peer-to-peer model for source quality. Then, we adjusted source quality to a maximum of 720p. While we have lowered costs from these efforts, our network fees in Korea are still 10 times more expensive than in most other countries. Twitch has been operating in Korea at a significant loss, and unfortunately there is no pathway forward for our business to run more sustainably in that country.
To all of our global communities, we want to make it clear that this is a unique situation. Operating costs in Korea are significantly higher than they are in other countries and we have been open about this challenge for some time.
Twitch streamers in Korea have devoted significant time and effort into building their communities, and we plan to help these communities find new homes — even if it’s regrettably not on Twitch. We will work to help Twitch streamers in Korea move their communities to alternative livestreaming services in Korea. We are also reaching out to several of these services to help with the transition and will communicate with impacted streamers as those discussions progress.
— Dan Clancy
Dan Clancy also shared how Twitch will help their streamers transfer as much as they can to alternative streaming services such as YouTube or AfreecaTV.
Many streamers based in Korea, both Korean and foreigners, have voiced their opinion on the matter. One individual, Nick De Cesare, also known as LS, has been involved in the Korean gaming community for over 10 years, starting with StarCraft and transitioning to League of Legends, shared his opinion and a last-resort option that some streamers may take.
Meanwhile, AfreecaTV’s stock shot up nearly 20% following the news of Twitch’s exit from Korea.