PSAs in MST3K Twitch Channel for Paid Subscribers

As a long-time MSTie, active participant, and day-one subscriber (nearly 30 months now) on the MST3K Twitch channel, I wanted to add my perspective on the recent reintroduction of the PSAs into the channel.

In the early days, the MST3K Twitch channel went virtually unmanaged with strange scheduling, no moderation, and frequent non-MST filler, including promos for Shout Factory properties, public service announcements, etc. This was doubly problematic as they were shown during the “commercial breaks” when non-subscribers would see ads from Twitch. On Twitch, aside from some fun emotes and providing support to a broadcaster, the primary benefit of subscribing to a channel is NOT having to view ads of any kind, including unpaid PSAs unrelated to the core content of the channel. This drove many to ask themselves, “Why would I subscribe to a channel when I still get commercials?” And rightly so. What’s the point of paying to get rid of ads, just to see other ads? These disruptive interstitials were often cited by critical viewers as a prime example of how those running the channel didn’t understand or care about their Twitch subscribers at all. And while a core community of viewers continued to subscribe to support MST3K, many others were turned off by these unwanted promos and PSAs with some of them leaving the channel altogether.

The channel has improved massively since late 2020 with the introduction of an active, engaged community manager and moderation team. As a result of a new focus on building community, we have attracted greater numbers of followers and subscribers. The community was ecstatic to learn that the loathed non-MST filler promos and PSAs (which had become the subject of mockery and disdain) would be replaced with missing MST3K host segments and memorable moments during the breaks instead. After waiting for over a year the promised host segments did finally arrive in the channel and have been well received.

Unfortunately, in the past week, the hated PSAs have returned as well. The reintroduction of PSAs into the channel’s content has not gone unnoticed and is almost universally seen as a step backward for the channel. Once again, members of our community are questioning why they would pay to subscribe if they’ll be shown unwanted non-MST3K material anyway. It has introduced friction and disagreement in our community as some feel the PSAs run afoul of our channel’s own “no-politics” policy. And, once again, people in our community are asking themselves if those in charge of the channel really “get” Twitch at all.

Throughout the pandemic, our channel has been a haven for many MSTies: a supportive community and a retreat from the stresses of their daily grind and our divisive political environment. With the pandemic ebbing and many people returning to daily life outside their homes, maintaining subscribers and our community on Twitch will be hard enough without the intrusion of these undesired PSAs. To our friends at Alternaversal, please reconsider the inclusion of this or any other non-MST ads, promos, PSAs, etc. in the MST3K Twitch channel.

4 Likes

You may have to crash through the belief by some that something isn’t politics if it’s something they believe in.

2 Likes

Is the Twitch channel even run by MST3K/Alternaversal? I recall ads for the channel during the Turkey Day marathon making a big deal about one day’s episodes being picked by MST3K–implying they don’t do the rest of the programming.

I believe it’s run by Shout Factory but I could be wrong

1 Like

It’s a partnership between the two. Shout handles most of the day-to-day and technical stuff but Alternaversal definitely has a say in it.

1 Like