Protecting minors on Twitch

It's hard to believe, but regulatory authorities have only been paying close attention to the rights and protection of minors online for a few years. For example, Twitch, as one of the world's leading online video platforms, has neither an age rating for its content nor a solid age verification system. And Twitch is no exception.

Like many other large online players, the portal benefits from the constantly growing number of users. There was a particularly strong growth spurt in the year 2020, which was marked by the corona pandemic. In the period between February and April alone, the number of users almost doubled (Twitch tracker). In May 2020, almost 40 percent of the approximately four million viewers were between the ages of 10 and 19 (Twitch app US users age). Without a comprehensive age verification system, these people, some of whom are underage, can accidentally come across content that is inappropriate or possibly even disturbing for them with every click.

Online youth protection – Germany is taking a pioneering role

Within the European Union, Germany has already done a lot of groundwork when it comes to access to age-restricted content. The Commission for Youth Media Protection (KJM) has developed comprehensive requirements for age verification. These were recorded in the State Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (JMStV) as well as the framework for complaints, bans and fines. The state media authorities of the respective federal states, in turn, grant the media providers the necessary licenses and carry out measures to ensure compliance with the requirements.

At EU level, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) regulates the coordination of national legislation for all audiovisual media. This includes classic television programs as well as on-demand service providers. These EU regulations aim to create a legal framework suitable for the digital age. This should lead to a safer, fairer and more diverse media landscape. In addition to numerous other topics, the protection of underage viewers is becoming more of a focus than before.

In Germany, an online platform that offers video or audio content requires a so-called broadcasting license (broadcasting license). According to the State Treaty for Broadcasting and Telemedia (State Broadcasting Treaty - RStV), a broadcasting license is required if the following criteria are met:

  • the broadcast takes place live or at specific times (planned)
  • More than 500 users can participate in the program at the same time (technical requirement)
  • the program is prepared journalistically and editorially
  • the content is available regularly or permanently

If streams can be broadcast online and live and the channel reaches an average viewership of 20,000 or more, a broadcast license is generally required. Essentially the same requirements also apply to channels on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.

In addition to the licensing requirements, German law also emphasizes the need for age verification. Therefore, the respective influencer or media platform itself must carry out age verification (AVS) of the users. For example, if influencers offer content that may require an age requirement outside of permitted broadcast times, age verification is mandatory. If large platforms do not have to strictly adhere to local laws, this creates competitive disadvantages, especially for media professionals who do not offer their content via the well-known networks.

By no means just restriction – strengthen the community and loyalty with AVS

In general, regulatory interventions are associated with restrictions. But they also provide some advantages and certainty for all actors involved. The latter is particularly clear with regard to the protection of minors on the Internet.

Statistics reveal that as a result of the pandemic and social distancing, significantly more young people were accessing streaming platforms than before. A trend that will most likely remain and will have a lasting impact on the social interaction of young adults. A safe and legally clearly regulated environment therefore plays a fundamental role – both for the content producers, the platforms and the users.

If companies and influencers want to fully exploit their potential for success, there will be no way around an AVS solution that is easy to implement and affordable at the same time. But this not only protects you from serious legal consequences. A benefit of sound age verification that is far too often neglected is the homogeneity of the community. This can create a closed community of like-minded users who are connected by common goals and ideas. In many cases, such a connection to one another is reflected in loyalty to the platform and inevitably leads to higher customer loyalty.

AVS integration requires economic, legal and technical expertise

The new legal measures will inevitably lead to complex restructuring of many companies. Decision-makers often associate these transformation processes with disadvantages such as high costs, a daunting hurdle for users and an immense amount of programming effort. In addition, potential IT service providers are put off by the mere thought of storing user-related data. Users, on the other hand, are often very hesitant to reveal their personal data. The fear of losing your anonymity or access data due to a data leak is always present. In particular, the lack of suitable technical tools can drag out the entire process unnecessarily.

The sum of all these factors can potentially threaten entire lines of business. In the worst case, it even means economic collapse. A particularly prominent example is xHamster, Germany's largest pornographic website. Due to violations of the law, the company may have to withdraw from the German market. This would mean the loss of their most lucrative European country (Protection of minors on the Internet).

Online exodus is no way out

The bureaucratic nature of applying for licenses and the fear of being disadvantaged could lead to an exodus of content providers and producers to other European jurisdictions. In view of increasing digitalization, other EU states will sooner rather than later do the same as Germany and take similar, strict legal action.

TantumPay meets exactly this challenge and is the answer to the many questions from content providers. TantumPay offers a compelling, secure and cost-effective solution to meet regulatory requirements. Future changes to the law can also be adapted safely and quickly.

One Size Fits All: The AVS from Tantum

Tantum offers an easy-to-implement and technically sophisticated identity verification solution that meets both German and EU/EEA requirements. Users receive a cost-effective and secure age verification system for live media content that meets all necessary regulatory requirements.

The innovative and patented technology that Tantums The system is based on has already been assessed positively by the Commission for the Protection of Minors (KJM).

Tantum combines user-friendliness with the highest level of data security when accessing streaming and video platforms. Exchanging personal information between different platforms is unnecessary. Tantum's goal is to give consumers control over their personal data while preserving the most important pillar of the digital age - anonymity.

By keeping users in control of their personal data, Tantum's solution reduces bounce rates. For the operators it means higher conversion numbers and for the users it means maintaining their anonymity. In addition, Tantum goes one step further and therefore goes beyond the current legal framework. The TantumIdent solution offers the customer identification without human video contact. A significant advantage that is particularly suitable for users who place the highest value on discretion.

Tantum is characterized by a high level of user-friendliness in both the back and front end, which was developed specifically for the streaming industry and its challenges. Streamers therefore benefit from an easy-to-use and cost-effective AVS.

A comprehensive range of different financial services will also be rolled out in the coming months. The overall goal is to connect the AVS with a payment service in a common network. Platform operators and streamers can offer in-stream purchases or donation options. In this way, the TantumPay app creates its own ecosystem geared towards the streaming industry. Tantum thus increases the interactive viewer experience and significantly facilitates the execution of payments.

We have developed the Tantum Stream Overlay so that you can also comply with the protection of minors in accordance with the State Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media.

Find out now!

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