Video streaming platform Twitch has become a community not only for gamers but for fans of art, music, film and television, too. The Amazon-acquired site hosts over two million unique streamers and offers dedicated content creators several ways to monetize their efforts.
Twitch extended its subscription program to Affiliates—previously reserved only for Partners—last week to give streamers a new revenue avenue. They can gain subscriptions in the amounts of $4.99, $9.99 and $24.99. The site’s Partnership Program consists of the most elite streamers, many of whom partner with brands for influence marketing campaigns.
By supporting Affiliates—microinfluencers who must meet viewership and other guidelines—Twitch is proving its dedication to its growing ecosystem of creators and brands.
“The Affiliate Program is a great way to surface new talent,” Robin Fontaine, Twitch’s product marketing manager, told ION. “There are some creators who might have a seemingly small community, but their community’s passion and support can potentially elevate the creator to Partner level. By default, it gives brands a broader group of influencers to work with.”
For Twitch streamers, becoming a Partner means you’ve “made it”—and monetization tools like ads, “cheering,” merchandise and game sales commissions help streaming hopefuls achieve their goals.
“There are a lot of streamers who want to be part of our Partnership program, but might not be able to invest the time necessary because they have to spend that time working elsewhere,” Fontaine said. “If the goal of a creator is to make a living doing what they love, then we want to help them monetize that passion. By offering more means of monetization, it provides a better stepping stone toward being a Partner.”
Confidence in a monetization partner is in high demand, especially as YouTube creators lose faith—and money—following recent updates to its AdSense guidelines. While YouTube struggles to maintain “brand safety,” Twitch not only works to protect its advertisers, but its creators as well.
“We take harassment very seriously and understand how important this is for the entire Twitch community, whether it’s individual creators or brands who are advertising on the platform,” Fontaine said. “As such, Twitch offers best-in-class moderation tools and support including AutoMod, a tool that employs machine learning and natural language processing to identify and block inappropriate content from appearing in chat. By empowering creators with a better way to manage the chat on their channels, AutoMod helps them foster a more positive and inclusive community . . .
“This tool, combined with the ability for creators to assign moderators to police their chat and a report button on every channel that goes to our 24/7 support team, collectively places Twitch at the forefront of moderation best practices across the internet.”
Twitch has livestreamed everything in recent years from poker to Julia Childs and Bob Ross to Mystery Science Theater 3000. The platform’s Power Rangers marathon in March resulted in 12.9 million channel views.
To date, a number of brands have tapped into Twitch’s engaged audience through influence marketing, branded content and traditional advertising. Carl’s Jr. acted out live skits during a 72 hour livestream by Vice this past November, producing the first live commercials on Twitch.
Twitch earns 37 percent of Gaming Video Content (GVC) revenue despite only having 16 percent of the viewers, according to SuperData. In addition, 51 percent of Twitch revenue comes from direct spending, versus 31 percent for the industry overall. Amazon recently launched the ability to purchase digital PC games directly from Twitch streams, making the platform even more attractive for developers, streamers and marketers alike.