Joining the Twitch Affiliate program
If you are a small streamer on the Twitch platform, you will at some point be invited to join their affiliate program. This will be a short breakdown of what it is, requires and how it benefits your livestreams.
Just as you are invited, a happy feeling of being acknowledged and approved of may rise inside you. Which is your right, and you should feel good about it. Just be aware that it is more of a "You seem to take us seriously, let us help each other grow" program. The requirements of this program are rather low.
Who qualifies? We’re looking for streamers who aren’t yet Partners, but who have at least 50 followers and over the last 30 days have have at least 500 total minutes broadcast, 7 unique broadcast days, and an average of 3 or more concurrent viewers. This criteria may change as the program develops. — Twitch Affiliated Program (As stated early 2018)
Now as you understand these minor requirements, let us talk about some of all the features it gives and open up to. Lets first make a list of things and then explain them afterward.
- Custom Chat Badges
- Custom Emoticons
- Access to Subscriber-Only Chat
- Exclusion from Slow Mode
- Video Transcoding
- Cheering (Bits)
- Other stuff
Custom chat badges and emoticons: You are now entitled to have a simple purple star badge to show off subscribers in your chat. You get access to 1 emotes per subscription tier plan. This leaves you with 3 basic emoticons, one for each $4.99, $9.99 and $24.99 tier subscribers. You can then unlock more emote-slots by gaining subscribers on your channel, just be aware that if you do not fill out the spot and lose subscribers is might become unavailable again.
You also get access to subscriber badges for your viewers to show how many months they have supported your channel. As of now you get1, 3, 6, 12 months compared to a partner who also gets to make a 24-month badges to show how long a person has subscribed. They also get to unlock more emoticon-slots based on how many subscribers they have.
Subscriber-Only chat and slow-mode: If you are not careful when to engage different chat modes, you risk scaring or annoying your viewers. Slow-Mode means that chatters have a cooldown from sending a message to being able to send another. Subscribers will not be hit by this cooldown period, as they are paying chatters. Subscriber-Only is a way of excluding regular chatters from being able to write in your chat unless they subscribe.
Video transcoding: Twitch takes your incoming live-feed and runs it through a transcoding server, making it available in multiple qualities. You are more likely to be added to a transcoding server as an affiliated. Be aware that partners as prioritized and will take your transcoding if needed.
Bits, Subscriptions and Monetization: You gain multiple streams of potential income funnels in just one platform. You get the basic income streams from Subscriptions, which is a monthly payer so long they continue paying. Subscriptions are not completely paid "50/50", as Twitch deduct taxes and transaction fees from the amount before splitting it. This means you split $4.99 into ~$2.49 minus transaction fee and taxes for U.S residency and ~2.49 minus transaction fee for Non-U.S residency.
Cheers (Bits) is a way for viewers to buy tokens that later can be used in your chat. When people use these tokens in your chat, you get paid $0.01 (As of early 2018) for each bit/token that is used in your chat.
You do also get a percentage of game sales made through your channel, which happens by playing a game sold on Amazon and people click that "Buy game" button below the player. They are planning to make commercials give a cut to affiliated too but is not a thing as of early 2018. Twitch is working on expanding ways for their partners and affiliated to earn money with them. Underlining that Twitch makes money off of it as well.
Other: Unofficially and through external services, you will be invited to a whole new world. Your affiliate with twitch will not be limited to twitch, as subscribers and bits will open more possibilities for other services and products.
Just because you reach affiliate status does not mean twitch will start paying you immediately. Before they pay you at all, you need to reach a minimum threshold of $100. This automatically checked by the end of each month to see if you are eligible for a payout - unless your settings it set to "Withhold my funds".
To give a little perspective, $100 is one of the following possibilities. You are not limited to one of these, but they give you a simple understanding of how to reach at least $100 in 12 months — after the Twitch cut.
- 10.000 bits donated
- 4 concurrent $4.99 subs for 12 months
- 8 concurrent $4.99 subs for 6 months
- 47 unique/independent $4.99 subs within these 12 months
- 5.000 bits and 4 concurrent $4.99 subs for 6 months
- 5.000 bits and 2 concurrent $4.99 subs for 12 months
The ideal is to maintain the same subscribers for multiple months, but you could also have all the above subs uniquely and independently for 1 month, as long you reach the number of subs per month.
When you decide to join the Twitch Affiliate Program, you will agree to not livestream the same content to other platforms than Twitch. Which means you are legally not allowed to hook op multiple platforms with the same content.
Another thing to note is the 12-month-period termination. If you decide to be inactive on twitch for a 12-month period without earning $100 in that time, your account will potentially be deleted or at best lose its Affiliate status.
If you want to read more about this program, head over to the Twitch Affiliate Program or Twitch Affiliate Program FAQ. To read the full agreement, head over to the Twitch Affiliate Agreement.