Gamer Guides

What is Twitch?

If we had to explain Twitch in one sentence, it would probably be: YouTube, but Live. Those who are less familiar with the Twitch streaming platform would say that you can simply watch live how people are gaming. But that's just the tip of the big purple iceberg known as Twitch! There’s an endless amount of content (and it becomes more every day!) from cooking to making music and even hitchhiking. Yes, you read that right: kickin’ it oldskool with your thumb up on the roadside until a car stops to take you further. In this blog, we’ll tell you a bit more about Twitch and what this platform exactly entails.

Published on: 26-05-2021

What is Twitch and how does it work?

For some time now, Twitch has proven itself to be the ideal platform for gamers to share gaming with others and even generate some income from it. With more than 15 million daily users and 140 million unique monthly visitors, this is the place to be if you want to make a name for yourself as a gamer. There’s already 2.2 million gamers who use Twitch to share their skills and experiences live with the whole world. But Twitch has recently gained popularity when it comes to distributing non-gaming content too, making it a very attractive medium for brands and advertisers!

Twitch Dashboard

For many popular streamers, Twitch started out as a fun hobby. As is the case with basically anything, it takes a lot of dedication to actually grow your Twitch channel into a (profitable) career. But it is certainly not impossible! Broadcasting yourself and your activities live with Twitch users from all over the world is relatively easy. And with Twitch, it’s also completely free by the way. The currently most popular Twitch channels are mainly focused on gaming, but your live stream can really be about anything. Are you vigorously crafting, painting, singing or dancing on a weekly or daily basis? Would you rather do this in front of a live audience? With Twitch, the world is now your stage. Go nuts!


How to become a successful streamer on Twitch?

All you need is a (free!) account and a device of your choice. Do you prefer filming with your smartphone or do you have a professional studio set-up? The choice is entirely yours. Of course there are some specs and requirements that you have to meet in terms of image and streaming quality. Basic things like good lighting, decent video and audio equipment will certainly help. Fortunately, Twitch supplies you with the necessary basic software to start streaming for free! As well as an extensive guide to get you started as a beginning streamer. All the info required to build a channel can be found in the Twitch Creator Camp, including tutorials and Twitch etiquette. Super helpful for all the noobs out there. Dream big, Twitch-fame could be just around the corner!

But never forget this once you start streaming: your viewers are following you and supporting your channel because they like you and your content! So it’s very important to always make it your priority to create nice content first and foremost. Your focus should not be on your potential revenue model. If you host a pleasant channel with innovative and creative content, your subscribers (and therefore your income) will automatically increase. So basically, don’t do it for the money - do it for the content.

Streaming on Twitch is completely free. But it is nice and very achievable to ultimately earn a little something from all that unique content you’re creating. Twitch can be a lucrative source of income, especially in combination with sponsors and advertisers. Let’s discuss some of the ways you can generate some revenue with Twitch.

Twitch Affiliates

Twitch is more than happy to give credit where credit is due. The platform supports their streamers a lot and likes to give back to the Twitch community. That is why they offer an attractive Affiliate Program for streamers who meet certain requirements. Once you become a Twitch Affiliate, you can earn a somewhat serious income on the platform, extending your followers and subscribers and eventually, you might even become a Twitch Partner!

Twitch Bits and Donations

As an affiliate, you get money when viewers subscribe to your channel. You will also receive an emote for each subscriber and are able to activate the Bits for Cheers feature. Which is basically like a tipping functionality which enables your viewers to send you Cheers: animated jewel-shaped Emotes for some extra support during your broadcast. Bits are a type of virtual currency with which Cheers can be sent to you in the chat. It’s possible to send various values of Bits, starting at 1 (Worth $0,01) and going up to 10.000 (worth $140) to show support to a channel. Users that are sending these Cheers can then obtain Cheer Badges which will display the amount they have tipped.

These Bits are more reliable than, for example, a third-party donation method. Because everything is securely arranged within the Twitch platform. Should chargebacks or other payment issues arise, both streamers and users are safe and protected within the Twitch platform.

As an Affiliate, you will also benefit if a game or in-game item is purchased within your stream. If you are gaming in your live stream and that particular game, or relevant in-game items, are also available for sale on Twitch, your viewers will be notified. If this results in a sale, affiliates will receive 5% of the proceeds! So, the more attractive you make the game and the content around it in your live stream, the more this can work out for you financially.

Twitch Bits and Cheers

How to become a Twitch Affiliate

Twitch is always looking for streamers who are not (yet) Partners but already have at least 50 followers. You must also have been live for at least 500 minutes on 7 unique days in the past 30 days. And have an average of 3 or more viewers. While these are the current criteria, they can still change depending on how the Affiliate Program progresses. Once you’re qualified to become an Affiliate with Twitch, you will automatically receive an invitation via email and a notification in your Twitch dashboard. These invitations are sent directly to streamers once they meet all requirements. An extra tab will also appear in your settings menu with the option to register as an affiliate and enable Bits.

My Desk, with Twitch Streaming Setup 2020"My Desk, with Twitch Streaming Setup 2020" by dennis is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Twitch Subscriptions

When you are a streamer on Twitch, users can subscribe to your channel. This is how your followers reward you for the content you streamed. Subscribed followers also receive certain benefits, such as special emotes, badges or being able to view your stream without ads. Users can subscribe to a channel for a minimum of $ 4.99 per month. A very generous 50% of that amount goes to the streamer, the other half goes to Twitch. There are also subscriptions for $ 9.99 or $ 24.99 and obviously the more you pay, the more benefits you will enjoy. Now imagine having 100 followers a month, you can do the math. Not bad at all, right? 

The Gifted Sub - no strings attached!

In addition, there is also the option of a gifted subscription. This is a nice way to give someone a monthly subscription to a channel that you follow and love, for example. Or maybe you’re a streamer and you want to invite someone to subscribe to your own channel for a month. 

When the ‘free month’ is over, the recipient will of course be given the choice to become a regular subscriber. Or not, because with this feature you are not tied to anything! Very ideal if you are trying Twitch for a while or if you only want to follow a channel every now and then. Consider watching the gameplay for a new game release before you buy, to decide if you want to purchase the game yourself.

Amazon and Twitch - Prime Gaming

In 2014 Amazon.com bought the Twitch streaming platform for a modest $ 970 million. Since then it has been possible to link your Amazon Prime account to Twitch. Providing access to Prime Gaming (formerly Twitch Prime) where you can enjoy various premium benefits. For starters, you get 1 free channel subscription per month, so you can subscribe to a streamer/channel of your choice. However, this free subscription is not automatically renewed, so you  need to re-subscribe to that channel every month (or pick another one every time, it’s up to you!)

With Prime Gaming you also receive exclusive free games and in-game loot every month, on top of all other Amazon Prime benefits. This in-game loot includes weapons, characters, skins, boosts and upgrades. You will also receive a Prime Exclusive chat badge that allows you to enjoy an ad-free viewing experience. And for the icing on the cake, you get discounts on pre-order retail game releases, pre-order price guarantees and release-date delivery for new game releases. In short, some very nice Twitch perks if you’re a Prime member!

Twitch Partnerships

Becoming a partner of Twitch is basically the next step from being an Affiliate. It means that you have really focused on streaming and are clearly good at creating unique and sought-after content. But you can also become a Twitch partner if you are already successful on other platforms and want to add streaming on Twitch to your activities. As long as you’ve built up a large audience of loyal followers who are willing to help you grow your channel further. The first and foremost requirement to become a Twitch Partner is that you are able to "act as a role model for the community".

But how can you prove that? First of all, you must be able to demonstrate that you have a large number of engaged viewers / followers on other services or platforms. You will also need to show that you are posting - and will continue to post - content that meets the guidelines and conditions set by Twitch. In your Twitch dashboard you will find a "Route to Partner Achievement" that you can complete to become eligible as a partner. Current major partners on Twitch that you may know are Ninja (+/-12M followers), Shroud (+/-4.6M followers) and Riot Games (+/-3.2M followers) who each have their own collaborations with other games, brands and channels. Incidentally, they have really made streaming their profession. Ninja, for example, can be watched live on Twitch for about 60 hours a week. Partnership will certainly not come naturally, you really have to put the hours and commitment into it. Don’t underestimate the workload, this is far from a 9-to-5 job. On the other hand, imagine doing what you love every day and being rewarded for it. Twitch can certainly help you live your dream.  

Twitch Partner Lounge bei der Gamescom 2017"Twitch Partner Lounge bei der Gamescom 2017" by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Give Twitch a try!

In conclusion, the focus at Twitch is still mainly on gaming. However, Twitch has been growing considerably lately, with the range of entertainment becoming more and more extensive. What is also very striking is that, despite the millions of users worldwide, there is still a very strong feeling of a close-knit community. Twitch will undoubtedly become an even more well-known, household name in online entertainment in the near future. What contributes to this is the low threshold for anyone to present their passions, hobbies and talents to millions of people worldwide. With the option of making some extra money to boot!

As far as we are concerned, we are very excited about this up-and-coming service and the fact that we can inform you about what Twitch has to offer. Hopefully you will have a nice time discovering this platform!

 


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