What is a Twitch Affiliate?
Like the adventures found within quest video games, Twitch’s affiliate program provides streamers the opportunity to collect currency as they play.
But these aren’t digital coins and treasures.
A Twitch Affiliate is a qualified streamer who can earn an income by streaming live video games, creative content, and musical broadcasts on the online streaming platform.
Twitch Affiliates can earn coins, but beyond that, the bestowment of Twitch Affiliate is the first stepping stone toward becoming a Twitch Partner—a coveted title bestrewn in streaming riches.
In this short guide, we will cover the ways Twitch users can reach affiliate management and partner status and the things marketers should know when considering how to start affiliate marketing.
The Twitch Affiliate Tutorial
On a streamer’s journey toward becoming a Twitch Affiliate, they must complete four critical tasks:
- Reach 50 followers
- Stream for a total of eight hours
- Stream on seven different days
- Earn an average of three viewers
Does that sound too easy? Keep in mind that streamers must also complete each undertaking within a span of 30 days.1
Using the “Path to Affiliate Achievement” on Twitch users’ Creator Dashboard, streamers can track their progress and set goals. Streamers will then see a checkmark next to each completed task.
Press Start: The Twitch Affiliate Invitation
Once the tasks are completed, Twitch streamers will become eligible to register with the Twitch Affiliate program and begin monetizing their channel through live streaming and subscriber perks.
To begin, gamers will receive an email that notifies them of their eligibility.
An invitation, like Willy Wonka’s coveted golden ticket, acts as a passport into an elite community of creatives. Of Twitch’s 9.5 million monthly broadcasters, only 1.2 million are affiliates.2
Once invited, a notification on the channel’s dashboard informs streamers that they can register for the program by providing:
- General information
- Agreement to the Twitch Affiliate Agreement
- Tax information
- Payment information
Once the information is processed, Twitch Affiliates can then begin earning Channel Points, which allow affiliates to reward their subscribers with fun perks, such as highlighting their messages in the live chat or using an emote.
Side Quest: What is an Emote?
Emotes are customized emojis that streamers create to reward their loyal subscribers. They’re unique to the streaming platform and are used by subscribers to communicate with streamers within the live stream’s chatbox.
Some streamers also use emotes as plugins to embellish their live streams and channels. Twitch Affiliates can upload original images to their channel for subscriber use to build their audience and promote their content within the Twitch-verse.
In most cases, streamers group emotes by each subscriber tier—the highest tier having access to the best emotes—whether they’re renderings of the streamer’s face or a heart-eyed bunny.
Ways to Earn on Twitch
As you know, a Twitch Affiliate can use his or her channel to gather revenue. As a Twitch Affiliate, there are four ways to monetize channels and earn an income:
- Subscriptions – Anyone can view a live stream, but a streamer must accept his or her subscribers. Affiliates can charge a variety of tiers of subscription options at varying prices: $4.99, $9.99, $24.99, and the Prime free subscription. Subscribers often receive perks or exclusive emotes, depending on their subscription status and tier.
- Donations from Subscribers – Subscriber-based donations, called bits, are used by viewers to “cheer on” the streamer during live broadcasts. For every bit given, the streamer earns one cent. During a chat, bits appear as gem-shaped emotes.
- Game Sales – Twitch sells numerous games and in-game items. When a Twitch Affiliate plays and streams one of these games, the affiliate can earn a 5% revenue share if a Twitch user purchases the game from the Twitch Affiliate’s channel.
- Advertising Revenue – Affiliates earn a percentage of ad revenue from the advertisements streamed on their channels. The streamers can also customize ad length and frequency.
Leveling Up: Sponsorships and Partnerships
Should marketers partner with Twitch Affiliates?
It depends on their goals. While some affiliates may have dedicated viewerships that align with your target audience, a Twitch Affiliate is just one tier above the slew of streamers that populate Twitch’s platform.
While it is elite, it’s not the highest-ranking title.
Twitch sponsorships are typically reserved for big-name streamers with large audiences. And most of these streamers are Twitch Partners.
To identify the appropriate influencers on Twitch, it’s important to understand the difference between these two designations, their income streams, and their ability to deepen engagement with their viewership base.
The Twitch Affiliate
As we’ve covered, Twitch Affiliates, streamers can earn revenue through subscriptions, donations, game sales, and ad revenue. They can also customize their emotes for an extra thank-you to subscribers.
The purpose of the Twitch affiliate program is to assist gamers and streamers in making the equivalent of a part-time income. The program is available globally, too.
- A Twitch Affiliate who’s looking to grow along with your business might be willing to highlight your products for a lower price than a Partner.
- With fewer sponsorships, Affiliates may have more time and resources to dedicate to your brand.
Before partnering with a Twitch Affiliate, make sure their platform aligns with your product and voice. Then, set clear KPIs for your collaboration.
The Twitch Partner
A Twitch Partner, on the other hand, is the creme de la creme of the Twitch-verse. As a Twitch Partner, streamers can earn the equivalent of a full-time salary.3 To become a Twitch Partner one must first become a Twitch Affiliate. And no, streamers can’t be both an affiliate and partner.
In order to become a Twitch Partner, streamers must follow the Path to Partner achievement plan, which includes:4
- Becoming a Twitch Affiliate
- Streaming for 25 hours
- Streaming on 12 different days
- Averaging 75 concurrent viewers
Like the path toward becoming a Twitch Affiliate, each task must be completed within a 30-day timespan.
How Twitch Partners Foster Engagement
Many sponsors choose to collaborate with partners because of their larger audiences. And besides the numbers, partners also gain access to tools for customizing their channels.
Twitch Partners can grow viewership and cultivate their brand with:
- Custom chat badges – When a streamer’s subscribers participate in a chat, a subscriber chat badge is displayed next to their name. As the subscriber meets different milestones, such as reaching six months as a follower, partners can customize new badges to reward their fans.
- Custom bit badges and cheernotes – In the same line as custom chat badges, streamers can also outfit generous viewers with customized badges that signify the subscriber’s level of generosity. As the tiers increase, partners can customize each badge to create more excitement. It’s a great opportunity to style channels and cultivate a brand.
- Free lifetime channel subscription – Partners can gift a subscriber with a free lifetime subscription once they reach 50 subscribers, 250 subscribers, and 500 subscribers. Once gifted, the subscriber will be subscribed to the partner’s channel indefinitely.
- Ad-free Viewing – Twitch Partners have the option of gifting their subscribers with ad-free viewing during live streams. If ads are disabled for subscribers, revenue is calculated based on the number of non-subscribed viewer impressions.
Twitch Partners can also store their live streams on demand for up to 60 days, in comparison to the 14 days allotted to Twitch Affiliates.
Altogether, that could mean more views and engagement around your highlighted product or service.
Game Over: Losing the Title of Twitch Affiliate
Even after completing the tasks and growing their channel, Twitch Affiliates may lose their status and perks. Twitch Affiliates are in danger of losing their status if they:
- Break Twitch’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service
- Remain inactive
- Simultaneously stream on Twitch and another viewing platform
Marketers interested in partnering with streamers should carefully survey their content and recent activity.
Next, we’ll take a deeper look at each of these three potential routes out of Affiliate Land.
Breaking the Rules
As a whole, Twitch considers the role of its affiliates models to the streaming community. As such, a failure to abide by Twitch’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service may result in a suspension of monetary compensation, the loss of affiliate status, and sometimes even a loss of the Twitch account as a whole.
Essentially, a Twitch Affiliate must not:
- Violate any law, contract, or intellectual property
- Create content that is obscene, abusive, threatening, or inflammatory
- Impersonate a person or entity
- Send junk mail or spam
- Harvest email addresses or personal information
- Modify, damage, or interfere with Twitch codes, services, and properties
Twitch Affiliates may also lose their affiliate status if they’re considered inactive streamers, meaning that they’ve been inactive for more than a year. Twitch Affiliates that only stream once every few months can still maintain affiliate status.
Streaming on Twitch while streaming the same content on another platform breaks the Twitch Affiliate agreement and is grounds for termination from the program.
However, it is possible for Twitch Affiliates to post content on another platform—they just can’t stream it at the same time. The good news? Twitch Affiliates can upload their Videos-On-Demand to platforms like Youtube without a penalty.
PDM: Your Next Multiplayer
Twitch Affiliate status is a powerful way for streamers to build their personal brand, earn revenue, and expand their audience while parachuting into battle royale arenas and diffusing planted bombs.
Likewise, partnering with a Twitch Affiliate or Partner can help your company form its own legion of game-playing fans.
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- Twitch. Twitch Affiliate Program. https://affiliate.twitch.tv/
- Business of Apps. Twitch Statistics. https://www.businessofapps.com/data/twitch-statistics/
- Twitch. Twitch Partner Program. https://www.twitch.tv/p/partners/
- Twitch. Achievements. https://help.twitch.tv/s/article/achievements?language=en_US