We recently saw one of those big changes in Twitch where they decided to open up subscription to their Twitch Affiliates. When Twitch Affiliates first came around there where a lot of questions and a lot of them reached out to me. As I write this, and with the fact that now subscriptions are active for Twitch Affiliates, I’m seeing the second wave of that.
An interesting thing to note is that the amount of partnered streamers reaching out have also increased heavily. I can’t know for sure but it does feel as if partners are taking a step to update their own branding to compete with Twitch Affiliates. This isn’t a bad thing at all and will only mean that we hopefully will see new innovation.
So you’re a Twitch Affiliates
Twitch have, in the past, said that when you become a partnered streamer you should run out and change your brand or try and make radical changes. In large this as true back then as it is now. There’s of course exceptions there but in general when you get partnership that’s Twitch seeing that you’ve hit what they’re looking for in your area (however if you came in due to a game, hype or various other reasons that didn’t have that much to do with your brand you can still make that branding jump to fine tune).
While Twitch Affiliates plays in the same band they’re on a different instrument. Meaning that when you get Twitch Affiliate status it has nothing to do with anything else than the metrics. This is good since it opens it up to a lot of streamers. At the same it dosen’t take your potential, brand, or anything else into consideration. That means that you might be as lost before you get Twitch Affiliate status as you are after getting it.
Twitch Branding and You
Take this from someone that both works with Twitch Affiliates and with Partnered streamers; you might not always need Twitch branding right now. Without solid content and a decent understanding of who you are you won’t see any growth. Twitch branding won’t magically give you those things but rather good Twitch branding takes those things into account when being made. On top of that content and understanding who you are on Twitch are as much Twitch branding as the visual overlays and alerts on your stream.
At the same time I know that having Twitch branding can make it all feel and be more serious to you. That’s the wonderful thing about any of this. It all comes down to where you are in your life and where in the Twitch universe you put your channel.
Another layer is also that a professional that does Twitch branding can help you get to those things. However that does mean a longer development time and sequentially a larger investment but that’s not a bad thing when you want to get started.
Finally I do want to add that Twitch branding comes down to you and your channel. It’s a reflection of the exception and a promise to your audience that what is out there is what they’ll experience if they stick around. That is, at it’s core, what Twitch branding truly is.
One of the things that came with subscribing to Twitch Affiliates was the ability to add one emote per subscriber tier. That total in 3 emotes per Twitch Affiliate channel. Since we’re only at the start of how these changes will effect both Twitch Affiliates and partners we can only wait and see.
What emote to get?
What we can do is theorize about it and try figure out the best course of action. There’s already a few different schools when it comes to what type of emote to get as a Twitch Affiliate.
Rewarding your regulars
One of them is that you want something that rewards your community/viewers. That can be an emote that is an in-joke, a version the Kappa (remember that Kappa and VoHiYo are the only global emotes that you can make derivatives from), or version of any other famous emote. These are a great reward for your regular that want to use it on your channel. But that’s kind of where it stops.
You have to understand that when you do a variation on another emote or a similar emote to someone else you’re now competing with that emote with everyone else that also has that type of emote. You might ask “But Daniel partners still has them, why can’t I?” First of all you can. But more importantly should you? A partner have the option to have more than one emote. Having one that rewards their regular is a great idea and they might even have several ones that works that way. But you as a Twitch Affiliate you don’t have the same range.
While rewarding your regulars is a great thing. Keep in mind that they might have 3-5 version of that emote that they can choose from. In the sea of things they might overlook yours and instead use any of the other ones that might have a higher production value and better made with a higher budget.
Seeing them spread
However when it comes to an emote spreading outside of a channel we’ve already seen partnered streamers like AdmiralBahroo. Having not only great emotes but emotes that standout and end up trending outside of his channel.
Again you as a Twitch Affiliate are limited in that approach. You do have 3 options but keep an eye on the spread between your subs. If you have 5 at tier one but none at tier three you really only have 1 emote to play with.
So what’s a good emote? I’m preface this by saying that I’m not an emote artists but I’ve interacted with enough partners (and now Twitch affiliates to understand the “emote economy”). A emote spreads for a few different reasons. One of them is simply that the user likes it the most. This does play into emotes competing for space (ie. one viewer might have 5 different kappas or 10 different OMG emotes to choose from) you have to be either the best of those OR be the streamer that the viewer likes the most. The chance is there but it’s smaller and might be a steeper investment.
Another path to go is to have emotes that can cover special situations. Now this is of course the hardest to figure out. Most emotions are probably already covered but that dosen’t mean that you can’t have something that stands out from the rest. Every emote you have don’t have to be a derivative of another one but rather a spin or your unique take on it.
Of course you should never overlook that an emote that can stand on it’s own without being a derivative, spin or a new take on a “classic”. I can’t tell you what these emotes looks like or what they might look like. The truth is that no one does. Having that one emote that can become a classic is a big bet but it’s not an impossible one with creativity.
Subscribing vs Tip
It’s no secret that Twitch does a 50/50 split when a Twitch affiliate gets a subscriber. It have been said that an affiliate might rather take a tip than a subscriber since they get a better split and they get it faster. Remember that a Twitch Affiliate has to wait 60 days and has to have at least $100 before there’s a payout.
However there’s another downside and it’s that Twitch dosen’t cover all the bank fees that might be involved with a subscriber. Meaning that while Twitch takes 50% the bank might take another chunk of your 50% depending on the payment method that the subscriber used. This line is from the Twitch help page for Twitch Affiliates “including taxes, payment processing fees, bank fees, currency conversion fees, etc.”.
While there might be more cons, those are the two that I’ve heard.
So what about the pros?
Metrics. Twitch can actually see that you have subscribers but they can’t see your donations. Even if you display them on your stream dosen’t really mean anything. If Twitch can see that you have a ton of subscribers it might a wise move for them to make you a partner at that point.
Chargeback protection. Those days before payout is to protect you against chargebacks. It’s simple but it works. Bascially the money is held in an account until it’s verified (with time) before you can get a payout.
Now the argument is that you need to money right now. While I think it’s fine to go into streaming to make money (why wouldn’t it?). It’s hard to make the argument that you should take a tip before a subscription to get money faster. If you’re in dire need of income from streaming you should be aware that it might take time to get there. For some it might take 1 month and for others it might take 10 years. There’s no metric for this so betting on quick payout for equipment isn’t the best option for everyone.
However that dosen’t mean that you can’t have that option there for tipping as well.
With all this said there are pros can cons for both focusing your stream on subscribing or tipping. It really comes down to you and your vision for the future of your channel.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that you got some useful information from it. I know it was a long one but it was needed to get it all out there.
If you’re looking for Twitch branding you might want to take a look at my Twitch Branding Services and get in touch.