The Affiliate Consideration


Twitch may be terribly run as far as decisions go, but given the expensive megacorp-driven nature of live streaming, people are probably either streaming there or on YouTube, unless they really like Facebook, and the persistence of the Quest 2 seems to indicate that people are either somewhat complacent with it or found a way around it. There is an open source site package for setting up a streaming site, though, and I would like to see that used more. I would if I could work out hosting logistics and then teach myself a bunch of server languages.

From my understanding, the Affiliate rank on Twitch is like a half-step to Partner. It enables monetization, but features are handed out second-rate, like the hit-or-miss presence of transcoding, which would allow someone with a limited connection to watch a cast that’s running at 1080p at a lower resolution. Because it’s a monetized rank, though, it means ads can show up, and given Twitch’s current insistence on showing ads regardless of adblock to the point where they’re breaking the embedded player to force people onto their ad-filled site, it could be a hit to the ever-pursued growth metric for early starters, just because someone having to sit through an ad to see if a stream is worth sticking around for is too much to ask for a lot of people.

I don’t blame those people, after all, the aggression from Twitch towards adblock instead of trying to work with those users attempting to use the site is a turn-off. I’ve been watching fewer streams and more VODs in the current case as a result. However, according to some previously-announced plan, and seemingly confirming this through a bit of research, ads only appear on monetized channels. Compared to YouTube which is now apparently exercising their “spam ads on all videos” privilege regardless of monetization, and where a lot of uploaders there who are seeking cash seem to pursue alternate methods like Patreon and such. As far as adblock functionality, it seems to at least function there. They do also seem to keep the ads, if not blocked, either short or skippable, but who knows how that will slip over time.

So if monetizing a channel through Twitch inserts ads, would it be better to delay any step to Affiliate or even Partner in regards to growth, just to counteract any possible “bounces”? When it comes to whatever channels I’m doing, I didn’t have an intent to monetize from the start. I really just want to mess around and play weird games or whatever, and that’s it. It’s possible at the moment to have a channel with a bunch of viewers without any monetization steps taken. I’m not looking at metrics, though. Just people.

There is another thing, though, when streamers start running tallies on screen regarding any income, depending on the approach. Someone might start to wonder what the streamer is focusing on, if it’s income, the game, possibly chat, who knows sometimes. I’m not saying that the people don’t deserve the income, some do really need it. Maybe it’s done more out of generosity from the viewers instead of just getting weird emotes. It can work out fine. Of course there are sometimes the terrible people who are so focused on money that they might even ask for minimum donation goals to even start a stream, or maybe repeatedly interrupting the stream to go over the detailed benefits of subscribing despite the site itself laying those out, like far more often than a YouTube uploader suggests and explains the multi-step process of subscribing, which is a free action in the case of that site. Monetary subscriptions may be referred to as a “join” there maybe, I’m not sure.

There was this “bit cup” thing before which seemed a bit tacky, because it takes up a certain not insignificant portion of the screen, there’s all these animations going on around it, it doesn’t seem to be an accurate visual tally of any amount donated for the stream’s duration, and other reasons about wondering why there’s a giant cup in the side of the screen. I’d also wonder if the cup would more comparatively look like an old paper coffee cup filled with coins. If I go to support a streamer, I’d like to find ways that involve not giving Twitch my money directly wherever I can. Direct support where possible so they get at least most of it, since some donation avenues take a cut. I still end up getting bits anyway from surveys I get sent and am bored enough to fill out, but apparently giving bits to a streamer gives the whole monetary amount due to Twitch normally taking their “tax” at point of sale when packs are bought.

Really, though, I don’t really have much issue with subscriptions or donations, unless someone really is obsessed with dollars over people, it’s the ads that are making the site worse from a technical standpoint. Streamers seem to get relatively low payouts from them, but Twitch keeps pushing them on people, so the company is probably getting most of the payout from that. They’ll run them on very small starter Affiliate channels, too, where as few as a few people could see them and wonder if it’s even worth it to do so, or turn off anyone who’s just scoping out random low view channels from doing that in the first place. I’d only wonder if Twitch is trying to keep the Partner side of things in an elite form, to highlight the big moneymakers, and Affiliate was done to more throw a bone to the masses who wanted to start to hit it big but who knows where they’ll end up. Most of a typical stream’s success is due to its content overall, but if that content is blocked by Twitch blocking adblock and other such decisions that might bury niche and starting users under a pile of higher view count users, it can’t be entirely blamed on the stream content if people weren’t even able to see it.

I’ve seen people be really excited to get to Affiliate status after having a few steady viewers after a few consistent streams, but the road to Partner seems a lot longer and is way more picky. It could take a dozen applications to get anywhere with that, from what I’ve seen. I’ve also seen people as Partners downplay the whole thing, having the options to give money there but state that it’s totally optional yet very appreciated, and not having big notifications on stream for it either. They focus on the stream and the chat and I feel like that’s how it should be, at least as far as I’m thinking. I won’t totally shut down the idea of having those notifications, it’s possible to make them work, such as stylized with the streamer’s charisma, or having them set relatively low profile in general. The latter seems to work more for those who get very high viewer counts.

The long and short of it here is not so much regarding people monetizing their channels, but Twitch’s approach to it, and how it could be messing up some people in search of that as it tilts more toward the popular people who bring in the big bucks, a lot like YouTube does. It’s about as usual, I don’t so much have a problem with the people than I do with the governing body. Like with China. I want nothing to do with that government in particular, but I can meet some cool people from there, provided we can meet given restrictions, online or offline. Not sure how much a region-specific Steam would mess with that. I don’t exactly expect an ideal outcome, though.