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Best growth analytics for Twitch Streamers
In order to become Twitch Affiliate, you need to achieve 50 followers and 3 or more average concurrent viewers, while streaming for over 500 minutes spread across 7 or more unique broadcasts in the last 30 days.
This is the first big milestone and a starting goal for all new Creators and Streamers on Twitch in order to become Twitch partners. So how exactly can you get 50+ followers on Twitch fast? How to get 3+ average concurrent viewers on Twitch? We’ve got some answers that are going to surprise you.
Most importantly, should you really aim to become a Twitch Affiliate, and is this the right choice? Is the Affiliate contract going to help your career or actually hurt it? We’re going to explain all the pros and cons. Just continue reading.
As a starting streamer, your best shot at growing is actually bringing people that already know you to the platform. You can share your Twitch link with your friends or family members that are familiar with the platform and tell them about your streams. Also, you can share your newly created profile across your existing social media accounts… Twitter, Instagram, Discord, Facebook, or any other platform.
Do you have any IRL or internet friends that you game with? Those are your first followers. If you feel awkward about going public with your streams, ask yourself: Would you watch your own streams if you were just a viewer? If not, clearly there are some things to work on. But don’t worry everyone has to start somewhere and over time you might become more confident.
Don’t have 50 people in your circle? Try to find other like-minded starting creators and collaborate with them. Maybe squad up in your favorite first-person shooter game, or just hang out together on Discord during your streams.
Best growth analytics for Twitch Streamers
The best way to start on Twitch is actually to stream as little as possible. Twitch is notoriously known for being the most difficult platform to grow on unless you’re already a bit established streamer. So the answer you’re looking for is producing engaging content for other platforms and then funneling your fans to Twitch.
Let us break the news to you. Being “just a streamer” is no longer a feasible gig. The only successful streamers are Content Creators. You have to establish your presence on more than just one platform. And to begin with, you should focus on platforms known for their new creator-friendly algorithms. Your energy should go towards platforms that recognize and reward well-made and engaging content such as YouTube, TikTok, and others.
At this stage, you have to consider what value the time spent on each platform is going to get you. 6 hours of streaming to your 2 viewers on Twitch and getting 1 or 2 new followers doesn’t sound too exciting. How about producing a new YouTube video or creating 3 new TikToks / YouTube Shorts?
Especially when it comes to the short format content your chances of growth are looking pretty good. You just have to learn the basic principles of each platform and produce engaging content.
And even in the worst-case scenario. With TikToks or any video-on-demand uploads, you can iterate fast. Review the analytics of each upload. Identify the mistakes you’ve made and try to improve. And if you manage to make every single upload just a little better, the compound effect is going to deliver. Sure it might take 20 or maybe even 50 or 100 uploads till you crack the magical formula, but on platforms like TikTok, this could be achieved in maybe a month or two.
On Twitch you’re going to sit in the darkness. Sure, there are now some analytics tools even for Twitch streamers, StreamBee Analytics being one of them. But it’s not going to be as easy for you to crack the code, because Twitch simply isn’t built around recommendation algorithms and still heavily continues to be a “king maker” (shout out to Devin Nash for establishing this term). What we’re trying to say is that Twitch favors and promotes the creators based on their concurrent viewer count. The more viewers you have the more exposure Twitch gives you. And you as a small streamer have very few or no viewers, so this is bad news. Because now, in order for someone to discover your stream someone has to scroll through another 50 or sometimes even 500 streamers. At all times there are going to be creators who are streaming the same game at the same time as you, just to more viewers than you. And Twitch kindly places them right above you.
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Access to priority transcoding is certainly one of the perks. By becoming an affiliate your chances at having your stream transcoded and available at various video quality and resolution options. This allows your fans to choose their preference quality – e.g. 360p, 720p or 1080p. Transcoding might be appreciated by your fans with limited internet speed or fans watching on mobile devices. Keep in mind however that this is becoming less of an issue today as high internet speed access is now more common than not. Becoming an affiliate does not however guarantee access to transcoding, merely just poses as one of the factors considered and it still mostly relies on how many streamers are life at the time and what is your current viewer count.
Yeah, this one is pretty cool but at the same time a complete disaster. The ability for your fans to safely and conveniently support you directly on the platform is a great perk and frankly, once you establish a core audience it’s fairly easy to get some bits, subs, or game sales. The convenience factor plays its role for the viewers and it’s certainly easier to earn their support this way.
The disappointing part is Twitch taking a massive 50% cut from your earnings. These terms are unseen to the industry and the standard 10%-20% revenue split offered by other platforms. After taking 50% of each subscription you’re left with $2.50 (in some cases even less – see country-based subscription pricing), that is before taxes.
Becoming an affiliate also unlocks access to cheering and bits. This is Twitch’s alternative to tipping. Sadly similar to subscriptions Twitch takes an unreasonable high revenue split.
Last but not least as an affiliate you unlock or better said you’re forced to run pre-roll or mid-roll ads. Unless your alerts have a lot of viewers the revenue from this is going to be counted in cents and the CPM is lower than on YouTube. More on the ads below.
Emotes, channel points, polls, and predictions are all pretty cool and a great asset to have in your toolbox. There are however some amazing 3rd party alternatives that you could use. We’ve prepared a whole section at the bottom of this article where you can find a free alternative for each of these features.
Chat with your fans. Monetize your DMs.
Yay! After grinding for months you’ve just finally become an affiliate. You made it! It took 2 months to get to 50 followers and from now only the sky’s the limit. Wrong.
An important part of the Affiliate program are ads. There are no ads on your Twitch channel before you sign any contract with Twitch and you and your audience remain completely ad-free. That changes with the Affiliate status. Now you’re stuck with ads forever. Forever. Yes, let that sink in… Why are we making such a big deal out of this? Sadly ads and livestreams don’t work too well together and this is not the case with YouTube VOD, where the content is already uploaded and can wait for you. Stream is happening right now at this very moment and anything you miss is just gone. This might make it even harder for you to get your partner status.
Based on the analysis of leaked data from Twitch, Wall Street Journal found out that up to 80% of Twitch Affiliates will never reach the $100 threshold required for a payout. And about half of all qualified streamers who have the ability to earn payouts had made less than $28 (resulting in no payout).
Most of the streamers on Twitch won’t ever see any payouts from Twitch. And only 0.06% of all streamers are able to make above the median US household income of $ 67,521. While a stunning quarter of all income was generated by the top 1000 accounts.
The minimum threshold to get the check is $100. That is over 40 individual subscriptions (assuming all your fans are based in the US). Ask yourself how much time it could take you to get 40 subscriptions, especially if you’re getting just 3-10 average concurrent viewers today. It could take you months, and the chances are you’re going to give up before that even happens. Please don’t do that. We believe in you. And just because you’ve made it this deep into this article you’re different from the rest of the pack. Read on.
We’d argue that you should hold off signing an exclusive contract with Twitch until you’ve established an actual fan base there. Think of signing this contract as proposing or almost getting married. You don’t do that after a month or two.
Waiting a bit longer and allowing yourself to experiment with other platforms could change your creator career. So before you open the paper, think about that first. Becoming an Affiliate might make sense once you’re confident that:
In other words, you should never sign the Affiliate contract right after you unlock it and Instead should wait at least until 20-50 concurrent viewers. At that point, the benefits of the Affiliate program might start to outweigh its cons. But in some cases, it might not be worth it to become Twitch Affiliate ever. It’s simply not that good of a deal.
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Have you ever taken the time to think about your ultimate goal? Is it to become a full-time content creator? Full-time streamer? To become financially independent? If your answer is yes then you don’t need Twitch to achieve any of those.
You can get more viewers and grow your following significantly faster if you decide to experiment with multiple streaming platforms and try multi-streaming. Why limit yourself and your content to just one platform when you could be streaming to two, three or maybe five platforms at the same time?
Today you can successfully stream (gaming content) to almost any platform.
Just to name the big ones. There are plenty of smaller, more niche-oriented platforms out there too.
Sure I’m not saying you should be streaming to all of them, but some of these platforms could really surprise you. Right now we’re particularly excited about TikTok Live. The platform seems to be investing heavily into scaling to the live-streaming space and as always the early adopters are the ones to benefit the most. You might find yourself streaming to an audience of 50 viewers on TikTok instead of your regular 5 viewers on Twitch. The bottom line is you should try to experiment. And sadly Twitch Affiliate contract locks you out of multi-streaming (or at least to streaming to other platforms and Twitch at the same time).
Going back to the original question – if your goal is to become a full-time streamer or creator you should test as many platforms as possible and not just hope for a miracle to happen on Twitch. There are millions of people already in that line. You have to be more hungry than them.
Subscriber emotes are an amazing perk and a great community-building tool. But there is one more tool that even the largest Twitch Partners use for emotes and are relying on this tool even with 50+ custom Twitch emotes. Meet Better Twitch TV (shortly just BTTV). This free browser extension allows every streamer to upload custom channel emotes that are available for use to all their viewers. BTTV has 4+ million users and is considered a must-have by all heavy Twitch users. On top of just unlocking additional custom emotes BTTV also offers a number of usability and user interface improvements that make the watching and chatting experience more enjoyable. A second, less popular alternative is FrankerZ. This extension has similar capabilities but is less widely adopted with “just” 1 million users.
Allowing your fans to earn a virtual loyalty currency for their time spent watching your stream is a great idea. Did you know that this idea came from a 3rd party startup REVLO, which was later acquired by Twitch as they decided to implement their own solution to this?
Today there are multiple free solutions for you to use, namely:
All of these tools offer all the essentials and anything you would expect from a loyalty point system. Custom rewards, manual redemptions, etc.
Twitch usually takes a 50% cut from your revenue earned from subscriptions. Instead of relying on this “expensive” solution from Twitch, you can use some of the existing 3rd party alternatives. The most popular platforms are Patreon (10% cut), Ko-Fi (5%), and FanHouse (10%). If you’re interested in more adult-friendly platforms we’ve made an article about OnlyFans alternatives.
When it comes to tipping (an alternative to bits and cheering) you can use StreamElements, Streamlabs or Ko-Fi. All of these platforms take 0% cut other than the PayPal transaction fees (2.9% + $.30 per transaction). And frankly, this is still the most comfortable and preferred option for supporting creators today. Back in the day, this used to be the only and primary revenue stream for all streamers.
When it comes to revenue split, Twitch offers the lowest percentage out of the big 3, taking a whole 50% of your earnings. YouTube, on the other hand, will take only 30% of your revenue and Facebook even leaves you with the whole 100% until 2023!
So let’s see how Facebook or YouTube, or TikTok stack up against Twitch’s entry-level streamer program?
The requirements to join Facebook’s Level Up program (a competitor to Twitch Affiliate) are the following:
The following 2 requirements will unlock your access to YouTube monetization via ads and Channel memberships (subscriptions)
In order to also monetize via Super Chats and Super Stickers (an alternative to Twitch’s Bits/donations) you need to live in a country that’s eligible.
To earn money directly from TikTok, you need to achieve the following.
As you can see each platform has its own set of requirements and not always it’s easy and fast to unlock the monetization features. That’s why you might be better off by simply using some of the monetization tools that are already available to all creators, regardless of the size or the platform. So whether you are streaming your favorite video games or any other activities on your favorite streaming platform, you should pick wisely your preferred partner by looking at revenue share, subscription options, or payment methods.
Twitch is a great platform but it’s an absolute disaster when it comes to growing on Twitch. Just because you became eligible and met all the affiliate requirements to become a Twitch Affiliate doesn’t mean you should do it. We advise you to hold off for at least some time before you hit higher numbers and are actually able to benefit from Twitch’s additional features that you unlock.
Becoming an Affiliate right away is actually the last nail in the coffin for most of the starting creators on Twitch. You need to understand that this deal comes with its pros and cons. You get a bundle of new tools and monetization options, but at the same time lock yourself to an exclusive contract with one platform that’s notoriously known for being impossible to grow. And to make the whole thing even worse – your viewers start getting pre-roll ads, which can hurt your growth by up to 30%. According to an independent study performed by Devin Nash up to 30% of viewers who get presented a pre-roll ad upon entering your stream end up leaving. That is 30% of your potential viewers leaving before they even see a single second of your stream.
Growing on other streaming platforms can be significantly easier. So as long as your goal is not exclusively to be a Twitch streamer, but to become a full-time content creator as a profession you should be experimenting with other platforms and not just Twitch.
Look, we think Twitch Affiliate status can be a great deal for some, but if you’ve just painfully fought your way up to 3+ concurrent viewers and to 50 followers, trust us that Twitch Affiliate is NOT going to make it any easier for you. Quite the opposite, growing is going to become somewhat even more challenging the second you sign up. There are almost 2 million active Twitch Affiliate streamers on the platform, so by joining this program you’re just following the flow, and sadly the mainstream flow is full of streamers that are not growing and not making any money. Choose yourself.
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