Partner vs Affiliate

Partnership – An overview

Twitch Partner. The title every streamer wants, but less than 2% will ever attain.¬†Partnership is an important step for content creators looking to turn their hobby into a full-time job. Streamers lucky enough to earn the title enjoy a wide range of perks. In addition to the fancy check mark and prestige of being among Twitch’s finest, Partnered broadcasters have access to:

  • The ability monetize content through Bits, Subscriptions, and Ads
  • Full access to Transcode
  • Custom cheer-motes
  • Up to 50 subscriber emotes
  • Stream delay
  • Piority access to Twitch’s Support Staff.

Streamers that make it into Twitch’s exclusive group also earn more opportunities for exposure, such as being featured on the front page of Twitch. Twitch Partnership opens up the door to sponsorship and contracts with various gaming brands. The notoriety has a snowball effect, and if utilized properly, can help a broadcaster grow further.

Until a year ago, Twitch’s guidelines for Partnership were not concrete. As a result, anyone had a chance become a Partner if they stood out within their respective community. Due to a growing frustration from content creators, Twitch found a new way to allow content creators monetize their content through the Twitch Affiliate Program.

Affiliation – A new way to grow

Twitch Affiliate is essentially a nerfed version of Twitch Partner. Affiliation is much easier to obtain than Partnership. The requirements are relatively lax, and most streamers can meet them within their first few months of broadcasting:

  • Stream for 8 hours in the last 30 days
  • Stream on 7 days in the last 30 days
  • Reach an average of 3 viewers per stream
  • Grow your audience to 50 followers

Twitch Affiliate allows a lot of the same perks as Partnership, though some are to a lesser extent:

  • The ability monetize content through Bits and Subscriptions
  • Priority access to Transcode
  • 1 Subscriber emote, and 2 additional Subscriber Tier emotes

Affiliates see less revenue than Partnered streamers, though drawing a direct comparison is difficult. Partnered streamers generally have much larger audiences than Affiliated streamers, so naturally they would earn more potential revenue. Affiliated streamers have priority access to Transcode options. The won’t have it all the time, but in my experience, I have have them available 90% of the time I stream. Though they don’t get access to as many emotes, Affiliates can incentivize potential supporters with community emotes. Aside from the prestige, Partnership and Affiliate share a lot of the same benefits.

Where did Twitch go wrong?

Twitch wanted to allow more broadcasters the chance to monetize their content, and Affiliation would allow smaller creators to do just that. Compared to other streaming platforms, such as YouTube or Mixer, Twitch set the bar for entry pretty low. Affiliate status can be earned within the first month or two of streaming. However, because it is so easy to hit the requirements for Affiliation, novice streamers mistakenly assume Partnership is just a matter of time. Twitch set a precedent that succeeding as a streamer is easy.

Many streamers start out with the goal of becoming Partnered. However, many do not understand the time, energy, and emotional commitment required to meet that goal. Many streamers have been broadcasting for over two years, and have yet to meet Twitch’s requirements for Partnership. Partnership requires that you stream regularly and that you can maintain a consistently large viewership, measured in average concurrent viewers. Among the requirements, the hardest for most streamers is the large viewership.

Speaking from experience, there’s certain viewership milestones which become harder to meet as you progress. From 1 to 5 viewers is just starting out. Getting to the 10-15 viewer range means that you have the beginnings of a community. From there, anywhere between 20-40 viewers is “having a presence” within most game communities. That last hurdle of 50+ viewers is really difficult, and requires a lot of time, experience, and most of all, good content.

Why should you stop pushing for Partner?

If you stop and think about what the numbers mean, rather than viewing them as stats, you may come to realize something important: regardless of whether you have 5 viewers or 500 – you have an audience. Real human beings who want to watch you play, create, sing, meme, or dance – and they take time out of their day to do that. If you find yourself frustrated that you can’t hit the requirements for Partnership, or you feel it is unfair to you, you’re probably missing the big point. Being a Twitch Partner isn’t just about you, it’s about the community you’ve built on Twitch. Twitch Partners are intended to be representatives of what the “best of Twitch” looks like. Existing Twitch Partners have used Twitch as the platform for their communities, and in doing so have brought people together through their content.

Ask yourself: have you used Twitch to build a unique community? Do you, your community, and your content bring something unique to Twitch? If you ran Twitch, would you say that your channel be a good representative of what Twitch is all about? If you aren’t sure about the answer to any of these, you probably need to refocus on your content and your community.

Focus on growth. Set smaller goals that guide you towards Partnership. Be grateful for your current community and focusing on fostering what’s there – doing so will inevitably result in growth. If and when the time comes, you’ll hit Partnership. Until then, you’re a Twitch Affiliate – you’re already getting a pretty sweet deal!