- Twitch announced the launch of its new Twitch Affiliate Program for non-partnered streamers via a company blog post.
- The Affiliate Program allows creators who aren’t part of the Twitch Partner Program to earn money broadcasting on the platform, and provides a stepping stone between emerging creator and Twitch Partner status.
- The first money-making tool available to creators in the Affiliate Program is access to the “Cheering with Bits” function that allows viewers to tip creators with “bits” worth $0.014. The post also pointed to additional tools to be rolled out later on: “While Affiliates will eventually have access to basic versions of our tools including Subscriptions, Game Commerce and Advertising, we will continue developing additional features just for Partners that are tailored for nurturing the larger communities they manage.”
While Twitch is still primarily a platform for gamers, it has been attempting to broaden its appeal. Over the past year, Twitch has added a Communities section focused on users' interests such as comedy, food and music. The platform has also experimented with TV streaming, offering up pilot episodes of parent company Amazon's new programs as well as classic programming featuring Bob Ross and Julia Child.
The timing of the new monetization program at Twitch, which is likely to support efforts to widen the platform's reach, might be the most interesting element about the announcement as key competitor YouTube is currently facing an ongoing issue with brands and agencies effectively boycotting the platform by withholding ad spending over concerns about brand safety. The problem began when ads were seen appearing next to terrorism-supporting video on the platform. One result of the issue, and Google’s attempts to rectify the problem is YouTube creators have found they are taking a revenue hit, making them more likely to seek out other platforms. Enter Amazon-owned Twitch’s well-timed expansion of money-making opportunities for creators.
In fact, not long after the current YouTube problem hit, as well as following YouTube's move to limit moneymaking for creators, the platform’s top influencer, Felix Kjellberg, better known PewDiePie, launched a new show on Twitch, although Kjellberg said the timing was coincidental as he had already planned to expand his broadcasting to include Twitch.