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[personal profile] trysdyn
After my last post I guess it probably sounded like I was excited to get Twitch Affiliate, and I was really. I got it today and have spent the past few hours considering the ups and downs of accepting the offer. In the end I decided to decline it (or more accurately: leave it sitting unanswered until such time that I decide it's more apropos), which I'm sure will come as a shock to most people who stream, or watch my stream.

The whys of the matter are kind of a mess in my head but I'll try to lay them out for people curious.

To start, as I said in my last post, I'm not in it for the money. My viewer max is 20 and of the 10 or so people that watch me regularly, I know the financial states of about half of them and would feel utterly bad taking a cent from them for any purpose. That kind of shoots a hole in my "some people want to interact by cheering" argument, when I would feel bad if people actually did it.

In addition, having money involved would just change how streaming feels for me. If you've picked up on subtle (or not so subtle) cues from me, I'm a massive socialist. Streaming and gaming is where I go to get away from capitalism and money for a bit. Just knowing bits/subs were there would change the entire feel of streaming for me, I know it. I thought I could address this with the charity angle from my last post (and I STILL think that's a good idea, don't get me wrong), but now that the option is in front of me, I feel like it won't.

Speaking of the charity option: Twitch has a hook in their Affiliate agreement that says they're not obligated to pay out anything until your account has $100 in it. This is pretty standard for this kind of agreement: an entity doesn't want to drown in transactions for pennies, and if they have a minimum on transfers, they get some extra scratch slushing in their coffers before they have to transfer it. I don't ever expect to receive $100, so even benefiting charity is out of the question. What's more, in the layover period between cheer and receiving the money, I'd feel on the hook for that contribution; more mental load on me for what should be a fun hobby.

Speaking of contract hooks: their content exclusivity terms would change how I stream and submit PBs to leaderboards. I don't want that.

So my grand plan of "Stream for bits for charity" is shot full of holes. What about benefits? Sub isn't on the table right now, so my one sub icon isn't attainable right now. When sub rolls out I may reconsider. Transcodes are enticing, but I already get them by merit of being a regular streamer with a not-zero view count. If I stop getting them due to priority shifts in Twitch's systems, maybe worth considering? But even then, I stream NES games...

Finally there's the arguably most silly thing for me: Twitch wants all my tax info. I'm not a tinfoil hat type but, to be frank, tying my legal info into my online presence just feels weird to me. Also since they do that, that would introduce additional tax burden on the few bucks I do get.

Long story short, the benefits are very small in exchange for a lot of small, but present, mental burdens on me. Before the $100 minimum payout and the realization that I already get transcodes, I was on the fence on the matter. With all the info I have now I'm pretty strongly in the "No thanks" camp. It boils down to "I don't want to make this about anything but games and fun". Ah well, it was a neat idea while it lasted.

I do still want to try to "do good" with my stream. I just need to find a better way.
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