21 Apr 2017

trysdyn: (Default)
Twitch announced their affiliates program today. The short of it is they're giving some partner benefits to non-partnered streamers, including bit tips and some limited subscription features in the future. It's all very undefined right now but as I understand it, Affiliates will make less money than Partners, and be given fewer social-impacting features (fewer sub emotes, no custom cheer emotes, etc).

I live in Silicon Valley, California, meaning I would have to become a very large streamer for the funds to make a dent in my cost of living. So as it sits, financial gain from Twitch is not even a possibility for me or a remote thought on my mind. I consider this lucky really in that I've never been tempted to go "All in" on streaming to try to make it big. I wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell anyway because I stream obscure retro speedruns :)

As such, I had it in my bio for awhile that if someone really, really feels the need to tip me, they should donate in my name to the SPLC or Trevor Project instead. This works for me. However, there's two untapped opportunities here.

Number 1: Some viewers enjoy donating/subbing to streamers because it increases their level of involvement in the stream and the alert strokes their ego a bit. A lot of people consider $5.00 a fair price to pay to feel more involved in their entertainment medium, and in a way I think this actually improves viewer retention. What I'm saying is that if people like tipping/subbing, why not give them the opportunity?

Number 2: That revenue stream, no matter how small, could be put to good use like charitable donations. This would actually boost the effect of point 1 in that a donator or sub would get the benefit of feeling more involved with the stream AND know their money is going to a good use rather than just my discretionary budget.

So the thought on my mind has been this: open up for tips/subs/cheers/whatever, don't ask for them, don't promote myself, and make it clear I don't get the money. Anything I happen to take, whether that be $0, $5, or $100, gets rolled into a fund I use to make charitable contributions (and probably match myself to a point). My thoughts on where to direct these funds come down to...

  • YouCaring. I'd probably focus on gender issues, because that's where a large amount of my personal activism lies.
  • Activism and protection groups like the SPLC; the specific org decided by current events at time of consideration.
  • Other streamers who are doing "emergency" events and struggling financially.
  • Charity speedrun events to buy off incentives that look like they won't make it.

...and hey, if you don't trust my judgement in where to direct funds, no one says you have to tip/sub. It's not supporting me, after all.

If I make Affiliate I may do this.