Streamers that broadcast on Twitch–an Amazon affiliate, and wildly popular video game streaming platform where millions of viewers come to watch and discuss live gameplay feeds–will soon be granted access an expanded suite of creator-exclusive features designed to make it easier to cultivate an audience and earn revenue.
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and Director of Programing Marcus Graham announced plans for the revamped creator toolset during a keynote address at this year’s TwitchCon–the company’s annual convention. They said the upcoming features will enable video creators to more effectively monitor their progress towards achieving Affiliate or Partner status, which grants access to Twitch’s multiple money-making tools. Once they are designated an Affiliate or Partner, streamers can offer viewers paid subscriptions, equip their channels with a virtual tip jar, and even earn a cut from selling sponsored games.
While Twitch’s perk-laden Partnership program is reserved for the platform’s most successful streamers, the Affiliate program was introduced to provide smaller creators the option to monetize their channels. Since debuting the Affiliate option this past Spring, Twitch’s Affiliate count has swelled to well over 110,000 streamers. The site’s Partnership initiative boasts healthy growth as well; this year individual Partner channels earned an average of 71% more revenue than in 2016.
As of mid-November, two of Twitch’s major system updates have already been integrated; the first, Stream Summaries, displays post-stream info, including the average, max and total number of viewers per stream, as well as top video clips, chat activity, and more. Meanwhile, Twitch’s Achievements feature sorts the relevant data into progress bars that serve as milestones, informing streamers as to how much more channel interaction they’ll need before they reach Affiliate or Partner status.
Other changes planned for November include improving the analytics and monitoring capabilities of Twitch’s Raid feature, through which video creators can work together in directing viewer traffic between multiple streams. In addition, there’s the launch of a feature called rituals, which allows streamers to recognize and welcome new community members. Also new is the ability to earn money by selling special digitized items and privileges through Twitch’s Extensions function. Extensions lets creators develop and add unique interactive features to their channel, such as polls, leaderboards, overlays, and even virtual pets.
Three other features are slated for release late this year. According to Twitch, Premiers will be used to generate hype around creator’s video releases by transforming them into interactive live-viewing events; with Rooms, streamers can divide their chat into separate segments to encourage meaningful conversation. The last, Subscription Gifting, allows users to purchase and send one-month subscriptions as gifts.
The majority of Twitch’s new features are centered around channel expansion and monetization, which from a strategic perspective makes sense, considering the site now receives 15 million active visitors daily, and hosts over 2.2 million creators, some of whom are branching out into TV show streaming, personal vlogs, and other genres of content beyond the platform’s trademark gaming videos.