Skip to main content

Why I Dropped Affiliate: Thinking Critically in a World Where People are Paid to Stream Video Games

When you're streaming video games via Twitch, you might be invited to the Twitch Affiliate program.

When the affiliate program launched for Twitch TV, thousands, if not millions of broadcasters rejoiced. They finally had a sub button which meant some kind of status. It meant that Twitch welcomed them into a realm where they could see their dreams become reality.

For decades, many of my generation wondered if they could ever see their passions turn into a way of living. I can even remember my mom telling me "Nobody got anywhere playing video games!" and I told her to "Wait and see!" Sure enough, this generation would come to see a medium of entertainment that not only entertained the player, but entertained many of us watching, too.

It brings into question our shifting view on what entertainment consists of—since the early 1900s, nickelodeons and picture shows were considered for the lower class since live Vaudeville entertainment was the talk of the town, and motion picture (thankfully discovered by the French and utilized by the Russians) was far behind any concept that we've purposed it for today. We didn't know how to handle this new art form of a moving image, and so it begged the question: what do we do with this?

Fast forward about 120 years, and suddenly motion picture has evolved into interactive entertainment, where a moving picture becomes something we can control. And not only that, suddenly an entire generation of people can develop an entire business out of what and how they play video games, one of the most impressive forms of entertainment today. Thus enters Twitch, where someone thought of the bright idea of making a business out of what this generation loves to do. Whouda thunk?

Regardless, streaming video games via Twitch is a wonderful thing, but I found that affiliation was just far too limiting. First, there's the exclusive clause on your contract stating you can't share your content on another platform for a full 24 hours—and nix on dual-streaming to Mixer either. On top of that, the profit percentage for a subscription is 50 percent. Half of the sub goes to you, half of it goes to Twitch. That's not controllable. Third, for a full 5 dollars, you get a range of emotes to use and a subscription badge. I'm sorry Twitch, but I can go buy an entire meal at Taco Bell and get a chance to win an Xbox One X for 35 cents more. It's up to broadcasters how they want to treat subs post-sub stipulations, but the subscription and exclusive clause doesn't give broadcasters the freedom to control their business the way they want to.

For instance, my subscriptions through Patreon give out my currencies that allow people to troll me the way they want. Syndromes are free via follows, hosts, and if I decide someone is awesome enough to deserve some. Pathogens and Germs are paid tier currencies, but regardless of how I structure them, I can control them how I want. Plus, they're available over Mixer AND Twitch, so whatever platform you choose to view my content, whether it's streaming via Twitch or Mixer, you can use what you purchase. You can even get dual points by following/hosting on one service and then doing the same with another.

Plus, my potential audience expands, I get to understand the functionalities and markets of multiple platforms, and everyone wins. The only potential things I lose out on are affiliate perks (which, if you ask me, aren't that great), and it might be the case that I get less subscriptions through Patreon than Twitch. But I stand by this: if you're broadcasting to make money, you're doing it for the wrong reason.

I have grown so much personally and professionally just from experimenting with Twitch and how to properly broadcast that I can take it to any business. I track profit and loss, user retention, analytics, social media, blogging (gee!), SEO (gee!), and nearly everything that a business might require. The gift is not in making a living streaming video games via Twitch, but in learning all these concepts that ultimately make you grow as a person. That's what I've longed for.

So, that's why I've dropped my affiliate contract from Twitch. I don't like my content to be owned. For many others, their contracts prevent them from streaming on another platform. That's an unfortunate business stipulation, and as Renee Reynosa said when she decided to move to Mixer, other platforms do not have this exclusivity clause which is limiting in a broadcaster's ability to explore other platforms.

TL;DR be careful what you sign with Twitch. You might be sigining away your face, literally.

See you online, space cowboy. If you want to see when I stream, check out my schedule. I'm on both Mixer and Twitch, with Facebook a possibility too.


Popular posts from this blog

How to Tell if Someone is Viewbotting (and other malicious things)

There's an aspect of livestreaming video games that gets under my skin a bit. Viewbotting. A lot of streamers have done it in the past. In fact, I once caught someone viewbotting and looked at who the bots were "following." A laundry list of very familiar names showed up, many partnered accounts on Twitch with millions of followers. Well-known streamers making a living. It's definitely abused a lot on streaming platforms, sort of the "black hat" method of livestreaming. Thankfully, nobody I saw listed from those bot accounts was any streamer that I was supporting. I don't bother supporting anyone trying to find "get partnership quick" methods. If you want to build a business out of streaming video games , then please don't bother viewbotting. You'll eventually find you wasted your money and your community will likely abandon you. However, if you feel that someone is viewbotting, here's a few ways you can tell someone is

Mutazione: An Interesting Adventure Game Published by Akupara Games

Mutazione by Akupara Games I'm vaguely reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his wacky tales with  Mutazione , an interesting adventure game from Akupara Games and developer Die Gute Fabrik. I recently  livestreamed it on twitch  for a few nights and had some remarks about it.    Marquez's largest narrative device was magical realism, and that's what you'll see in a lot of  Mutazione.  Magical realism is a concept where supernatural events happen in the natural world. A lot of that happens in this game, which tells the story of a girl (Kai) that visits a strange island in response to a sick relative's request. That's about as realistic as the game is because once Kai arrives on the island, she's greeted by friendly mutants, humanoid beings, and plants that do a lot more than just decorate the island. The backstory is that a giant meteor hit the island and affected the lives of everyone, changing humans into mutants over the course of many years. Most of the

Alien Isolation: Jumpscares and I Don't Mix

Alien Isolation Jumpscares Yep, that's the alien. If you know me well, you know that I am an incredibly jumpy person. Even a host on my Twitch channel often makes me jump and rear my arm back in defense against...a sound. But that unfortunate disposition hasn't been abundantly public until I played Alien Isolation. JFC, I nearly punched my equipment several times avoiding the alien in that game. As much as the game makes me jump like a 5-year old, I enjoy every minute of it and regret that I hadn't purchased it sooner. I actually downloaded it from the Xbox Game Pass. I think it's a fantastic deal for 15 dollars a month since a lot of titles are swapped in and out. Regardless, my absolute horrid sensitivity to in-game sounds (even non-jumpscare moments make me jump) often serves as a point of entertainment for people on the Twitch channel. In the very beginning moments of AI, I rarely could relax. Puckered butthole? Indeed. Streaming Alien Isolation has been a