Twitch's new affiliate program will let nearly any streamer earn money

The Verge

Cheering was initially only available to select Twitch partners at launch, with plans to expand to a wider group over time. With any streamer having streamed over 500 minutes in last 30 days, the affiliate program will be applicable. I can then use them to tip my favorite channels or streams or videos via chat.

The company has introduced a brand new Affiliate Program, which will allow tens of thousands of non-partnered creators to start generating revenue from Twitch. At launch, the only monetization tool in the program will be "cheering" (sending animated emotes that viewers can buy), although more tools will arrive in the next few months. Since its debut, users have posted over a billion Bits to be used in their Cheers, says Twitch, dubbing the program a "success". This perhaps blurs the line a bit between the larger and smaller communities on Twitch's service, but it also gives more creators the ability to grow their channels. Whereas with Partners, specific features are under development that are designed for nurturing the larger communities they manage.

In order to distinguish Partners from Affiliates, Partners will receive a new verified badge on the day that the Affiliate Program launches. In other words, it's not open to just anyone streaming on Twitch - you have to be invited.

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A whole lot of Twitch streamers will stand to benefit from these changes.

When you're just starting out as a streamer, making money on Twitch can be kind of hard. Additional tools letting affiliates make money, such as selling subscriptions, will be added in the future, the company said. And Twitch, of course, is also filling its own coffers as it rolls out these tools more broadly, given that it takes a cut of things like these Cheering Bits and Subscriptions.

If you're a streamer on Twitch and you want to make some money off your efforts, either you'll have to be one of Twitch's partnered creators, or you'll have to rely on donations from your audience which may or may not be the most reliable form of income. Twitch has over 100 million users a month, making it the most popular site for broadcasting and viewing live gaming in the world.

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