Twitch has announced an incentive scheme that will guarantee a set amount of ad revenue per month to qualified streamers. For all but the top-tier streamers, generating a sustainable career from the live streaming platform is impossible, according to many artists. “Having a consistent ad revenue floor should allow you to better prepare for the future, whatever that may entail.” Twitch noted on its site,
“We hope it’s a significant step toward empowering creators.”
Twitch’s new payment mechanism, dubbed the Ad Incentives Program or AIP, provides a monthly flat reward to a restricted set of partners and affiliates. In exchange, authors agree to stream for a set number of hours per month while also airing advertisements.
For the time being, Twitch has selected a small set of streams to participate in AIP. A notification will appear on top of selected streamers’ Ads Manager dashboards inviting them to join the initiative. Ads, subscriptions, Bits (virtual items purchased by viewers to cheer you on), and donations from followers are all common ways for Twitch streams to make money. On Twitch, not every streamer can make money. Before allowing streamers to its Affiliate program, which allows creators to monetize their streamers, the site demands a particular number of followers and broadcast hours. Affiliates with a sufficient number of followers and views are eligible to join the more lucrative Partner program. However, sustaining a steady fan base is extremely difficult, and many creators burn out as a result of the long hours necessary.
Twitch normally splits the revenue from subscriptions with streamers 50/50, a much worse arrangement than YouTube, Facebook, and other sites. Streamers will be able to choose from a variety of payment methods, with the amount Twitch offers each streamer varying. A user who agrees to broadcast for 40 hours per month can choose between a $100 reward for running 2 minutes of commercials per hour, a $300 payout for running 3 minutes of ads per hour, or a $500 payout for running 4 minutes of ads per hour, according to Twitch’s samples. Streamers will be paid the same amount regardless of how many people view them. They’ll continue to earn revenue at their standard rate after they’ve streamed the appropriate number of hours. While an earnings floor may give some security for a select group of Twitch streamers, a number of streamers on Twitter have already pointed out that smaller streamers (who are most likely to require a source of guaranteed revenue) will be harmed in the most significant way. The streamers who qualify for Twitch’s new AIP program already have a medium to a large fanbase who already watch their streams. But for that select group, AIP may eliminate some of the guesswork when it comes to deciding which ad strategy will work best.