I’ve been doing livestreaming on Twitch for a little while now, and while I’m nowhere near being a large streamer on the platform, I have noticed something that really confounds me: People pushing for Partner status.
I get it, in a way. People want to be like those big streamers on the platform. They want to have lots of fans, lots of money, etc, and they see being a Partner as the way to do it. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t really mistaken about that, either. If you want to “Get Rich on Twitch”, you have to be a Partner, or more to the point, Twitch will make you a Partner when you start to get big enough to make real money on the platform.
The thing is, people seem to be going about it all wrong. Partner is not what you want to have. Most people should aim for Affiliate status, maintain that, and be happy with it. Why? Because that is most likely the best they will ever achieve on the platform.
So, what’s the difference? Not much, really. To be an Affiliate, you need to:
- Maintain an average of 3 viewers over the last 30 days
- Stream on 7 days out of the last 30.
- Stream for a total of at least 8 hours over the last 30 days.
- Reach at least 50 Followers.
Meanwhile, to apply* for Partner status, you need:
- To stream for at least 25 hours, in the last 30 days
- Stream on 12 of the last 30 days
- Maintain an average of 75 viewers in the last 30 days.
- (*) Twitch streamers that don’t meet all of the above points might still be invited by Twitch to be a Partner, if the company feels they are a “good fit” for the program. You’d have to ask them what they mean by that, specifically.
Okay, so clearly it is much more difficult to reach Partner than Affiliate, but otherwise, the two aren’t all that different. Both Affiliates and Partners can take in Donations, either Direct or through Bits. Both can receive Subscriptions. Now Partners do get a few extra benefits, such as being able to put up advertisements on their streams, better bandwidth for their streams, more slots for custom emotes, etc. But in the end, the ways streamers make money on Twitch are pretty much the same, whether you are an Affiliate or Partner.
So, with all that in mind, why bother with pushing for Partner at all?
Look, when you are just starting out, even just making it to Affiliate can seem daunting, and Partner is just plain out of reach. But I’ve seen people be on Twitch for years and never be able to even maintain Affiliate, and others make it to Partner in less than a month. It all depends upon circumstances, the level of work ethic of the streamer in question, and many other factors.
I came to Twitch to have fun, and escape YouTube, who had just recently stolen what little Monetization I had away from my channel. I had no real intention of taking it anywhere, but with the help of a very kind person who decided to make me an Affiliate, I got there in about six weeks. And because they worked so hard to help me out, and drove me to reach that goal, I am working hard to maintain that status. That said, I will never make Partner, because I simply don’t have the time for it.
Reaching Partner status is not something one can do on their own. It takes talent, sure, but it also takes networking, basically living on Twitch – hanging out in other people’s streams, making friends, and trying to meet the people who might get you into a big Stream Team – all when you aren’t streaming yourself. It means talking to your Chat constantly, being open and friendly, and most of all, being as entertaining as you can. People don’t stick around for boring or non-communicative streamers.
But more than that, you will also have to spend time networking on Social Media, especially Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat. Get yourself ‘out there’ as much as you can, meeting people, even if it is just retweeting some joke another streamer made, because maybe that streamer notices, and decides to return the favor by Raiding your next stream with a few thousand of their viewers.
… and you have to do this every… single… day…
Even after you make Partner, too, because there will be a ton of people who decided to drop you, once you “make it big”. Why? Because they only want to be friends with, and support, so-called Small Streamers. Which is to say, not you, Mr. or Ms. Twitch Partner.
Anyway, for those people who do Twitch because they want to “Make it Big”, have Livestreaming as their career, or whatever, by all means, please make that Partner Grind. But you need to know that most of you won’t make it, and it will be very hard for all of you. Nevertheless, good luck to you in your endeavors!
For everyone else, though, don’t feel like you are a failure if you “only” ever make Affiliate, because that is simply nothing to sneeze at! Moreover, if you continue to build your channel over time, you can make some nice money off of it. Remember that other than ad revenue, Affiliates have access to all of the same monetization Partners do. In fact, from what I’ve heard, most people make the most money from viewer Donations (between Bits and direct Donations), as opposed to Subscriptions, although Subs are likely steadier income sources.
TL;DR: Partner ain’t shit. Make yourself an Affiliate, and be content.