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Official Twitch Announcement!

As you've probably seen if you follow me on Twitter, I am streaming on Twitch 5-6 days a week! Plenty of friends and family members have been encouraging and excited for me...but it's clear they do not understand what I mean when I say that I am "streaming". So for those of you who need some clarification, let me explain what's going on!

What is streaming?

"Streaming" is the act of broadcasting yourself talking, playing video games, podcasting, painting, etc, to a live audience, much like TV and radio.

We stream to a website called Twitch for usually around 3-4 hours at a time, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. Streamers (those who stream...creative huh?) can raise money for their channels to get better equipment to offer better content or for whatever they want to raise money. Speaking of money...

How do you get paid?

Great question! We get this a lot. Twitch payments are made via the donations (also called tips) and subscriptions you receive from viewers. Ads do run on the channels so if a viewer pays for a Twitch membership, they will not have watch ads. But in order for a Streamer to get a cut of the ad revenue, they first have to become a Partner.

Basically there are three tiers of Streamers:

  • New Streamer

  • ​Not paid

  • Twitch Affiliate

  • ​Gets paid through viewer subscriptions, Twitch Prime subscriptions (yes, as in Amazon Prime) , game purchases, bits & extensions (I won't get into this here), and donations from viewers if they decide to accept donations or "tips".

  • Twitch Partner

  • ​Gets paid through all the avenues mentioned before plus ad revenue.

How do you become a
Twitch Affiliate?

Twitch is really good at outlining the steps it takes to first become Affiliate then Partner.

For Affiliate, you need to stream for 8 hours in 30 days, stream for 7 unique days in the 30 days, reach 3 average viewers in 30 days, and reach 50 followers.

Sounds easy right? The trick is finding a game, hobby, content that people would be interesting in watching that isn't over-saturated. Meaning, if you want to play a game like League of Legends or World of Warcraft, it would be relatively difficult for people to discover you without already having some exposure to an audience. Becoming part of a current streamer's community then streaming and letting your friends from there know is a good way of starting out. Otherwise you might be playing to 0-3 people for a long time. Now if you enjoy playing with a small group, which is definitely a lot of fun, then you don't need to worry about it! But if you are looking to play to a large audience, you will need to work at it for a long time to continue growing that audience base.

For example, John has been making YouTube videos for 7 years (as of this month!) and has been streaming for at least 3 years consistently. He plays to an average audience of 200-300 people most nights. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The most he has ever had on his channel at one time was over 1,400! His success did not happen overnight as you can see. As with any other endeavor, with hard work and consistency, he continues to grow his channel well.

How do you become a Twitch Partner?

Becoming a Twitch Partner is a bit more involved than reaching Affiliate level as you may have guessed. First you have to reach 3 goals after becoming Affiliate then apply to become Partner.

The goals are:

  • Stream for 25 hours in last 30 days

  • Stream for 12 unique days in last 30 days

  • Reach 75 average viewers in last 30 days

This shows that becoming Partner is a serious commitment. Reaching an average of 75 viewers is quite difficult. I am starting to expand past having an average of 10 viewers after streaming 4-6 nights a week for 2 months but again, I am integrated in a couple of streamers' communities which has been helpful. And I've been playing games that are (usually) known but not widely played.

Why did you decide to do this?

Honestly, I never considered streaming because I'm not that good of a gamer and was not confident in my ability to stay entertaining by myself for more than an hour. After John and a couple of our streamer friends started encouraging me to try, I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot at least. I'm glad I did! Getting to know new people through shared interests has been so much fun and rewarding. We have made friends with people all over the country and the world. We even have had people stay with us from the UK to go to conventions!

In my goal of being a professional voice actor (and regular actor), streaming has been excellent practice. I've played games that offer lots of reading opportunities but no recorded voice acting which leaves me to fill the role! I've learned a lot by playing different characters, how to bounce from one to the other, how to take care of my voice so I can last 3-4 hours of consistent reading and talking, etc. I would say streaming offers at least as much experience and opportunity to learn as performing improv with a group of actors. Just a different kind of experience.

Overall, streaming is a form of media that is not going any where any time soon. John and I talk about this quite a bit, we believe that streaming is a form of social media and entertainment that will continue to grow strongly.

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Dallas, TX

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