Twitch Partner vs Affiliate: How Does it Work?

Taking up streaming and considering turning it into a full-time career? You would need serious money coming in. That’s where a comparison of Twitch Partner vs Affiliate would help.

These programs by Twitch reward dedicated streamers with incentives. You should consider them as possible milestones on your streaming journey.

Curious to learn more about Twitch Partner vs Affiliate? Let’s get started.

Twitch Partner vs Affiliate: An Overview of Twitch Monetization Programs

Twitch Affiliate and Twitch Partner are two Twitch monetization programs. They can help content creators earn money through streaming. At the core of it, they are gamification tools made by Twitch. They motivate you to achieve your desired level as a performer on the streaming stage called Twitch.

When comparing Twitch Partner vs Affiliate, here is a starting point.

TurboStreamer Stream Ideas

Most people can get into the affiliate program. It has clear guidelines for qualifications. You will get invited to join the affiliate program once you meet the guidelines. If you join the program, you can take advantage of the subscription and donation tools.

There is a bit more complexity to the partner program. It’s only for the most popular streamers, and around 1% of the active broadcasters are in this program. The guidelines for becoming a partner though are not clear. And as you can imagine, it can take a lot of effort to reach the top of the pyramid on Twitch to qualify to become a partner.

But a detailed comparison of Twitch Partner vs Affiliate will not be complete without a deep dive into the two programs.

So, here’s how they work –

Becoming a Twitch Affiliate

Are you a broadcaster on Twitch who wants to monetize your channel? Becoming a Twitch Affiliate is stage 1 of that process.

Becoming a Twitch Affiliate is a fairly simple process. It comes with clear requirements that you have to meet over a time frame of 30 days. You will then see an option to Get Started with the Affiliate Onboarding Process. You can read more details on this by Twitch in their guide here.

By becoming an affiliate, you will be entering into an agreement with Twitch. You’ll provide basic and general information, including payment payout data to get started.

What is the Meaning of Twitch Affiliate?

The Twitch Affiliate program brings qualified streamers one step closer. Closer to the ultimate goal of making a full-time living through streaming! Build your audience and work towards the coveted status of becoming a partner on Twitch. And earn income on Twitch by becoming an affiliate.

The channels of income would include bits, subscriptions, and ads.

Requirements to Become a Twitch Affiliate in 2022

Here are the qualifying criteria and requirements to join the Affiliate Program. You should have:

  1. At least 50 Followers
  2. Streamed for at least 8.33 hours or 500 total minutes
  3. Streamed on 7 different days
  4. An average of at least 3 or more concurrent viewers

At the same time, you must meet all the above four requirements over a 30-day period.

These criteria may be subject to change, you can check out this post by Twitch for the latest updates.

Important Terms and Conditions in Twitch Affiliate Agreement

There are a few things to be aware of when it comes to the terms and services for twitch affiliates.

  1. If your account isn’t active, you can lose your status. The simplest explanation why that can happen is if you are not uploading any content for a long time.
  2. There is an exclusive period on your streams where you can’t stream or post on any other site. It needs to stay on twitch for a while before it can be shared elsewhere.
  3. If you close your affiliate account, you will have to pay a maintenance payout fee of up to $25.

Twitch Affiliate Payout and Revenue Streams

As an affiliate, here are the various Twitch Affiliate Payout revenue streams you will get the benefit of on Twitch:

Subs and Emotes:

Subs aka subscriptions allow your community to support you regularly. They also get rewarded with perks while doing so.

This way, people who regularly watch your stream can reward you. They will do this for your efforts and hours spent creating and showing your content. In return, subscribers gain access to custom global emotes, subscriber badges, ad-free viewing, and more.

A subscriber can pay you a minimum of $4.99 per month, either on a recurring or a one-time basis. You will effectively get 50% as Twitch affiliate payout out of this subscription fee, with Twitch taking 50% of the share. They can also get access to up to the one global sub-emote that you can unlock when you meet the affiliate status.

There is a total of 3 tiers available to subscribers. Rates can vary from options: $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 a month, with a 50% applicable payout. This gives your viewers an option to upgrade if they really like your content. With an affiliate status, you can offer 2 extra sub-emotes for both the higher tiers each, taking the count of your total sub-emotes to 5.

Affiliates can earn additional emote slots for their Tier 1 subscription based on the number of sub-points. 1 Tier 1 subscription equals 1 sub-point, 1 Tier 2 subscription means 2 sub-points, 1 Tier 3 subscription means 6 sub-points. You can add up the sub-points to determine your eligible emote slot. This slot is unlocked permanently and does not get lost even if the sub-point total drops eventually.

Twitch Emote slots based on Subscriber points screenshot from Twitch
Twitch Emote slots based on Subscriber points. Source

Bits:

Bits can be seen as virtual goods that your viewers can buy and use to cheer for you. A cheer is a chat message that uses bits. It can be used by viewers to show their support, celebrate memorable moments, and amplify their voices. When a viewer cheers, animated Bit gem emotes or Cheermotes (animated versions of popular emotes) appear in Chat for affiliates. You receive $0.01 for each Bit used in your chat.

Bits can also be used in certain extensions for your channel page. When your audience uses Bits in extensions, you’ll receive 80% off $0.01 for each Bit used in the extension. The extension developer will receive the remaining 20% of it.

This can be a way for you to earn money while you’re streaming on the Twitch platform itself. The viewer will not have to leave the platform in case they would like to tip you. You’re also protected against chargebacks through alternate platforms. But effectively, you can end up earning much more if your viewers decide to tip you through PayPal or Patreon. So it is advisable to keep these options open.

Ads:

As you become an affiliate, you can enable pre-roll ads, or video ads you see when entering a channel. The other ad option is a regular ad break that can be run during the stream.

When it comes to payout, you need to keep 2 important things in mind:

  1. Your channel must have accrued $100 before a payout can be initialized.
  2. The payout fees have to be covered by you, as illustrated in the table below from Twitch
Twitch Affiliate payout fees screenshot from Twitch website
Twitch Affiliate payout fees. Source: Twitch

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Twitch Affiliate

Twitch Affiliate gives you a stage to be recognized as a serious streamer who is in it for the long run. But, it can come with a few fallouts as well. Here are the pros and cons of becoming a twitch affiliate:

PROSCONS
Establishes you on the path of a professional streaming career, on your way to attain partner statusYou can’t multi-stream or be on other platforms simultaneously as a part of your affiliate agreement. Also, you can’t put up that content anywhere other than Twitch for 24 hours, limiting your earning potential.
Allows you to get donations from subscribers in the form of money through bitsSmaller payout % and higher payout fees as compared to partners
You can earn money from adsYour channel should have earned $100 before your payout can be initialized. Limits your immediate earning opportunities through the program if you are just starting out
You can create and disseminate your own emotes!Fewer emote slots than partners
Your subscribers can avail of the same benefits as if you were a partner (except the limit on the number of emotes)VODs are only stored for 14 days before being deleted (same as all streamers)
 No dedicated manager to help you build your stream

Becoming a Twitch Partner

Partner status is more difficult to achieve than Affiliate. This makes Twitch Partners an elite group of streamers. Out of over 9.3 million active broadcasters streaming every month, only around 58,702, or 0.6% streamers are partners (source: TwitchTracker).

If you are a serious streamer on Twitch, this is definitely a goal you would be working towards. But the path to get there is not easy. To become eligible to apply for the Partner program and then get accepted, you need to:

  1. Meet the requirements of the program
  2. Qualify the manual review by the Twitch Partnership team

What is the Meaning of Twitch Partner?

Twitch Partners are crème de la crème of streaming community. They are an exclusive club, as we saw earlier, with only 0.6% of Twitch streamers getting a spot in this group.

As a partner, you’ll be able to increase your revenue share from Twitch, with more emote slots, and a bigger share of subscription fees and ad revenue.

You also get more benefits, both for yourself and for your subscribers:

  • Custom Cheermotes
  • 60 unlockable Sub Emotes
  • Access to all transcode options, which gives you the ability to stream in any quality you want
  • Your VODs are stored longer for 60 days
  • You get access to priority partner support with the Twitch partnership team, that can help you with your queries
  • You get verified

When you become a Twitch partner, you also get priority access to partner with the companies exploring Twitch. You also gain access to the TwitchCon Partner lounge. And get special treatment in other major gaming events!

Requirements to Become a Twitch Partner in 2022

While becoming a Twitch Partner depends on the team reviewing your application, you need to meet the below basic requirements. You should have:

  • Streamed for at least 25 hours
  • Streamed on at least 12 different broadcast days
  • Average viewership of 75 viewers. Concurrent viewership excludes hosts, raids, and embeds

As with the Affiliate program, the requirements above must be met over a 30-day period.

But unlike the Affiliate program, becoming eligible for being a Partner does not guarantee you will become a Partner. Once you are eligible, you can apply by submitting the Partner application form. The applications are then reviewed manually by the Twitch Partnerships team. It can them around 7 business days to get back. The good part is, even if your application is declined, you can apply again in the future.

Important Terms and Conditions in Twitch Partnership Agreement

The best part of becoming a Twitch Partner is that you have the ability to negotiate with Twitch on the standard partner agreement. That can include the terms and conditions that can hurt your brand presence, like the content exclusivity clause.

In fact, Twitch recently made changes to its exclusivity clause, relaxing terms for their partners. Now partners can also live stream to other platforms like YouTube and Facebook after they are done streaming on Twitch. They can even multistream on Instagram and TikTok to release short-form content.

Twitch Partner Payout and Revenue Streams

The revenue streams for a Twitch Partner remain the same as Twitch Affiliate. But with a higher payout % and the ability to build more income streams.

  • Subs and Emotes: 

Twitch Partners like Twitch Affiliates can earn revenue by accepting subscriptions. The options available remain the same: $4.99, $9.99, $24.99, or the Prime free subscription. As a partner, you can also unlock up to 60 channel emotes (more than the Affiliates’ limit of 5 channel emotes). The Twitch partner payout used to range from 50-70% of each subscription, based on agreed terms with Twitch. But now, it’s made a 50% payout to make it fair for everyone.

  • Bits: 

Twitch provides Partners 1 cent per Bit used to Cheer for them, same as affiliates. But as a Partner, you get to customize your Cheermote and Bit Badges.

  • Ads: 

Works the same way as with Twitch Affiliates, but the share of revenue can again increase here.

  • Other Sources of Income: 

As a Twitch Partner, you also get to tap into multiple brand sponsorships. With a strong community, you can also call in for guaranteed support. They will provide that to you based on the value you’re able to generate through your content. This includes merch and donations. Off-platform streams of income can also increase as you become a Partner. The sky is the limit really!

Read this article to estimate how much you can earn by becoming a full-time streamer.

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Twitch Partner

PROSCONS
Establishes you as a professional streamer, in it for the long run. With dedicated Twitch Partnership support available from the platform itself.You can’t multi-stream on YouTube and Facebook as a part of the standard Partner agreement. Also, you can’t put up your Twitch stream content anywhere other than Twitch for 24 hours. This limits your earning potential. Negotiate on this!
Get access to revenue streams like subs, bits, ads, partnerships, etc. with higher payout %Your content may be valuable, but questionable. In this case, you may be banned from Twitch without any notice. With that, comes the possibility of losing your community. Everything you’ve worked for can disappear overnight.
You can create and disseminate your own emotes, including custom cheermotes 
Advantage of more sub emotes (60 for partners vs 5 for affiliates) for your subscribers 
You can earn a full-time income by becoming a Twitch Partner 
VODs are stored for 60 days, as compared to 14 days for all other streamers 

Finally, it’s time to take a call. To summarize –

Why You Should or Should Not Opt for Twitch Partner vs Affiliate

Both Twitch Partner and Affiliate are great milestones to hit on Twitch. But, at the end of the day what matters most is your content. Content is king, period. If your content provides value to your viewers, they will support you. No matter the platform, or your status on that platform. So, work your way up the Twitch ladder. But remember, the actual key is to work your way to your viewers’ minds and hearts.

Here’s a neat table summarizing the factors to consider opting into Twitch Partner vs Affiliate. Based on your situation, you can take a call on whether you should or should not opt for Twitch Partner or Affiliate.

Twitch Affiliate vs Twitch Partner Factors and Comparison Table
Twitch Partner vs Affiliate: A Summary

Read my article on becoming a full-time streamer, if you are thinking of taking the plunge into streaming and doing it full-time.

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