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How to Become a Twitch Affiliate: Play Video Games Full-Time

Last updated: July 16, 2019
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If playing video games for a living is your ultimate dream, understanding how to become a Twitch Affiliate is your first step to making it a reality.

Twitch is an online streaming platform that connects viewers to entertaining video game players. For its rising stars, the company offers a wide variety of incentives to keep users online and active. Translation: There may be money in your future.

In this article, we’ll explain what Twitch is and how to get involved in its affiliate program.

What Is Twitch?

How to become a Twitch affiliate: Twitch homepage

Twitch.tv is one of the largest live streaming platforms in the world, uniting millions of international gamers on a single platform. The company is best known for allowing viewers to watch and interact with their favorite streamers, the most successful of which provide entertaining commentary as they navigate different video games.

To anyone outside the gaming community, Twitch may seem like a strange concept. However, for many streamers, the platform has become a lucrative opportunity for them to make money while playing games. Since its creation in 2011, Twitch was purchased by Amazon, showing just how relevant the platform has become. These days, it’s rare that anything in gaming or esports skates by without some relation to Twitch.

If you’re a solid gamer and comfortable on camera, Twitch may be your opportunity for financial success. After all, its parent company, Amazon, currently runs one of the largest affiliate programs on the web ⁠— which serves as a perfect prelude to what the Twitch Affiliate Program can do for you.

How Does the Twitch Affiliate Program Work?

Unlike traditional affiliate programs, the Twitch Affiliate Program isn’t looking for gamers to share all things Twitch on their websites, blogs, or social media ⁠(though doing so will help you grow your audience). Instead, Twitch offers three primary ways for streamers to start making money straight through their platform:

1. Subscriptions

How to become a Twitch affiliate: Subscription tiers

When streamers gain their affiliate status, they unlock the ability to accept subscriptions to their Twitch channel. Viewers will then have the option to select a $4.99, $9.99, $24.99, or Twitch Prime free subscription. Twitch Affiliates receive 50% of every subscription, allowing them to make as much as $100 per month just from eight subscribers.

Subscriptions are essentially donations that users provide to help fund their favorite streamers. To increase their amount of subscribers, streamers can choose to provide perks that include:

  • Subscriber-only chat rooms and competitions
  • Ad-free broadcasts
  • Emotes, which are branded emojis that subscribers can use on Twitch
  • Custom badges for chat rooms

Affiliates all have access to create one free emote for all subscribers, plus two additional emotes for higher tier subscribers.

2. Bits

How to become a Twitch affiliate: Screenshot of weekly top cheerers

Enabling “Bits” and “Cheering” is another popular method of earning for Twitch Affiliates.

Bits are a digital item that viewers can purchase or earn by watching ads. A Cheer is a virtual message that a viewer posts during a live stream. When a viewer posts a Cheer using Bits — which are usually gem-shaped emotes known as Cheermotes — they increase their chances of earning badges and recognition from their favorite streamers.

This form of support allows Twitch Affiliates to earn 1 cent per Bit posted on their channel. This doesn’t mean Cheers are only worth a penny. Enabling Bits can be incredibly lucrative, as viewers often use large, animated Cheermotes worth up to 10,000 Bits in one. That’s $100 for the lucky streamer!

3. Game Sales

Game sales on Twitch

Finally, Twitch Affiliates can make a considerable amount of money by influencing their viewers to purchase games or in-game items. If you’ve streamed an eligible game, purchase offers will always be visible on your channel, below each respective video window.

The purchase is a win-win situation for Affiliates and viewers. You’ll earn 5% of purchases starting from your channel page. For purchases of $4.99 or more, your viewers will receive a Twitch Crate. Twitch Crates can be unlocked to reveal free badges, emotes, and more.

This earning opportunity can be likened to typical passive income opportunity. Though streamers must continue broadcasting to maintain their affiliate status, game sales will continue monetizing your past videos without you having to lift a finger.

You can view Twitch’s official list of eligible games to build your live stream strategy and increase your earnings.

How to Become a Twitch Affiliate

Person holding video game controller up to computer

Twitch streamers who qualify for the affiliate status all have at least 50 followers. In addition, judging from the most recent 30 days, Twitch Affiliates must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • 500 total minutes broadcast
  • Seven unique broadcast days
  • An average of three or more concurrent viewers (people watching a single stream at once)

As soon as you meet these qualifications, you’ll automatically receive an invitation to become a Twitch Affiliate via email. Then, you’ll be able to opt in through a new Affiliate tab in your account settings and complete a required Affiliate onboarding session online. Streamers are required to maintain all four viewership and activity qualifications throughout the course of their membership in the Twitch Affiliate Program.

With all this said, there’s no way to request to join the affiliate program, as the entire process is automated.

How to Become a Twitch Partner

Becoming a Twitch Affiliate is your first step toward becoming a Twitch Partner. As your channel grows, you may find yourself meeting all of these Partner qualifications, judging from the most recent 30 days:

  • 25 total hours broadcast
  • 12 unique broadcast days
  • An average of 75 or more viewers

Once you complete the “Path to Partner” achievement by meeting these qualifications, your achievement page will provide the option for you to apply. Submitting an application doesn’t guarantee your partner status. Company representatives will manually review your profile to ensure you’re a great fit with consistent viewership.

The exclusivity of the partner program ensures that it remains a major goal for many gamers. With a partner status, streamers are more likely to make gaming a full-time career and increase their visibility in the gaming community. This is largely thanks to additional perks and Partner-only offers that include, but are not limited to:

  • 50 unlocked channel emotes
  • Custom Cheermotes, Bit badges, and more
  • Earnings from ads played on their channel
  • Free lifetime channel subscription for your chatbot
  • Up to three lifetime channel subscriptions for friends and family, based on how many subscribers you’ve accrued
  • The ability to stream teams and delay broadcasts up to 15 minutes
  • Priority support from Twitch

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become a Twitch Affiliate

Person playing a video game with headphones on

With the Twitch Affiliate Program available to any user who meets the qualifications, even new streamers have something to strive for. Here are our answers to frequently asked questions to help you better understand the program:

1. What can I do if I qualify for the Twitch Affiliate Program, but have not received an invitation?

We suggest contacting Twitch using this form or through their Twitter support account if you haven’t received an invite within 24 hours of meeting the qualifications. A representative may be able to fix the issue or explain why you haven’t received an invite. In addition, make sure you check your spam and promotions folders to ensure the email isn’t hiding away.

2. How do I receive my payout as a Twitch Affiliate?

Twitch Affiliates receive payouts within 15 days after the end of each month, as long as your accrued revenue balance reaches $100. Otherwise, your balance will be held an additional month, or until you meet the minimum threshold. The following methods of payment are available for Affiliates, with the first two offering the lowest fees:

  • ACH payments into your bank account
  • Local bank payouts or eChecks (for Affiliates outside the United States)
  • PayPal
  • Traditional checks
  • Wire transfers

3. Does Twitch cover the fees associated with my payouts?

As a Twitch Affiliate, you will have to cover any fees associated with your payment method. Direct deposit is the cheapest method for United States citizens, with a $0.60 fee, while international Affiliates can receive paper checks for a low $3 fee.

Once you receive partnership status, Twitch will cover your payout fees for you.

Play Games to Earn Cash

Sharing your gameplay with the world isn’t just your opportunity for monetization. It’s also your chance to become a Twitch Affiliate, Twitch Partner, and then a global phenomenon — the same journey that many of Twitch’s most successful streamers have completed. Set up your Twitch account and use it often to start growing your average viewers today.

If you’re less of a gamer and more of an industry influencer, there are plenty of opportunities with other companies on the web. Monetize your website or social media handles by reading our guide to the highest paying affiliate programs around.

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