Live-streaming platform Twitch is unveiling its new “Partner Plus” program, allowing streamers to receive a higher share of their subscription revenues. The updated sharing model is a response to the competitive landscape and recent backlash from the Twitch community.
Through the Partner Plus program, qualified streamers will earn a more significant share – 70% – of their subscription revenues, up to the first $100,000 per year. After hitting this mark, the split will return to the standard 50/50 division. Until now, most Twitch partnered streamers were entitled to only half of their subscription revenues.
The new initiative offers a potential financial advantage to streamers, who have been advocating for improved revenue sharing. This is especially pertinent given the increasingly competitive environment. For instance, Meta announced zero subscription cuts across Facebook and Instagram, including Facebook Gaming, through 2023. YouTube Gaming provides a 70 / 30 split on “fan funding,” and Kick, a new entrant in the market, touts an impressive 95 / 5 split on subscription revenue.
Twitch’s New Deal Has the Devil is in the Details
Despite the promising prospects, participation in the Partner Plus program requires meeting rigorous qualification criteria. To be eligible, streamers must maintain at least 350 recurring paid subscriptions for three consecutive months. Upon qualifying, they will be automatically enrolled for the next year, even if the subscription count dips below the threshold during this period. However, gift subscriptions and those offered free to Amazon Prime members will not contribute toward qualification for the Partner Plus tier.
The Partner Plus program is set to roll out on October 1st, with the count for eligibility starting in July. The introduction of this program follows on the heels of Twitch reversing planned ad rules that met with significant community backlash.
Despite the new program being largely welcomed, concerns about its practical implications have arisen. Many experts have noted there are questions about how creators will strategize their promotion and whether audience behavior might change after a creator hits the $100k revenue threshold. The new system, while potentially beneficial in the long term, could make the revenue calculation more complicated for creators compared to the previous straightforward 70/30 split.
The unfolding reaction to Twitch’s Partner Plus program is a backpedal from the branding guidelines introduced earlier this month. Those guidelines caused a major backlash and saw many leave the streaming platform for competitors such as Kick.
Twitch’s attempts to rectify their missteps and improve monetization opportunities for streamers will undoubtedly influence the live-streaming landscape. However, whether it will quell discontent among streamers and lure back those who defected to competing platforms remains to be seen.