If you are someone who is committed to streaming and would like to know how to up your game by not only getting recognition for your efforts but also being able to derive some income from it, then this guide is for you.
We are going to closely review the Twitch Affiliate program and all the corresponding aspects related to it, as you will be equipped with all the necessary knowledge on how to become a Twitch Affiliate yourself.
Introduction: Twitch Affiliate Benefits
As an Affiliate, you get legitimate social recognition by joining a community of over 200,000 creators who have fulfilled the Twitch Affiliate requirements, which we are going to discuss a bit later.
What is a Twitch Affiliate?
Quite simply, Twitch rewards qualified streamers by putting them on a path towards making a living through their passion for streaming, which implies access to various income generation opportunities within the platform itself.
These are virtual goods in the form of animated emotes that your audience could buy in Twitch chat and show their support by cheering. When someone buys one or more Bits, you will get a cut from every purchase.
Affiliates could also start accepting subscriptions to their channels in the following monetary tiers: $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99. In addition, there is a Twitch Prime subscription that Amazon users could utilize to subscribe to your channel.
You will be able to play advertisements on your channel and control their output to your audience through the channel dashboard. Twitch has only recently introduced ad revenue for Twitch Affiliates. As part of that, there will also be a picture-in-picture play option, which would allow users to watch both an ad and a stream simultaneously on the same page.
- Game sales
If you happen to play a game while streaming that Twitch offers for sale entirely and/or just some of its in-game items in their store, your viewers will be presented with a link to go and make a purchase, benefitting you in the process.
The above are the main benefits you are given access to make money on Twitch that casual streamers are restricted from. To learn more about the value of Twitch monetization features, including Twitch donations, we recommend reading our article here.
How To Become A Twitch Affiliate: Streamer Path
There does not exist a formal Twitch Affiliate application. Instead, there is a set of requirements that should be met, in order to be invited to get affiliated on Twitch:
- At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
- At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
- An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
- At least 50 Followers
This is what the criteria currently looks like on how to be a Twitch Affiliate. Twitch requires that you complete all the achievements within the last 30 days. An aspect like ‘at least 50 followers’ will mostly determine how fast you get there, as it is one thing to draw people to watch your content, but getting them to follow, even for free, is a more laborious task.
Tips to fast-track becoming a Twitch Affiliate
- Create a simple stream schedule and stick to it. For instance, by dedicating 2.5 hours for 2 days a week on average, you will be able to complete the first couple of eligibility requirements.
- Invite your friends to the stream. A good way to do this is to play a game that you all love, while they can watch the stream on the second screen, like a mobile phone, and feel even more engaged. Regular casual games of PUBG or CS:GO will see your friends act as ‘Twitch sponsors’ for your channel and get you over the needed concurrent viewers line.
- Utilize your social media. If you are already active on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – great! If not, get your profile set up and start sharing your stream-related content, and some of the audience there will migrate to your Twitch channel eventually.
- Be interactive while streaming. People like entertainment and a sense of engagement. Once you have got some audience going and they enjoy what they watch, digital word-of-mouth on their part will aid the growth of your channel.
- Pick a non-competitive game and the best time to stream. Playing Fortnite might be a lot of fun, but there are so many broadcasters out there who have the same idea, that ranking high for that game will be close to impossible at this stage. Use Twitch Strike to find out what the best game to stream is and viewers’ preferences right now. It gives you updates every hour, so make sure to check back often.
These are the basic tips on how to become an Affiliate on Twitch fast. They are certainly not exhaustive, but following them will accelerate your path.
Twitch Affiliate vs Partner
What is the difference between Twitch Affiliate and Partner? At first sight, they look rather similar, but there are differences in certain aspects like the number of unlockable sub-emote numbers and access to transcoding options.
Affiliate vs Partner
|Feature||All Streamers||Twitch Affiliate||Twitch Partner|
|Cheering With Bits||No||Yes |
(No Custom Cheermotes)
(With Custom Cheermotes)
(Up to 5 Sub Emotes)
(Up to 60 Sub Emotes)
|Feature||All Streamers||Twitch Affiliate||Twitch Partner|
|Transcoding||As Available||As Available, with priority access||Full Access|
|VOD Storage||14 Days||14 Days||60 Days|
|Stream Delay||No||No||Yes, up to 15 minutes|
|Rebroadcast of Past Content and Premieres|
The infographic above gives you a general overview, but we delve deeper into the Twitch Partner program in this article.
Twitch Affiliate Agreement And Onboarding
Below is the process and some crucial steps towards becoming an affiliate that Twitch describes.
Once you have been invited and you have clicked “Get Started”, it will take you to the Settings tab of your Dashboard where you can complete a short process to begin monetizing your channel with Bits.
Two-factor authentication is required to complete the onboarding process.
- Step 1: You will provide basic, general information to be registered into the program.
- Step 2: Sign the Twitch Affiliate Agreement, agreeing to the terms of the program.
- Step 3: Provide Amazon your tax information by completing both the Royalty and Service Tax Interviews (TIMS).
- Step 4: Tell them where to send your payments by completing the Tipalti form.
Regarding agreeing to and signing the Twitch Affiliate Agreement. Some highlights of the latter are:
- You must be at least 13 years of age to be eligible for an automatic affiliate application, the signature of a guardian is required if you are between 13 and 18 years old.
- Twitch has an Exclusivity Period to your content from the start of your live stream and continuing for a period of 24 hours following its end, and you cannot make the live content available to any third party for broadcast and/or distribution during that period.
- Revenue streams are described in detail by Twitch, clarifying your eligibility and its ownership rights to those features.
- You and Twitch are independent contractors within the Agreement’s scope.
- The laws of the State of California govern the terms of the Agreement, and any potential dispute is resolved within its borders.
To access the full version of the Twitch Affiliate Agreement, click here. If you do not understand any parts, make sure to consult a local attorney in your country of residence, before consenting.
Twitch Affiliate Payout System
Despite the aforementioned Agreement stating that the payout of fees occurs within 45 days after the end of each calendar month, Twitch payout dates (Affiliate) have been modified.
So, when do Twitch Affiliates get paid?
Since April 15, 2019, all eligible streamers are paid 15 days following the end of every month. However, there is a requirement to be met for those payments to be triggered in the first place. You have to accumulate at least $100 from all the available revenue streams in any given month to satisfy the minimum payout threshold set by Twitch. Should you not achieve the target, there is nothing to worry about, as any money you have will keep accruing until the threshold is hit and you become eligible to receive payments.
Regarding the payout methods, Twitch offers the following options with the respective timing for processing:
- Direct Deposit / ACH: 3-5 days
- Check: 1-2 weeks
- eCheck (for non-US residents): 1-4 days
- Wire Transfer: 1-3 days
- PayPal: 1-2 days
- Hold Payouts: Twitch holds your payout eligible funds until you decide to release them, using any of the above options
In terms of the fees associated with each payment method, Direct Deposit is the most affordable option if you are based in the US. There is no charge amount shown for the eCheck but Twitch states that it is a new and convenient option for streamers outside the US to receive funds in their local currency.
|Affiliates based in the US||Affiliates NOT based in the US|
|Direct Deposit / ACH||$0.60||$5.00|
|Bank Wire Transfer||$13.00||$22.00|
|2.0% of transaction up to $1.00 + $0.50||2.0% of transaction up to $20.00 + $0.50|
|ACH Return Fee For processing a rejected payment||$11.00||$25.00|
|Check Stop PaymentsFor processing a rejected payment||$25.00||$25.00|
|Wire Return FeeFor processing a rejected payment||$25.00||$25.00|
*Additionally, there are currency exchange fees, which are 2.50% of the transaction. Other transaction fees could apply in some circumstances.
Twitch Affiliate Taxes
Irrespective of your location, Twitch is obligated to collect valid taxpayer identification data from you to comply with the US tax reporting regulations. When you have completed the so-called tax interview forms during the onboarding process, Twitch will be able to determine if your payouts are subject to tax withholdings. The failure to complete the documentation may result in you being taxed at a rate of up to 30%.
Quick note: the US tax authority, IRS, requires Twitch to collect a maximum of 30% from some payouts to streamers outside the US anyway, but you may be eligible for a discounted rate under certain circumstances.
Pro Tip: It is best to consult a tax professional in your country of residence to determine what your rate will be.
How Much Do Twitch Affiliates Make
The data on exact earnings is scarce, to say the least, let alone trying to find who is the biggest Twitch Affiliate at the moment. The reason for that is there are hundreds of thousands of affiliated streamers and they usually keep their respective financials to themselves.
Something could be inferred from this social poll conducted on Twitter. While the data is superficial and subjective, it gives some insights. The range presented on what a Twitch Affiliate makes goes from under $100 to over $750 per month. It is worth noting that some streamers make no money at all, while others just click randomly to check results out of curiosity and see how to apply them against general streamer value perceptions. So, while the poll is informative, it lacks the objective numbers for a more solid interpretation.
We have discussed what the Twitch Affiliate program is and how to become one. It is the status that every casual streamer should strive to get, as not only the set requirements could be achieved rather fast with the right approach and commitment, but the revenue generation opportunities are appealing to get on the Twitch monetization path, and virtually have no growth limit.
Finally, we hope you have found this article helpful. At Madskil, we are striving to provide the global streamer community from all walks of life with the valuable and relevant content to turn their passion into a profession. We would very much appreciate you sharing it with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn.