I have a lot of different thoughts and feeling about reaching Affiliate status with Twitch last night, and thought I’d throw them out here for those who’ve been curious why this is even a thing for me.
For my friends who don’t really keep up with gaming or streaming, earning Affiliate or Partner status on the Twitch platform is a sort of, “Hey, you’re really doing this, huh?” acknowledgement. In a practical sense, they both open up some options for you as a streamer, including the possibility of earning revenue. Both Affiliate and Partner require you to reach certain goals as far as viewership, time spent streaming, days streamed within a month, etc. Partnership is a (big) step up from Affiliate and has much tougher stated requirements, along with less specific requirements that are in the hands of the folks at Twitch. (This makes perfect sense since once you reach Partner, Twitch is definitely investing in you as a streamer and as a representative of their service- so they’re understandably choosy about that.) That’s the bare bones, simplest explanation.
I live in a weird headbubble as far as the Affiliate/Partner thing. About a third of my friends online have been putting a lot of work into streaming for a long time – some achieved Partnership ages ago, others are still working towards it. Another third are where I’m at, stumbling along building a community and seeing where it goes, thrilled to even reach Affiliate. And another third or so are folks who put in a lot of work on other platforms, like Youtube, and when they started streaming it didn’t take long to be Partnered at all. (Uh…and probably a fourth third who just don’t care either way at all…I did not think out these fractions very well. There may even be other thirds I’m forgetting.) The point is, I see Affiliate/Partner valued very differently between different friends.
I’ve always referred to streaming as my hobby. I enjoy doing it, I’ve had people I trust tell me I’m generally good at it, but I’ve never been super consistent with it. I was tired from work, or my equipment/internet was being derpish, or there were household reasons I was unable to stream during the free time I did have. Also, my day job is retail management so I literally can’t promise an “every X day at Y time” sort of schedule. I was almost getting back to it last summer/fall….and then decided to move from MN to SC which also kinda stole all my freetime.
As I’m getting more settled here, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me I’m finding it a little easier to stream more often. I don’t have more freetime, but I live with someone else who streams. My mom was always super supportive of my streaming, to be clear, it just feels WEIRD taking hours of your time talking to your computer when you live with someone who doesn’t do that. ^_^ Living here also means we can justify some pretty damn nice internet since he needs it for his work. Nash has also been amazing helping me out when I can’t get a game or system to cooperate. I was legitimately ready to just give up on getting the Switch to work the way I wanted it to, bc it’s just my hobby so I should stop beating my head against a wall, and he went ahead and got it going anyway.
I’m not trying to fangirl at my own bf, but it hadn’t occurred to me that being in a streaming household would help me take my own a little more seriously. It should have, probably, but it didn’t.
I’m not planning on leaving my job to stream fulltime bc I managed Affiliate, and I’m not planning on my channel suddenly being about the monies. And I don’t think I’m magically a l33t pro streamer bc I finally managed to stream at least 7 days in a month.
My feelings here are kinda complicated, but it has more to do with the fact I took something I enjoy doing, and found a way to prioritize that enough to reach a goal that I wanted to reach. Not because it was practical or would make someone else happy, it was just a thing I wanted to push through and DO for a long time, and I finally did it. I’m…not always good at doing that.
And I know…I KNOW I owe huge thanks to everyone who’s supported me. I would not be doing this without the people who’ve supported me in a million ways – hanging out in chat and everything else. I’m just trying to explain the other part of it that’s making me be all weird about things. 😛
Honestly, based on you folks I should have been an Affiliate ages ago. It’s partly what bugged me so much – so many of you awesome folks have followed me over the years, and hung out in my streams that you cleared those requirements some time ago. It got down to just me not streaming often enough.
So…yeah. I’m super excite about this. I spent years streaming erratically and kinda wishing I could get more serious about it, but always feeling like there were more important things to focus on. (Sometimes this was accurate, sometimes not.) I finally sat down and tried to figure out how to commit better to a thing I legitimately love doing, and I got a nice little bit of external validation for it.
Outside of all the feels, I’m planning to continue streaming as much as I can. I’m considering trying to set up an updating weekly schedule based on work, though that’ll take a little time to nail down. I’m thinking about all the games I’ve wanted to stream for ages and never got around to. I will never stop streaming Secret World unless I get abducted by the Orochi.
Am I gonna work towards Partner now? The answer is I don’t know. I want to keep doing this thing I love, I want to keep making a point to prioritize it, and I want to see what happens. I want to keep making time for a thing that’s important to me, and to keep spending time with the awesome people in my chat and the greater streaming community. I may have been erratic, but I’ve been erratically doing this thing for years now, don’t think I’m gonna stop any time soon. 🙂