Twitch is the biggest streaming platform in the world thanks to some great investments (by investments I mean buyout) by Amazon. It’s the name you think of first and foremost when it comes to streaming your favorite game or watching girls sitting around in next to nothing asking for you to subscribe and send them gifts… No wait, that’s cam streaming sites. But it’s not too far from what is happening given how many ways you’ve got to send money to people for their time used to stream you content. Not only can you subscribe to your favorite streamer, but you can gift things like bits or just straight up donate to them; all for some special things like emotes or access.
This is all done in the way of supporting the streamer and being a part of a wider community on some channels with people grouping up and chatting with each other and forming friendships online and sometimes offline too. (Yes, I’ve been to a few meet ups where I’ve not only got to hang out with a stream I’ve watched for ages, but meet the people I have been chatting with during those streams. It’s fun) But there has been a change in the way these chat rooms have been operating, as a more popular trend has become basically paid access to chat with people in the form of subscriber only chat rooms. Before those was follower only chat rooms, which wasn’t too bad as all you needed to do for access was to follow a streamer’s channel, something that is free to do. But since the introduction of subscribers only chat rooms, those are the new favorite of a lot of partnered streamers. So now it’s paid access to chat, something a sexual cam streaming site does… And it’s going to get worse.
Today Twitch introduced with a blog post, the idea of a “special” streaming session that will only be allowed by paying the subscription fee to your favorite streamer: Creating a division in not only viewers into paid and unpaid, but also streamers who want to stream for the community and fun and those who only want to profit.
To give a bit of background, the requirements to being a paid whore… I mean “subscribers only streamer” are as follows:
- The streamer must be a Twitch Affiliate or Twitch Partner.
- The streamer must have broadcasted at least 90 unique days as Affiliate or Partner
- The streamer must not have violated the Twitch Community Guidelines in their last 90 unique broadcast days. This means that if their channel received a suspension, they would need to broadcast on 90 different days without another violation to be eligible again.
So basically, if you can get paid to stream, then you can use this service. However Twitch is trying to make sure that people are understanding that this is not a 100% paid only service, nor private access to the streamer in the very vague and bullshit “safety” part of the blog as follows:
As with any other stream on Twitch, Subscriber Stream content must fall under our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. Subscriber Streams are not private, and we’ve taken steps to ensure a safe and welcoming experience:
- As mentioned above, to broadcast a Subscriber Stream, creators must have streamed 90 unique days without a violation. If a qualified streamer does receive a violation, they’ll need to meet this requirement all over again to re-earn access to the feature — starting from day 0.
- Subscriber Streams are not private streams. When you arrive at a Subscriber Stream as a non-subscriber, you’ll be able to preview the content live, subscribe, and join the community right away if you’d like.
- Subscriber Streams are tagged “Subscriber Stream” for easy discoverability. This tag cannot be removed, and it will always appear first when multiple tags are in use. People can view live previews and report content if they believe it violates our Terms of Service or Community Guidelines.
- Subscriber Streams are launching in beta. If you have ideas about how to improve Subscriber Streams, we’d love to get your feedback right here.
Yeah, here’s your feedback Twitch: DON’T FUCKING DO THIS!
Sure, you’re trying to play nice by allowing a “free preview”, just like a cam site, and then people only need to hit the Follow button… Oh wait, you changed that into an instant Subscribe button in the same place and the same style and color as the Follow button, so nice and easy for kids to mistake a formerly free button for the new paid for button so they can get back to the formerly free stream they were enjoying; all the while the streamer gets their payments increased and Twitch gets a nice little bump to it’s profits through deception.
And if you don’t think this is going to become the normal thing to do for streamers who want to turn gaming into their job, or already depend on subscriptions to make their rent and whatever, it’s going to become a guaranteed way to increase subscribers and make money. Fuck the community that you’ve built, it’s time to get paid and by Twitch, they are going to allow you to make that money. Just like Subscriber Only chats have become a thing with the bigger streamers, this is going to become the main way a lot of them are going to stream. You want access to Ninja or Shroud or whoever, then you better break out that paypal account or Twitch Prime account and pony up that money. Hell, this could also become a thing with companies as well. Want to watch EVO? $4.99 a month thanks. Want to enjoy charity streams like Games Done Quick? $4.99 please. Once you open the doors to greed, they are never closed.
Now while I’m looking at the extreme bad end of this scale, there are a lot of streamers who have already come out stating that they would either keep streaming for free on the platform, allowing ads and donations as their way of making money from gaming. While others have started questioning if it’s something they want to do as a special event for people who have shown them support over the years; which is fine if you want to do it that way.
Just seen that twitch is now opening up for affiliates and partners to do subscriber only streams. First thoughts are I probably won't use this feature at all. I want all of you involved in my channel every step of the way whether you can afford to sub to me or not ♥️
— 🌸 Cheridet 🌸 (@Cheridet) June 26, 2019
What a new way to alienate part of your community that can’t afford to pay to subscribe to you? We got you. Subscriber streams.
Fuck bringing your community together, split them.
GG Twitch. 🤦🏽♀️ https://t.co/rgDbey3uKe
— 🌻 flower kid nena 🌻 (@FlowerKidNena) June 26, 2019
I think the idea of a "paywall" to enjoy someones stream content is a little too far. I'm all for Twitch adding new consistent ways for streamers to earn a more comfortable living as the up and down swings can be tough to cope with, but this isn't the solution.
— Shinobi (@General_Shinobi) June 26, 2019
Twitch released OPTIONAL subscriber only streams today. Everyone is freaking out as per usual like when anything is added. If people want to use it that's their decision. I personally won't be using it though. People are acting as if half of Twitch is now sub only viewing lol.
— KingGeorge (@KingGeorge) June 26, 2019
Oh no 🙄 twitch is giving me something more I can do with my community…. how dare they….much outrage…This could have potential. There’s good & bad to this. But a sub only stream might be beneficial as an “extra stream” that subs vote for or request a certain game. https://t.co/2xQiOD9ZD9
— chloe san miguel (@miggiato) June 26, 2019
Great take: bigger streamers use sub-only streams because they feel it rewards their supporters -> viewers who can't afford to/don't want to join in look for other streams to watch instead -> smaller casters finally have a fucking chance to grow in the directories a bit.
— Excessive Profanity (@CodyHargreaves) June 26, 2019
At the end of the day it’ll be up to streamers if they want to use this feature or not. With a bit of luck it’ll be one of those “step too far” ideas that not a lot of streamers will use and it’ll go away eventually. But if it does take off, then what separates Twitch from a lot of the Sex based Cam Sites on the internet where you pay for access to someone? Practically nothing to be honest, and that is something that does not benefit the majority of people out there who are wanting to do this for the love of gaming or entertaining, it pushes people towards a more greed based time on Twitch, cause at the end of the day Twitch is a business and as we know from recent events, companies will do whatever it can or change the way they talk about something in order to make something that is based on pure greed into an ethical context.
Some people also mention that this could be a boon for smaller streamers looking to make it big on Twitch as paying for access might push people away from bigger streamers and into the channels of someone smaller and help them grow. It won’t. If people can’t get access to their favorite streamer without having to pay for it, they won’t go to someone smaller, they’ll just leave and do something else. People don’t like being used in this way and will abandon more than look at other things.
But this is just my thoughts on the subject and the idea. Only time will tell if things will go to hell and streamers are just legal cam whores or if people are smart enough to see this as the bullshit rip off it is.