Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch today announced a number of new features for streamers aimed at helping their grow their online communities and generate revenue from their online channels. Notably, the company will soon debut several features that will allow video creators to better track their path towards achieving either Affiliate or Partner status – a designation that allows them to tap into Twitch’s numerous money-making tools, including Cheering with Bits (virtual tipping), game sales, and subscriptions.
The news of the forthcoming features was announced today at Twitch’s annual conference, TwitchCon 2017, during a keynote address headlined by CEO Emmett Shear, and hosted by Direct of Programming Marcus Graham.
Two new tools arriving next month are specifically focused on providing better analytics to streamers, so they can understand what actions they’re taking that could move them up Twitch’s ranks, in order to become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner.
Introduced this spring, the Twitch Affiliate program gave smaller streamers the ability to make money from their channels, too – something that had previously been reserved for the more exclusive Partner program. Today, six months after going live, the Twitch Affiliate Program has grown to include over 110,000 video creators, the company announced today.
Its Partners are also doing well, Twitch said, noting that more than double the amount of money was paid to individual Partners in 2017, with 71 percent more money generated on average.
Now Twitch is preparing to introduce Stream Summaries and Achievements for its creators. The former is probably one of today’s biggest unveils, as it offers streamers a dashboard of critical stats after a stream wraps around things like viewers, followers, chat activity, and more. It will also surface top clips from the stream and let creators know how the stream helped them on their path to achieving Affiliate or Partner status.
Achievements, meanwhile, help creators track their path to status on more of an ongoing basis by helping them celebrate notable milestones, while also teaching creators streaming basics, how to improve their channel, and connect with their community. These Achievements will help streamers, especially newer ones, demystify the process of growing their channel and reaching status.
Another feature called Raids, which today allows creators to work with each other to grow their respective communities, is being improved. Now streamers can use a new feature that lets their viewers join a raid then drive traffic to another streamer with just a click. Analytics on who joined the raid and other moderation options, like the ability to choose who can raid your channel, will be provided as well.
Finally, a feature called Rituals lets creators signal to their community that a visitor is new to the channel, and then welcome them.
Twitch said all four of these features will arrive next month.
At that time, Partners and Affiliates will also be able to start earning revenue through digital items sold within Extensions. Introduced just this August, Extensions let creators customize their channel with interactive features, like polls, leaderboards, tickers, schedules, overlays and even virtual pets, among other things. (Of course, there’s an Amazon Extension, too, which lets streamers earn commissions by pointing to their favorite gear on Amazon’s website.)
Though Extensions have only been live for six weeks, they’ve already been seen by over 15 million viewers, and over 1,100 developers have registered to create an Extension. Twitch also said it would start doling out credits for Amazon Web Services to those developers building promising extensions.
Later this year – at some point during Q4 2017 – Twitch says it will introduce three other new features, Premieres, Rooms, and Subscription Gifting.
Premieres are basically Twitch’s take on TV show debut, but one focused on creating live, first-viewing events around newly uploaded content. Creators can watch along with fans, and offer their insight and commentary.
Rooms allow creators to develop smaller chat rooms for specific groups of users – like those with shared interests, moderators, subscribers, followers, or others.
Lastly, Subscription Gifting lets anyone buy 1-month subscriptions for another person as a gift. Twitch gave a brief update on Subscriptions today, too, noting that last year’s launch of Twitch Prime – a perk for Amazon Prime subscribers – boosted Subscriptions by 50 percent.
Most of the new features were focused on channel growth and monetization, not discovery. But Twitch said that one feature in that area – Clips – has been outperforming. These short-form, up to 60-second video snippets have now been viewed over a billion times, Twitch said.
While still largely a network focused on gaming videos, Twitch has been expanding this year to include other types of content, including creative content, personal vlogs, TV shows streaming, and more. Today, the site reaches 15 million active daily users, and is used by over 2.2 million creators monthly.