Twitch Launches Subscriber-Only Streaming Feature

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On Twitch, fans can subscribe to their favorite streamers, typically for $ 4.99 per month. Usually, this comes with minor perks like subscriber-only emotes, subscriber badges, and subscriber-only chat access, should the streamers decide to enable it. But now streamers are getting a big addition to their arsenals: Subscriber-only streams.

Previously, regardless of how many subscribers a streamer had accumulated, streams were available to everyone. Today, however, Twitch is smoothly launching subscriber feeds.

“If a viewer subscribes to a channel at any level, including a Twitch Prime subscription, they will have access to that creator’s subscriber feeds,” the company wrote in a blog post. “If they’re not a subscriber and they land on a channel that has a stream of subscribers, they’ll see a preview of what’s going on, and if they want to, they can join the party right away. subscribing. “

The goal, according to Twitch, is for streamers to be able to reward “superfans,” meaning subscribers, VIPs and moderators, as they see fit. “We could definitely see competitive streamers responding to hero or champion requests, tabletop streamers launching a weekly subscription campaign, music streamers making lists of all requests, and much more,” Twitch wrote. .

This feature is now in beta. Streamers can use it if they are Affiliates or Partners and have not violated Twitch Community Guidelines in the past 90 days. So basically don’t expect Dr. Disrespect’s impending return stream to be sub-only. However, this policy apparently also understands cases of audio being removed from videos because of copyrighted music – something that happens regularly to streamers, sometimes because a game they were playing at random included an offending track.

A good number of people are also report that they were prohibited from using the feature without a clear explanation of the guidelines they actually violated.

Speaking of breaking the rules, Twitch said it intends to protect subscriber-only streams through the aforementioned preview feature, which means those streams aren’t private and streamers won’t be so protected. from the public eye by blatantly ignoring the terms of use. Or at least, that’s hope.

So far, reactions to this announcement have been mixed. Some are excited about the possibilities, seeing it as a way to interact with their communities and another method to (hopefully) boost their income on a platform where it is becoming increasingly difficult to make money. in a sustainable way. Others, however, are concerned about what paywalls will mean for loyal viewers who can’t always afford to subscribe.

“I just saw that Twitch is now opening up to Affiliates and Partners to deliver subscriber-only feeds,” Said streamer Cheridet on Twitter. “First thoughts are that I probably won’t be using this feature at all. I want you all to be involved in my channel every step of the way, whether you can afford to replace me or not. “

“What new way to alienate a part of your community that cannot afford to pay to subscribe? We have you, ” said streamer FlowerKidNena on Twitter. “Subscribers broadcast. Fuck your community together, divide them. GG Twitch.

“I think the idea of ​​a ‘paywall’ to enjoy someone’s streaming content is a bit too far away,” said Shinobi, Twitch partner. “I’m all for Twitch adding consistent new ways for streamers to make a more comfortable living as the up and down swings can be difficult to deal with, but that’s not the solution.”

Some see it as a slippery slope towards a plethora of mandatory Twitch subscriptions. As of yet, however, there is no evidence to support this fear, as this feature is entirely optional, and the dominant trends on the platform are expected to change a lot for everyone to start putting on their best gear. behind an impregnable payment wall.

As it is, Twitch is a metrics-based numbers game, and most streamers want to attract new viewers. Making most feeds reserved for subscribers seems counterproductive to this goal. So this feature may be more appealing to bigger streamers who aren’t that worried about growing up.

“Personally, I don’t like limiting my feeds to subscribers just because not everyone has the financial means to subscribe and I never expect that from anyone.” said streamer and cosplayer Pikaaaliu. “But I can see how attractive it is to big streamers.”

Many streamers also fund themselves through Patreon and thus produce subscriber-only content, so it’s not like this is an entirely new concept. Twitch is now making it an official part of the platform. It is quite possible that hardly anyone is using it. It is also possible that this feature will have ripple effects for years to come. Either way, time will tell.

“Twitch today released OPTIONAL streams only for subscribers,” said Rainbow Six Siege KingGeorge banner on Twitter. “Everyone panics as usual, like when something is added. If people want to use it, it’s their decision. Personally, I will not use it. People act like half of Twitch is now watching sub-only lol. “

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kurt watkins

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