How to Become a Twitch Affiliate and Partner

Now that you’ve been putting in the hours streaming it’s worth thinking about becoming a Twitch Affiliate or even Partner status. But what are they, and why would you even want them?

This article in the How to Stream on Twitch and Succeed series is going to focus on making the steps towards those big partner dollars, where you’ll be rolling around in bits!

What is a Twitch Affiliate?

Twitch will tell you themselves that “streaming is fun and games, but it’s also hard work”

The affiliate program was created as sort of an in-between for streamers headed in the direction of becoming a full-time Twitch partner and to financially support the streamers who are actively making the platform millions, if not billions, of buckeroos.

Why Become a Twitch Affiliate?

Twitch and their parent company, Amazon, make an absolute killing off of streamers and you should do everything you can to at least earn what’s owed to you.

Hands fanning out several hundred dollars
Grab the money directly from Amazon’s hands.

More important than sticking it to Amazon:

You can get paid a little side income and start providing channel emotes for your viewers to use.

In addition:

Becoming an affiliate adds an aire of legitimacy to your channel. Someone entering your channel will recognize that you’re likely to stream again instead of being a fly-by-night streamer they’ll never see live again.

How Do I Become a Twitch Affiliate?

Once you’ve hit the criteria for affiliate eligibility, you’ll receive an invitation to sign up.

As of this writing, the requirements are:

  • Streamed a total of 500 minutes 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.

Overall:

It’s actually not too difficult to become a Twitch Affiliate, once you get your initial viewers. If you need help with that, be sure to check out How to Get Twitch Viewers and Followers.

What is a Twitch Partner?

A Twitch Partnership is going to feel, more or less, the same as being an affiliate, but has a higher barrier of entry and opens up a few more benefits.

These benefits include:

  • More Emotes
  • More advertisement control
  • Complete transcode options for viewers, 100% of the time.
  • Longer VOD storage (60 days vs 14).
  • A little more support on the Twitch end.
  • Twitch will now cover your payout fees.
  • “Verified channel badge” which is pretty arbitrary tbh.

Why Become a Twitch Partner?

Twitch partnership should be more of a milestone goal for affiliates who plan to continue streaming and growing their channel. You’ll have access to more emotes, which is a big win for viewers.

But also:

You have no reason not to if you’ve hit the required number of viewers.

Twitch is going to make money off your content and viewers regardless, might as well take some more of it.

How Do I Become a Twitch Partner?

Twitch Partnership is a more involved process than the affiliate system and is more akin to applying for a job, so don’t be upset if you meet the criteria and don’t get accepted after your first attempt.

Many streamers apply 3-4 times before they end up accepted!

The criteria are also a lot less specific and more ambiguous, which is why some streamers will end up applying multiple times over the course of a year before they are accepted.

  • Demonstrate a large, engaged viewership and/or following on other services.
  • Broadcast content that conforms to Community Guidelines, Terms of Service and DMCA guidelines.
  • Maintain the first point for a consistent basis.

Viewership you receive through raids, hosts, reruns, and front page spotlight never count towards this consideration.

Once you have completed all of the Path to Partnership achievement, you’ll find a button to apply for partnership on the Achievements Dashboard. This is a minimum though and does not guarantee acceptance.

What Are Twitch Emotes?

Twitch emotes are the small graphic icons or custom emoji you see used in chat on various channels.

It’s one of the more fun aspects of being in the Twitch community and viewers will subscribe to channels entirely for a fun channel emote.

A few examples of twitch emotes from an active Twitch stream
Example emote usage from the EVO Japan 2020 stream.

How Do I Get Emotes?

Once your an affiliate or partner, you’ll unlock a number of available emote slots for your subscribers based off the number of subscribers you have in total.

You can upload anything, but it has to be approved by twitch.

This means you can’t use a popular cartoon character, anything offensive, violent, or otherwise violates their terms of service.

If your artsy, you can make the emotes yourself. Just avoid using characters or brands you didn’t create yourself. You do not have the rights to use Mickey Mouse as your stream emote just because you illustrated it yourself.

Make sure you put time and effort into it and double check that it looks great on black *and* white backgrounds.

To make mine, I used a cheap Wacom Intuos I grabbed off Amazon and a copy of Adobe Photoshop. I could have just as easily done it in Gimp, but I’ve got the Photoshop shortcuts ingrained into my brain at this point.

I made floydaExcite for my viewers in Adobe Photoshop and streamed the process.

If you aren’t artsy:

Don’t steal any random emotes off the internet assuming nobody owns them. Every piece of art is copyrighted from creation and if you didn’t create it or have the rights to use it for commercial purposes, in writing, then avoid using it at all costs.

That said, there are plenty of people artsy enough to make great emotes and sell their services. They can be found sites like fiverr, instagram, or you can ask other streamers who made their emotes.

Can I use Copyrighted Characters for Emotes?

Fuck no, art theft is real and hurts creators.

Can I Have Explicit or Adult Emotes?

I had a fucking cartoon cat butt emote called obscene by Twitch and denied. I think it’s safe to say this one is a “no”.

Very cartoonish cat looking back at the viewer, an X marks it's asshole.
Too obscene for Twitch.

Conclusion

Becoming a Twitch Affiliate or Partner isn’t as complicated as many people think. It’s mostly a matter of streaming continuously and building a large viewer base that is actively engaged in chat.

As long as you don’t violate terms of service and you have real non-bot viewers, you’ll be offered one or the other in no time!

I’ve been writing the How to Stream on Twitch series a bit erratically, but if you’d like the next one sent straight to your email hit up the How to Stream on Twitch Newsletter.

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