Branching Out As A Creator

Branching Out As A Creator
Photo by Michael Held / Unsplash

For years we’ve been conditioned that the only true way to garner any semblance of success is to produce your content on one platform and nowhere else. The majority of YouTube help gurus and other creators parroted the same string of advice and even vilified those that dared stray into multi-streaming on other platforms. Eventually those posts and videos became the cultural zeitgeist and something that every creator should follow.

As we saw through the pandemic with an explosion of creators and live streamers, the creator economy was ripe for the pickings. The inherent danger that came about like a stealthy ninja, silently taking out creators who dreamed big but failed hard. Following the after effects of life returning to what many feel like normalcy, these creators were desperate in trying anything and everything. Services were popping up to fill in some of the voids and those as well fell on hard times during the downturn.

Live streaming services and platforms like Twitch doubled down with a letter to the community stating the long sought after 70/30 sub split would not be a thing and for those that did have that contract, they would have further restrictions. Resorting to those creators that made over $100k would then have their sub split revert to a 50/50. This letter to the community was released to the public at three in the morning in the hopes that it would slide under the radar, which was far from the truth. The community let their voices be heard, quite loudly in fact. With several popular, large creators threatened to leave the platform if this wasn’t pulled back. Unfortunately this would not happen, Twitch stood firm claiming the changes were for the benefit of the creator and would help the service continue to function for the foreseeable future.

The fervor eventually died down quite quickly as things tend to do and other controversies became the important topics floating around. Time jumps forward almost a year later and Twitch announces a new initiative for partners called Partner Plus. Rewarding those partners who would be able to gather 350 paid subs, that’s not gifted or Prime subs, each month within a three month period. They would be given a full 12 month term of 70/30 sub splits. Something we were told would no longer be possible to attain. Seems that Twitch is able to provide creators a more favorable split on subs but there was a gotcha placed within. Remember that $100k limit, yep, that is still there. The not really known fact was with the new Partner Plus plan, the requirements are very similar to what many large partners had received in the past with the only change is that this is publicly released knowledge and the previous one was relegated to being a semi-secret initiative and had to be requested from Twitch.

Many creators were already at this time having their eyes opened to gaining monetization away from Twitch’s first party system. There had always been services like Streamloots, Ko-Fi, Patreon, Fourth-Wall, and more provided a way for creators to earn much more than 50% even up to 90% of revenue. The main issue was in trying to get your viewers and community to use these outside 3rd party services. Twitch had made it ingrained to the community in using the built-in methods of sending real world money to their favorite creators. By making it stupid simple with in many ways, a single click. It is on the backs of these creators to start teaching their communities to start branching out.

Not only was it imperative for the community but for the creator as well. The executives within Twitch were even explaining that to gain more viewers, followers, and supporters creators would need to create content on other platforms in order to direct those viewers to come over to Twitch. This was sound advice that still holds true but the issue is that if you’re creating content that caters to that platform's particular viewers, why would they leave that platform and create an account on yet another platform? This was the conundrum many if not all creators had to contend with. So, began the movement of creators taking on the challenge of stretching out and experimenting with creating content on other platforms. Not only doing that but to also begin utilizing the live streaming aspects of these other platforms.

Twitch has been scrambling to be relevant within the world of live streaming as it is true, they do command the mind share of the public view in regards to live streaming. The issue is that they are but a small population of the wider view of live streaming platforms. TikTok is and has been exploding very recently with its live streaming side which many creators that have been creating content on the platform can easily expand to this to further gain more viewers and followers. The same can be said with YouTube which has a very large potential audience in the billions. Both platforms have been working on innovating technology to make it easier and better for live streaming while Twitch, has only really been working on their lower tier ad technology.

The projects in regards to ads on Twitch have been lackluster in the sense that Twitch is only interested in shoving as many ad breaks or ways to do so, very much to the detriment of the viewer and the creators on the service. Waving the carrot in the face of creators to get 55% of the ad revenue, creators would have to turn on Twitch’s ad scheduler (should be titled manager instead) and run 3 minutes of ads every hour. Even if the creators run the same amount of ads per hour and had the manager turned off, they would only receive 30%. Twitch is continuously working against the creators with the ad system and thus creators are looking for ways to find better revenue generating methods and ways that they can provide a better end-product to their viewers.

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