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Old Aug 11, 2019, 10:04 AM   #1
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globalist
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Default Subbing on Twitch.tv

Sometimes I watch Twitch, mainly Hearthstone and various Dark Souls streams.

What I still don't get is the "subbing" craze. I mean so many people are apparently well-off enough to be able to spend $5 per month on a streamer (and many sub to multiple streamers), just to be able to watch something they can already watch for free, while getting a bunch of sub-only emoticons for the chat as the only tangible benefit?

I know I know, "support the streamer" they said, but we're sometimes talking about streamers who already have hundreds or even thousands of subscribers, so really the point of why you would sub to someone like that just eludes me.

And if we're talking about small streamers and somebody as a viewer is enamored enough with the game (or with the person playing the game?) that they absolutely need to show their support this way, then wouldn't the money be better spent elsewhere? Like doing things outside to broaden your horizons to realize there's more to life than throwing money at somebody who plays a game you can already play yourself?

So am I just too old to understand this, not altruistic enough, or too poor to even think about spending my money this way, or am I missing something else? Do any of you watch Twitch and do you subscibe to streamers?

Discuss.
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 10:42 AM   #2
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I normally give away the free monthly amazon prime sub if I remember to use it. I have no idea why anyone would actually pay out of their pocket to watch someone play a game though.
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 11:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Greasy View Post
I normally give away the free monthly amazon prime sub if I remember to use it. I have no idea why anyone would actually pay out of their pocket to watch someone play a game though.
do you receive an email for using the twitch prime sub (im assuming the amazon prime is yours). i'm using someone else's amazon prime and idk if they want to see emails that have to do with twitch.
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 11:53 AM   #4
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I have five active twitch subs and have had that for about a year and a half, with three of them about twice as long.


It's about contributing to support content I enjoy. The emotes are nice, I have a few that I like better than globals or are just perfectly awkward/strange for certain chat topics or situations, but for me it's about showing the content creator that I value their stuff. In terms of viewing hours, I watch more twitch than youtube, and between the two is probably 90% or more of my video consumption, and it's normal for me to have a stream on behind doing other work or having a meal on my own.



Sure, you can watch for free, and if they're playing any ads or if their next sponsored thing is decided on their follower count or whatever you're also supporting them, but there's something meaningful in saying 'I can watch for free, but I choose to financially support your work', and actually for more channels than I can afford to maintain subs for, I do feel that way. While some people have thousands of subs and a single one won't make much of an impact, it still represents a substantial part of their income and in many cases, represents a much larger part of a much smaller monthly income.


I'm not thrilled with the cut twitch takes from the sub cost (they do make their money but the exact number is always under NDA) because I don't feel like twitch is that responsive to site issues and takes a pretty substantial cut of the money otherwise intended for the content creator, but I recognize that's how it is, how twitch is able to exist as a company (at least for its first few years), and it's a contract the creator agreed to as reasonable terms.




As comparable things, you could think of it like supporting a patreon or subbing to rage (which at one point I was? dang I haven't even remembered you could recently....)
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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a lot of these twitch streamers are making 6 figures easy .. don’t be too concerned about the cut twitch takes.

I think a lot of people with a lot less money are giving money to people who make a lot more than them, which makes no sense to me
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 12:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bob saget View Post
do you receive an email for using the twitch prime sub (im assuming the amazon prime is yours). i'm using someone else's amazon prime and idk if they want to see emails that have to do with twitch.
I don't recall ever getting any emails from twitch or amazon about the sub.
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 01:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaJMasta View Post

It's about contributing to support content I enjoy.

What does that mean though, exactly? Are you afraid that if you (and others) stop giving them money they will stop streaming? Do they not have a regular job? Or does the job pay too little? Or the monthly internet+electricity bill is just too much?
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 02:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by globalist View Post
What does that mean though, exactly? Are you afraid that if you (and others) stop giving them money they will stop streaming? Do they not have a regular job? Or does the job pay too little? Or the monthly internet+electricity bill is just too much?

1) I am a freelance creator of sorts myself, so though I am of limited means, if I see someone making stuff I like, I want to support their ability to keep doing it.
2) Me individually? No, my $5 a month sub isn't going to make the difference. But it's people who contribute to them that in many cases do give them the ability to keep producing content regularly and to live off of it.
3) For most of the people I watch/sub to, yes, streaming and producing other content is their work. It usually includes live events, content on other platforms, collaborations with others, and merchandising of some kind (diversified revenue streams since otherwise they are SOL if their platform goes under or their channel gets a copyright strike or something), but for 4 of the 5 subs I have, it is their primary work and source of income. For many of them, they also stream more than 40 hours a week - where would the time come from?
4) There are lots of people who do some streaming and have another job. Very few of them have a substantial following and this is self-reinforcing because just not being able to stream for most of the day severely limits growth and visibility on the platform.
5) Internet and electricity is relatively cheap for most watching/streaming on the platform and is an automatic utility cost rather than an additional one. Many streamers will upgrade their connection (or get a business one) for streaming, but if you're to that point, you can probably write it off as a business expense.


Quote:
a lot of these twitch streamers are making 6 figures easy .. don’t be too concerned about the cut twitch takes.

I think a lot of people with a lot less money are giving money to people who make a lot more than them, which makes no sense to me
Twitch is big enough that there may be a couple hundred streamers making 6 figures now, maybe, there are something like 30,000 partnered streamers with sub buttons available (I think it's a lot more by now).


Let's do the math:
Normally quoted introductory cut (you can negotiate for better with larger following etc.) is 60% of the sub cost to the streamer, though the actual number is under NDA. So every $5 sub is worth $3 to the streamer, per month. That means for $100,000 US a year, you need about 2780 subs as your monthly average..... which is quite high. There are plenty of streamers with more, yes, but it's a global platform and that number of partnered streamers with that kind of income is three digits, tops. I believe one of the streamers I'm subbed to is in that income bracket. It is worth mentioning that tips (bits and paypal donations and things) can often be a substantial portion of the overall income, so there could be some cases of someone with maybe 1500 subs on average having that sort of income provided they're pushing the tipping and they have a group of viewers that can support that.



Also worth mentioning that streamers are not twitch employees, they're private contractors, so their income is entirely without benefits and is taxed as self employment income in the US, regardless of their nationality.






I'm ok with making less money than an entertainer who's stuff I like. I can pay a royalty to the artist on a CD of music I like even though they're a millionaire and I'm a thousandaire. I want to encourage content I like and help them grow or at least continue to exist, the internet is a place where much more niche content can still be viable because it can be done on a smaller scale and crowd supported, and that's how I view a twitch sub.
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