affiliate thoughts and future of stream
g_heinz May 5th, 2017 (edited) 95 Never
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- affiliate thoughts and future of stream
- tl;dr: why do you like the stream? what don't you like? what games do you watch me play? would you like to see new games? would you donate money if i had a link for helping buy a new stream machine?
- i like many others received the twitch affiliate email. this somewhat surprised me, but also didn't, both for the same reason, that being that i have interestingly gained a moderately above-average following for a perpetually nihilistic rng-abuse enthusiast who puts zero effort into his stream (and in fact probably acts to its detriment, imo), but certainly not such of any ground-breaking proportions. that is what's obvious to me is that "affiliates" are just a further effort to monetize twitch, not just a generous means for streamers to monetize their (otherwise conveniently free-to-operate) channels. this is all perfectly fine, as twitch provides an invaluable service to us, but through perhaps a tendency of mine to be pessimistic, i am inclined to hesitate to jump such a bus for a few reasons.
- a bit tl;dr, but it's my understanding that the primary means (currently) for affiliates to generate income is bits. i don't exactly remember the proportion of the bit-cost the streamer receives (or how much the darn things cost anyway), but it can't be much. this means, obviously, that to generate even a mildly significant residual income, the streamer would like to obtain bits in large quantities, and this requires lots of viewers. on its face this is a reasonable dynamic--streamer provides content (twitch permitting), viewer consumes that content, and if viewer enjoys, viewer pays to contribute monetized pseudo-currency from which both twitch and strimmer benefit to continue providing more/better content. however, in practice--right, wrong, or otherwise--this encourages a type of "sell-out" style with which we are all too familiar, a la keizaron, gunner, etc. call it a joke, a meme, an offense, what you will, it is a by-product of this dynamic, as well as the psychology of the general viewer, which a streamer requires more of than "specialized" viewers--other runners, game "scientists" (mkdasher, entr, etc.), speedrun enthusiasts (say tecul, maybe). that is, the general viewer psychology that many complain about--ask dumb questions, say dumb things, may troll, only like green splits, "wats wr", etc. i also say all this only because the earning potential for affiliate seems quite low without a large increase in those contributions, and with that many viewers, one would be near-partner status and so would submit for that anyway (seems to be the purpose for the program, which i don't disdain). also, as an aside, i don't think gunner/keizaron's approaches are bad. to the contrary, it is the best way to get popular fast so you can make money and just stream. however, since my end-goal here is not full-time streaming, this isn't the approach i want.
- this brings us back to my stream. i started streaming from the same shitty macbook over three years ago that i stream from today, minus the console capture upgrade about 2.5 years ago. i started streaming and eventually speedrunning as a means to dispense of time i felt i just had to kill. i became even remotely well-watched only by virtue of sinking the most dead time into the theretofore most poorly routed gen 1-3 pokemon game. over time it somehow became my own personal struggle to kill sapphire, as any runner who has witnessed the near full life of their speedgame might come to feel. since then i have slightly diversified, mostly as intermittent breaks from sapphire, but it has never been out of a conscious effort towards my stream. yet somehow i still gathered enough steam, and due also to streaming quite frequently recently, to receive the affiliate email. the truth is, i love streaming, and always wished i could get more viewers if only to make streaming all the more enjoyable, but the problem is that long-term, i have little interest in becoming twitch partner, or streaming full-time. as such, the affiliate program would seem to be only a means of meanwhile residual income, as i said, and i am obviously not against that, but i don't currently feel like my stream is strong enough to justify view-whoring for bits and donations. i actually don't understand why anyone but other speedrunners watch my stream. it is not that i hate my personality by any means, but i know better than anyone that the last three plus years of my life have in some ways been my most trying psychologically, and that is the whole duration of my streaming career. as a result of that, and as a result of actually being enough of an obsessive-compulsive pedant to take the games i run seriously, my general disposition on-stream is usually very poor. anger, frustration, outrage, grief, profanity. especially when there's no facecam, that is the last kind of stream i am interested in watching personally, so i can't blame others if that would drive them away.
- despite this, and despite gold, for example, being some of my darkest such days as far as my on-stream mood goes, i seem to maintain a niche of dedicated viewers. cak199164, for example, was appreciative enough of "the stream" that he offered and went through with buying me a spare sapphire cartridge when i was experiencing technical difficulties because i don't have a donation link. though it ended up being my gameboy player that was the problem, i now have a spare practice cart thanks to him. he in particular brought up my negative outlook to me many times in chat, and encouraged me on anyway, trying to get me to stay positive because he wanted to see me succeed. this was very helpful and i feel i almost owe him my current gold pb (if that makes sense).
- in any case, it's those kinds of viewers that give me the impression that though i am skeptical of the affiliate program, or at least of my suitability for it, i do possibly have an avenue for not just making a bit of money, but in so doing, grow the stream a bit so that i can keep doing it while i am still able, and improve my general life outlook at the same time. it's no use hating myself while doing something that i'm meant to enjoy, even if i did start out doing it for the wrong reasons. this will also hopefully help me achieve my goals in speedrunning (currently sub-2 sapphire and a few other things).
- the main problems i face currently are time (my work schedule is very up and down, both late nights and early mornings) and equipment. in the latter case, as i said, i am streaming from an old macbook pro, and it is prone to crashes. i cannot record locally without it basically melting, and i can't have a lot of notes to reference because the screen is pretty small. facecam used to work if i didn't locally record, but now the webcam is fucked as well. even if all that weren't the case, it still won't last me that many more years, so if i was to try and commit to a "stream grind" (which i have never really done, except with gold recently), i would need a new machine. to that end i may start accepting donations, but would only do so if people actually expressed interest, of whom so far only cak has. on my end, i would promise more frequent streams and learning new games (i joined a PSR fantasy team so i'm trying to learn FR any%, red, and crystal). my work schedule will probably be lighter over summer as well, so i could devote the time.
- this paste is basically just meant as a general commentary to viewers, but also meant for feedback. i want to know why you enjoy watching my stream, what you don't like about the stream, what games you tend to watch, etc. it's not so much a question of "how many bits would you give me per week if i became affiliate", because my hope would be that with a growing viewerbase, the foundation for income would be there. there are actually only a few viewers that i regularly communicate with, so i am curious as to the response. message me on discord (G_heinz #3675), DM on twitter (@general_heinz), whisper on twitch, or speak up in chat. thanks.
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