Twitch is a popular online service for watching and streaming digital video broadcasts. The streaming service boasts over 2 million unique streamers every month and more than 17 thousand of these users earn money through the Twitch Partner program, a service that provides streamers with added features such as paid subscriptions and ad placements.
When it first started in 2011, Twitch was focused almost entirely on streaming video games. But since then it has expanded to include streams dedicated to artwork, graphic design, cosplay, music, talk shows and everything in-between. Creatives have found Twitch to be a unique platform for sharing their creative process and building a community around their work. Anyone can watch and interact in a chat box with the creative and with the other viewers.
A large number of streamers do actually make a full-time living by streaming on Twitch. Through a combination of paid subscriptions, micro-donations (i.e. Bits), regular donations (which can range from a few pounds to a few thousand), sponsorship, advertisements, and affiliate sales. Twitch is rife with opportunities to monetise the creative experience and community.
Each creative stream has its own unique chatroom where users can connect with each other, and the popular Pulse feature essentially functions as a Facebook or Twitter timeline - allowing for everyone on the network to post their own status updates as well as like, share, and comment on what others have written.
Unlike YouTube, Twitch shows are LIVE! Creatives announce when their shows or streams will take place, and people tune in to watch. This creates appointment viewing, and works to gather your community together all at the same time to interact with you and with each other.
Many of the creative streamers started out as viewers. By chatting and interacting in the creative community, they built up relationships with existing streamers before starting their own channel. This is a great way to build relationships and get your name out there before you start your stream.
Tshirtify will be launching our own channel on Twitch in the near future. For now, here’s some awesome creative channels to check out;