Which came first, the subscription or the partnership?
Of all the milestones in a streamer’s journey, nothing can match the moment that a streamer finds out that they have been partnered by Twitch. The joy, the hype, the sheer outpouring of excitement that surrounds this singular event is like no other moment experienced by a streamer or their community.
We’ve had the privilege of seeing many of our users get partnered while using GameWisp, and there really is nothing like it. Honestly, I think a lot about that moment, and what it means in the life of a streamer, and how GameWisp fits in. I really don’t have all the answers, but I realized a couple of things.
Partnership is incredibly important not because of the perks that it brings, the new functionality for your stream, the new access to Twitch admins, or even the events and parties. The fundamental importance of partnership, the thing that brings all the hype, that creates the celebration on and off the stream, comes down to this:
Partnership is a statement to the Twitch community that the streamer has arrived, and so has their community. Their stream has reached a new level and Twitch has recognized its importance. That is incredibly powerful, and absolutely worth celebrating.
For a long time, the most visible symbol of that recognition has been that little button sitting right below the stream with $4.99 on it. The subscription button is so synonymous with partnership that often streamers and fans alike forego the word partnership altogether, preferring to rejoice over the moment that they got a sub button.
It makes sense that the sub button is the most visible symbol of the partnership. As part of recognizing the importance of that community, Twitch has also decided that the streamer should be able to earn a living from their stream. It’s the most practical day to day representation of the partnership.
With that context, one of the questions swirling around GameWisp right now is whether using GameWisp is cutting the line, short circuiting the natural progression of a streamer that culminates in the Twitch sub button. More fundamentally, is using a third party sub button faking it? Is it trying to have a career before you’re ready?
Ultimately, you have to decide that for yourself, but let me provide some perspective. First, a career as a streamer doesn’t start or end with partnership. Partnership is an incredibly important step in this journey, because your community has moved into a new stage. You have more functionality, a new means of monetization, and more access.
But having a career as a streamer begins on day one as you begin to build your community. It continues as your community grows and you establish your stream. Schedules, focus on particular genres, establishing moderators, doing special events are all part of building your career.
Monetization whether through tips, brand deals or subscriptions is one aspect of career. It’s an important part of what you are doing no matter what stage you are in. Whether you are partnered or not, learning how to create stable, sustainable revenue to make sure your stream can last over the long term is incredibly important.
Subscriptions, whether on Twitch or elsewhere, are a vital part of your monetization strategy. They are the one source of revenue that recurs each month, and the only one that exists as part of your community building efforts. Your subscriber base is your core audience, those who have chosen to invest their resources in what you are doing. That core audience exists before partnership, and in fact, is a huge part of what Twitch is recognizing by partnering your stream.
Giving that core audience the ability to get involved before you get partnered isn’t faking it or short circuiting the process. Instead, you are recognizing the value of your own community, bringing them on board, to help you move forward.
When our users get partnered, the fact that they have used GameWisp does not diminish the incredible moment where those streamers find themselves. It doesn’t change the hype or the legitimacy. It doesn’t change the recognition that Twitch is now providing.
No, when our users get partnered, they are more ready for the moment. They’ve worked hard to understand one aspect of their career even before partnership, and have strategies in place to provide incredible experiences to their new Twitch subscribers.
They aren’t faking it, they’re learning. And as they learn, their community gets stronger.