Twitch testing new feature for viewers pay money to promote a stream

Twitch is experimenting with a new feature that will allow users to pay money to promote a . Twitch spokesperson has now confirmed that it is testing the feature with a small number of .

“We are launching an experiment to a small number of growing channels that enables their communities to purchase promotions to highly visible parts of Twitch,” a Twitch spokesperson said.

Twitch went into detail about the new paid boost feature during its Patch Notes program. Check out the relevant portion of the program here.

The promotion works like this. For 10 minutes during a stream, a notification will pop up informing viewers that the boost option is available. Participating viewers can then pay for a number of recommendations. In the demonstration, there are two purchase tiers: 1,000 recommendations for .99 cents and 3,000 recommendations for $2.97. These boost purchase windows occur randomly for participating streamers and can happen as often as every time a streamer goes live.

This boost feature is essentially a paid version of the “Boost this stream” community challenge program already in place. In Boost this stream, viewers can pool channel points — essentially points a viewer earns by participating in stream activities like following and successive viewing — and use them to promote a creator throughout the platform.

Jacob Rosok, Twitch product manager, said this new paid program was born out of feedback from the community. He said streamers wanted more opportunities to have their stream promoted and wanted that promotion to be more impactful. That meaningfulness, then, seems to be Twitch simply giving “impact” a monetary value. The more money spent on recommendations, the more front-page exposure a streamer gets, the more “impact” a boosted stream has for its creator.

At any given time, there are hundreds of thousands of creators streaming on Twitch, all vying for more eyeballs on their stream. But the algorithm that suggests streamers to viewers tends to favor the top streamers — behemoths like Amouranth and auronplay, who have millions of subscribers and average tens of thousands of viewers at a time. So for smaller streamers, one of their only hopes of discoverability depends on landing on the coveted front page of Twitch. This new boost program essentially allows streamers to bypass the luck of the algorithm draw and directly pay for their time on top. Getting on the front page means more viewers. More viewers means more revenue from ads, more revenue from subscriptions, and greater appeal when applying for sponsorships that also leads to, you guessed it, more revenue.

And at every level, Twitch is taking a portion of that revenue. Twitch currently takes 50 percent of a streamer's subscription revenue (less if you're a special partner). When a viewer buys bits to cheer with, Twitch takes a portion of that purchase, too. Twitch also takes a slice of ad revenue, but none of the money spent boosting a stream is split with the creator.

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