Subscriber-Only Streams on Twitch: What Is All About?

In June 2019, Twitch has launched a VIP-like feature “Subscriber-Only Streams”. The feature’s name says for itself: it allows any partnered streamers to launch streams exclusively for subscribers, moderators or VIP persons. The main aim of this feature is to help the high-potential streamers drive more viewers to sign up for a subscription or gift it to the friends. Is this feature really beneficial for creators? What do Twitch users think about subscriber-only streams on Twitch? Let’s find out.  

Most Common Question About Subscriber-Only Streams:

What Are The Requirements?

In order to launch a subscriber-only stream, it’s not enough to be a Partner or an Affiliate streamer on Twitch. A streamer should also demonstrate good behavior on Twitch within the last 90 days of his/her partnership, meaning not to violate the Twitch Community Guidelines. In case a streamer has violated the rules and got a suspension, he/she should stream another 90 days without breakdowns to become eligible once again. Why does Twitch imply so strict rules? It’s all made for viewers’ safety. Twitch cares about viewers that pay money for subscription and is interested in converting subscriber-only streams into exclusive and quality content. For this reason, it’s also impossible to remove the “Subscriber Stream” tag which appears first if you use multiple tags. This way, viewers obtain easy access to the streams, can view previews and report this content if they consider it offensive or inappropriate.  Subscriber-only streams are not private, they are still controlled by Twitch and have to abide by the Community Guidelines. 

Who Can Watch a Subscriber-Only Stream on Twitch?

Watching a subscriber-only stream doesn’t require any additional cost from a subscriber. A viewer may be subscribed to a channel at any tier, including a Twitch Prime, to be able to watch such streams. If a person that comes to watch a broadcast is not a subscriber, he/she will see a preview of a subscriber-only stream and may join the ongoing broadcast immediately after subscribing for a chosen channel (meaning a minimum of 4.99 as a monthly fee).

What Does a Subscriber-Only Stream Look Like?

Actually, there is no significant visual difference, except of a star icon in the left nav. And as was stated above, subscriber-only streams are automatically tagged as “Subscriber Streams”. These are the only peculiarities that make a subscriber-only stream look different.

Content Ideas for Subscriber-Only Streams

Subscriber streams can be used for any content you want. It will be especially useful for those streamers who like to stream special events, like championships, gaming competitions, music on request streams (if we talk about musicians), etc. It’s also a good idea to use subscriber-only broadcasts for Squad streamers. Weekly gaming competitions by the popular streamer Keemstar are one of the examples. Daniel has launched Fortnite Fridays’ and Minecraft Mondays’ streams for his subscribers only. 

Streamers’ Opinions On Subscriber-Only Streams

  • Subscriber Streams Divide Community

DRCsyntax: “That's a stupid concept that will only really work for huge streamers.”

@Spiderham900: "Who on earth wants to separate their community like this..." 

  • They Can Drive New Viewers Away

Rendhammer: “If you straight up stop new people from seeing you, how do you expand or earn more in revenue?”

  • Subscriber Streams Can Be Used Wisely to Generate More Hype and Profit

Cartina: “You do some streams for everyone and some for subs only. Think sports events having their big events being PPV kinda thing if you need an analogy.”

Pineapple_Angst: “Many people have sub only discord channels. The way I see it, at least for me, this would be a once a month thing to do to have a subscriber-only event for exclusive content. Idk, I think it's useful”

Takeaways

Subscriber-only streams are still in beta, and they receive very controversial reviews from users. It appears that not everyone is keen on this idea: many streamers consider that Twitch is separating the community this way. That is a fact. However, for big streamers, subscriber-only streams can become a good opportunity to attract more people to subscribe to a channel and make a living off of what they create. Many other platforms, like Discord or Patreon, have already launched a similar feature. Small channels will still have a possibility to develop their streams for free and grab big audiences. So far, we can only observe how subscriber-only streams will affect Twitch’s community and its popular channels. 

10/8/2019