The Rat, the Laser, and the Holy Gib.
Because there’s never enough money in the world of internet streaming, Twitch has unveiled yet another method for streamers to potentially earn some extra cash.
The “Bounty Board” will be running in closed beta over the next few months, and is basically a way for streamers to accept temporary sponsorships, without going through a third party agency or service. All the intimate details can be found on Twitch itself, and the general guidelines are about what you’d expect:
No needless bad-mouthing. You can share your authentic opinion of the content, even if it’s not entirely positive. However, be mindful of the difference between constructive feedback, which is welcome, and mean-spirited bashing, which is not.
We’ll use the stream title, game, and Past Broadcast to verify bounty completion. Update your stream title to include #sponsored, stream under the correct game, and have “Store Past Broadcasts” on in your Channel Settings. Otherwise, you can’t get paid.
We require you to disclose your bounties to viewers. In addition to including #sponsored in your stream title, make sure that your viewers are aware that your bounties are sponsored content.
Payouts are based on concurrent viewer requirements. You will receive the full payout for meeting the concurrent viewership requirement, while receiving a partial payout if you don’t meet the requirement.
While it’s good that Twitch has seemingly covered all their bases to make sure that everyone who participates discloses their ties, which is something that’s gotten other video-based services in trouble in the past, I’m still not crazy about this idea as a whole.
Firstly, there’s not a lot of information about what sort of channels will end up being able to take advantage of the Bounty Board. While the program’s Q&A says that Bounties will be available to all Twitch Partners and Affiliates, the mentions of needing specific viewer numbers for specific amounts of money doesn’t exactly bode well for smaller streamers.
Second, the idea of this being ultimately a paid infomercial, with the language going so far as to say that you’re not allowed to “disparage the brand”, wouldn’t exactly foster the most trustworthy of relationships between viewer and streamer. On top of that, the idea that companies could potentially be getting away with basically commissioning guaranteed positive marketing for a game for such potentially paltry pay outs just rubs me all the wrong kinds of ways.
In the end, like many things, we will have to wait and see how this new system ultimately pans out, or if it will even end up coming out of beta at all.