We know Jack, do you?
In what seems like a smart move, Twitch announced a new way for fans to donate and tip a little extra money towards their favorite streamers. Twitch introduced a new emote called ‘cheers’, when the viewer cheers they can add any number of ‘bits’ to it. These bits are donations to the channel they’re watching, and should be a great way to support channels without having to subscribe. This could be a great, new way to give back to the many streamers who don’t broadcast everyday but do some really interesting and fun things.
Twitch has limited this program to partners; Twitch chosen channels, usually the biggest and best streamers, with a substantial subscriber base. These partners already get better bandwidth choices for viewers, subscriber only chats, and can charge for their subscriptions, not to mention premium treatment from Twitch itself at events.
Then there’s the cost. One hundred bits cost $1.40. The more you buy, the bigger your discount (just like your favorite free to play game) and your donation progress will earn you badges for each channel you support. And then there’s how much each bit really gives to the streamer. One cent for one bit. That’s it. That means Twitch is charging forty cents extra for every dollar you spend.
Cheers and bits will enter beta soon, with a handful of handpicked channels, before going site-wide to Twitch partners.
Twitch has been in the habit of supporting partners and only their partners, sometimes to the detriment of smaller streamers. Smaller streamers get limited server access, limited quality choices, and now are being left out in the cold when it comes to direct viewer support. Twitch is circling the wagons around their top earners and leaving the rest to fend for themselves.