This article answers frequently asked questions for the Twitch Affiliate program.
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Q: What is the purpose of the maintenance fee under Section 4.1?
A: Managing financial records for tens of thousands of streamers presents challenges - regulatory, financial, and systems related. It is especially challenging when you have a bunch of inactive accounts to keep track of. So we need the ability to remove your account from our system if it becomes obvious that you no longer are actively broadcasting and have little money in your account. We will pay out any remaining balance, but it costs us money to maintain inactive accounts as well as issue that final payment. For this reason, when we close an inactive account, we impose a maintenance fee.
Q: In the event that my Affiliate account is closed, do I have to write Twitch a check to pay the maintenance fee if my account balance is below $25?
A: Never. The maintenance fee would be deducted from the remaining balance in your account. The amount that is deducted will be the amount that is in your account up to a maximum of $25. In other words, if there is $7 in your account, the maintenance fee will only be $7. If there is more than $25 in your account, a maintenance fee of $25 will be deducted, and any remaining balance will be paid to you.
Q: It has been a year and I have only made $99. Will Twitch terminate my participation in the Affiliate Program?
A: Our goal is not to close Affiliate accounts for streamers who are active. We wrote our agreement with this in mind with the additional statement that Twitch will consider the activity on your account.
Q: What do you mean by “substantial activity” when determining whether to close inactive accounts?
A: Many factors can go into determining if your account is still active and it will be performed on a case-by-case basis. For starters, we look at activity over the course of a year (do not fear if you take a break for several months; we understand that life events occur). Our aim is not to get rid of folks who are broadcasting on a semi-regular basis. Rather, this element is designed to allow Twitch to terminate members of the Affiliate Program that walk-away from the program through a complete lack of participation for longer than 12 months.
Q: In section 4.1, where it says Twitch may close my inactive account, does that mean my Twitch account, or just my account as an Affiliate?
A: It means that Twitch may terminate your participation in the Affiliate Program and close the account that we opened in our financial systems when you joined the Affiliate Program. This does not refer to your Twitch user account. Twitch user accounts are subject to a different inactivity policy.
Q: In the requirements listed to qualify as an Affiliate, it says ‘7 unique broadcast days’? What does that mean? Do I need to play a different game every time?
A: Nope! This just means broadcasts on 7 different days total.
Q: I’m under 18, can I still sign up?
A: Yes. Your parent or guardian will need to agree to the terms of the Affiliate Agreement, so make sure you have them with you when you go through the application.
Q: How do I check if I qualify for the Affiliate Program?
A: Go to your Stats dashboard to see your channel’s stats. Check your follows to make sure you have at least 50. Check your concurrent viewers to make sure you have at least an average of 3 over the past 30 days. Look at your Time Broadcast to make sure you have at least 500 minutes, or 8.4 hours, in the last 30 days. Also make sure you have broadcast on at least 7 days within the past 30 days.
Q: I meet the qualifications but I don’t have an invite. Why?
A: Invites are not sent out instantly. We send out invites every few weeks, so please be patient. Keep up your activity to make sure that you continue to qualify to ensure that you get an invite when the next wave is sent out!
Q: How is the subscription revenue I receive determined?
A: As explained in the Twitch Affiliate Agreement, there are certain costs, taxes, and fees that must be accounted for before you receive subscription revenue. Before the 50/50 split between you and Twitch takes place, deductions are made from the full price of subscription, including taxes, payment processing fees, bank fees, currency conversion fees, etc. After the split takes place, we still account for required tax withholding, which is reflected in the payout you ultimately see on your dashboard. Twitch does not set or control the rates or fees, and they vary from region to region and by each subscriber’s payment method.
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Q: What do you mean by exclusivity for “Live Twitch Content”?
A: The exclusivity clause in our Affiliate Agreement requires that any live content Affiliates stream on Twitch be exclusive to Twitch for a period of twenty-four hours following the end of the stream. In other words, if Affiliates use Twitch to stream content, then that content can't be streamed again or archived on any other platform (such as YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, etc.) during this twenty-four hour period. For example, the exclusivity clause prohibits Affiliates from dual streaming the same live content on Twitch and another platform at the same time. After the twenty-four hours is over, Affiliates are free to upload content streamed on Twitch to other platforms.
The exclusivity clause does not otherwise restrict Affiliates from using other streaming platforms to do live streaming. For instance, an Affiliate is permitted to start a stream on Twitch and, after ending that stream, immediately start a new, separate stream on another platform -- assuming the Affiliate is not also using Twitch to broadcast that same content at the same time.
Lastly, it's worth bearing in mind that Affiliates' exclusivity obligations impact only live content, not past streamed content or VOD. Affiliates can upload the same VOD onto Twitch and other platforms without any exclusivity concerns, with the exception, again, of archiving live content within twenty-four hours after it broadcasts on Twitch. Also, remember that broadcasting prerecorded live content on Twitch is considered real-time streaming of "live content" when it is broadcast for the first time.
Q: What do you mean by Twitch’s “exclusive right” to subscriptions?
A: The language in the Affiliate Agreement means that Twitch has the sole right to use the content you stream or upload to Twitch in order to build a subscription service for viewers on Twitch. Twitch Affiliates are still permitted to use other platforms, such as Patreon, to stream or offer other content and have independent relationships with those platforms (subject to of course Twitch’s exclusive rights to live content that is streamed on Twitch, which are explained in our FAQs).
For example, Affiliates may upload the same video file of their day out on the town onto Twitch and another platform, and offer access to that same piece of content to subscribers on the other platform.