When the Affiliate Program launched on April 24th, a new step on the road to becoming partnered on Twitch was added for all non-partnered broadcasters. Once a broadcaster is invited to become an Affiliate, their viewers can begin cheering in their channel. No one could have known that this small addition would have such a large impact on the amount of bits being cheered on the site.
When bits initially launched, only partners were allowed to utilize this new revenue stream. But over the last few months, as the amount of bits being cheered had leveled off, and it wasn’t the coolest thing in the world anymore.
Before the launch of Affiliates, an average of 5.5 million bits were used on any given day. This is by no means a low number, but keep in mind there were only about 17 thousand partners with access. But when Affiliates launched, the number of broadcasters with access to this system effectively tripled.
The “bitsplosion” that occurred on Saturday, April 29th, can be directly attributed to Twitch’s non-partnered streamers finally being given the opportunity to monetize their communities. It was almost as if Christmas had come in mid-spring. In fact, it was even bigger than Christmas.
During the week that Affiliates were announced, there were spikes in bits being cheered each day, leading up to that Saturday when there were a record 20 million bits cheered in 24 hours. Since that day, the average number of bits cheered per day has stayed above the old average by nearly double, at 9.8 million. It seems that opening the floodgates of users able to utilize this system has reinvigorated its use.<
With more streamers having access to bits, more viewers have the opportunity to cheer in their favorite streamer’s channel. In the 30 day period before the launch of Affiliates, 106 thousand unique users cheered on Twitch. This increased to 191 thousand after the launch. However, over this time span the average number of bits per message to decrease of 38 percent, from 260 bits per message to 160 bits per message. Since more streamers have been given access to this system, viewers are cheering more bits overall, but fewer bits per individual message.
The next question one would ask is how the addition of affiliates has affected partners who already had access to the system. The answer to this is: not much at all. The list of ten channels with the most bits is still nearly the same, with the 9 and 10 spots so close they regularly trade places. We’ll keep an eye on things and fill you in if an affiliate blows into the top 10 out of nowhere.
For more data and analysis of the Twitch-scape, follow us on Twitter.