When Twitch started out, the requirement for becoming partnered was pretty high. Those requirements have changed over time and now the barriers to entry is much lower. Still, there is an application and review process in place but I think the terms aren’t that clear for the expectations to become partnered. In addition, another problem exist where people who receive partnership may, for one reason or another, stop streaming for long periods yet retain the subscription button. I believe that the current system in place should be removed in favor of giving everyone a subscription button.
More than likely, the main reason why everyone does not receive a subscription button is the paperwork involved. I heard that partners end up filling out an I-90 contractor form for tax purposes (I might be wrong on the exact form but you get the idea if you’re familiar with employment contracts). At least from my experience, it feels a bit extreme since not all companies who pay people (say AdWords last time I checked) hand out this type of paperwork and place the responsibility on the recipient’s hands.
And the minimum numbers part is too unreliable in my opinion these days, at least when it comes to views and followers. That part comes from the older impression/views ad tech model you might see, which I feel should not really apply for streamers.
These two aspects make me heavily question the necessity of an application. I feel that the better solution would be to let all streamers have a subscription button and cut checks when people accrue a minimum of $20-100. That’s pretty much standard practice for a lot of online advertisement firms. Also, the way subscriptions work pretty much are community driven more than view driven. I often see very consistent numbers for streamers who have 30-50 viewers on average and in those situations I’m quite sure they would receive about 60% support from their community (which works out to be say 20-30 subscriptions on average). Since 20-30 subscriptions translates to roughly $50-75, I feel that Twitch more than likely is losing money by not handing out these subscription options for everyone.
The other thing is that this does help people get a better shot of more reliable money than pure donations. Obviously, for streamers without a subscription button, the donation aspect still exist. It still isn’t as consistent compared to a subscription button, not to mention there aren’t any direct Twitch perks (i.e. emoticons) for donations.
At any rate, it’s something I hope to see implemented. I feel it will eventually come about similar to how Google with AdWords really helped lower traffic blog sites in developing a small, but steady revenue source that would help them grow over time (not to mention making Google into the 10k ton gorilla it is).