Why you should be watching Twitch’s Stream On
Since Amazon bought Twitch in 2014, the platform has grown at an exponential rate. This growth has reached a point where Twitch has become a direct competitor to the reigning king of video, Google’s YouTube. Twitch has launched a variety of new features in the past four years to bring them head to head with YouTube, and one of the latest video forays is reality competition programing, Stream On.
Stream On is a competition exclusive to Twitch Partners, with a top prize of $60,000 paid out to the winning partner as $5,000 a month for twelve months. It was announced on Twitter on December 19, 2017. They had around 200 of their 27,000+ partners apply to be a contestant, less than one percent of their partner pool. The fourteen lucky partners chosen to be a part of this competition were announced February 23, 2018, and the first episode aired March 8, 2018.
The partners competing ranged from having 2,700 followers to 35,000 followers with the emphasis of the competition to help a smaller partnered creator turn streaming into a full-time job. The partners were chosen create a variety of content from cooking, creative, music, casual and competitive gaming, and speed running.*
Since the first episode, the Steam On contestants have done challenges such as channel growth, chat participation in extension games, game tournaments played by their community and sponsorship simulations. They have received prizes such as stream decks, green screens, trips to PAX, and coveted Front Page time on Twitch. However, the most valuable thing they have received is the judge’s feedback. The judge’s feedback and discussion is why you should be watching Stream On.
The three judges for the competition are Marcus Graham the director of Twitch Studios, Stephanie Quan from sales and sponsorship and Zach Diaz from partnership and emerging content. Their discussion with each other around each episode’s challenge gives a glimpse into the direction Twitch is moving in, and for content creators, they state exactly what they are looking for in their Twitch Partners.
Twitch is still moving towards supplanting YouTube from its throne, and in order to do that it needs to have more variety in its content creators. Creators on Stream On that did something outside of Twitch’s standard content of gaming, received more discussion time and more air time during the episodes. A great example of that is CookingForNoobs.
Even though she was voted off the program on March 29, she was constantly in the judges’ mouths prior to her leaving the program, because of her varied content. While fitness programing has started to rise on the platform, rarely do you see running streams due to the technical difficulty of having a stable connection and the equipment required to keep a steady camera. Production quality was another feature discussed frequently by the judges. TheStaceyRoy, a creative streamer on the Twitch, has a production value of a network television show, which the judges greatly admired. TheOnlyRyann has been in the bottom multiple times on the show, but has been saved due to his high profile from hosting charity events, his connections made doing those events, and his plethora of charity work on Twitch.
However, the judges and the program in general have spent the most time promoting Twitch features. Clips, extensions, and branding are truly the way to Twitch’s bleeding purple heart. Creators on the platform that utilize Twitch features, promote Twitch, and tailor their branding to incorporate as many Twitch elements as possible will be the key to getting Twitch senpai to notice you. Those that are currently Twitch affiliates should be watching this program, and take notes, because incorporating the advice the judges give the contestants will definitely help you reach the coveted partner status. For those that are not content creators, but viewers, it will really give you a look into where Twitch is going as a platform, and what content you can be sure they will promote in the future.
Stream On airs at 15:00 (3pm) Pacific Standard Time every Thursday on twitch.tv/Twitch.
*edited: original incorrectly stated “and gaming. The only community not represented in the competition were speed runners.”, but it was shown that contestant Wavy, does have two games that he speed runs as confirmed by speedruns.com.