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Everything you should know about Twitch Subscriptions

In this article, I’m going to cover just about everything you should know about Twitch Subscriptions, from what you get by subscribing, to how they work.

In order to get access to Twitch Subscriptions, you must first become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner. Please ensure that you’ve read the Twitch Affiliate Agreement in detail before you accept the agreement, as there are a few stipulations that come with this feature that you’ll want to carefully consider.

If you’re okay with that, then I suppose we can just jump right into it then.

1 – Twitch Takes a 50% Cut from every Twitch Subscription

The very first thing you should know about Twitch Subscriptions is that Twitch takes a 50% cut of every sub. What this means, essentially, is that in order to reach that $100 payout, you first need to make $200. It is for this reason that I often opt to recommend streamers to utilize another subscription service, such as Patreon so that you get a much larger share per subscriber.

With that said, there are certain features that you gain access to with a Twitch Subscription, such as channel emotes and bits, among others… which is the perfect Segway into number 2!

2 – Benefits you get when you Subscribe to a streamer on Twitch

At the end of the day, if anybody is going to subscribe to a twitch channel, they need to have a reason to. For the most part, the content in which you create will be the main deciding factor for your audience, but there are additional benefits that they gain while the subscription is active.

After all, why subscribe to content that is freely available?

That is where those subscription benefits come into play. Here is a small table that describes just about everything you get from a Twitch subscription.

The Benefits of Twitch Subscriptions
You get access to all of the Channel emotes made available to your subscription Tier
You become immune to Ad-breaks, which instead grants you one-on-one time with the person you subscribed to and other subs.
If a channel has it set up, then you can also use new chat commands made available to you via bots
You can chat even if the streamer has set chat to sub-only chat
You may attend a Sub-only stream – If the Streamer ever opts to do one.
You gain Channel points at an accelerated rate
(Tier Prime: 1.2x multiplier)
(Tier 1: 1.2x multiplier)
(Tier 2: 1.4x multiplier)
(Tier 3: 2x multiplier)

3 – Bits are Not Donations – They are Tips! (Taxable)

This technically isn’t directly related to the Twitch sub feature, but it is a complimentary monetizable tool that comes from the same source – Affiliation or partnership with Twitch. It is very important to know about this information, so I wanted to present it here, as it is related closely enough.

Bits are a feature that you get access to once you become an affiliate or Partner on Twitch.

Much to the dismay of Twitch, there is a large misunderstanding regarding the classification of Bits within the newer members of the Twitch streaming community. Many will utilize a term that can actually get you in trouble on Taxes. Bits are NOT donations, they are classified as Tips, and as such, are subject to taxes. The actual terminology that Twitch uses to explain bits within their acceptable use policy notates that “Bits are Digital Content”. Further down, there is a dedicated section that explicitly states this:

Bits are not a money instrument

Bits are digital content intended to be purchased and consumed on Twitch, and do not serve as a currency.

Bits Acceptable use Policy – Twitch

4 – Payment methods accepted by Twitch to subscribe

Acceptable Payment Methods for Twitch Subscriptions
Screencap from acceptable payment methods for a Twitch Subscription.

It might come as a surprise to you that there are a lot of options to actually pay for a Twitch subscription – It certainly surprised me of what constituted as a valid payment option.

For example, you can use things like gift cards for other stores, such as CVS Pharmacy, Best Buy, and a few other places as your means of payment for a Twitch sub. Or perhaps, most surprising of all is that you can pay by cash. I’m not entirely sure how that works if I’m being honest, but it is clearly an option in the list. (I clicked on it, and it lets you put in an address.)

You can even pay via bitpay using accepted cryptocurrencies!

Just be aware that when I selected bitpay as my payment method to figure out what it was on a streamer with an active Twitch prime subscription, it simply said “Success!”. However, I never actually entered any information into this. Probably a bug – I’ll find out in two days when the prime sub runs its course!

5 – How to Cancel Active Twitch Subscriptions

There may come a time that you no longer wish to pay the subscription cost to a Streamer. Here is how you can cancel that subscription:

  1. Click your portrait located in the top right of the Twitch Website
    • How to Access the Twitch Subscriptions list
  2. Click on Subscriptions
  3. Click the cog on the streamer you wish to cancel your sub to
  4. Select “Do not Renew”
  5. Confirm your cancellation on the next page that appears

6 – Subscribers may issue a chargeback at any time

EposVox recently released a small YouTube short pointing out that Twitch is now allowing users to cancel their subscription for an absurd reason:

“I just wanted to get a shoutout”

EposVox’s Video

This sort of catering tends to encourage toxic behavior of demanding shout-outs from small streamers, from people attempting to leech their audience into watching their content. If you didn’t know, that is a breach of the unspoken streamer etiquette.

Still, this is now a thing and one we all have to contend with as a reason to cancel subscriptions. Chargebacks are a serious issue that you need to contend with as a Twitch streamer, because it isn’t a matter of if, it is a matter of when it happens to you. Check out this article regarding the steps you should take in the case of a chargeback.

A highlight of that article that a chargeback may occur up to 120 days after the transaction was placed. It is important to leave that money untouched until that time has passed.

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