Streamlabs recently unveiled (on August 26, 2021) a new feature for its users that could be seen as a way of allowing streamers to earn a monthly income similar to earnings made possible when becoming a Twitch affiliate, but without being a Twitch affiliate. But, what makes this more appealing, and controversial, is that it doesn’t take a portion of it like Twitch does and only charges whatever Paypal fees would normally be associated with such transactions.
“As the live streaming industry has grown, so has the need for a sustainable revenue model. Currently, most major streaming platforms provide viewers with a way to subscribe to a channel; however, they usually split the revenue from the subscription in half between the creators and platform,” said Ashray Urs, Head of Product at Streamlabs. “In addition, platforms require a creator to meet certain qualifications before they can unlock the ability for viewers to subscribe. Streamlabs Creator Subscription is open for anyone with a Streamlabs tip page, regardless of size or how often they stream”.
While it may be true that many platforms require creators to meet certain qualifications before they can unlock the ability for viewers to ‘subscribe’ or more specifically, support their favorite streamer through monthly contributions, the reference to splitting the revenue seems more like an indirect call-out to Twitch since Facebook only offers revenue generation through in-stream ads (not a user-based monthly subscription) and YouTube covers all transaction costs, leaving creators with 70% of the channel membership revenue in their Channel Membership program.
In contrast, Twitch is the only platform of the three major players in the live streaming space to split the net subscription revenues at 50% to the streamer and 50% to Twitch. There are YouTube videos that suggest some partners work out certain deals to reduce that amount taken but all things considered, why does Twitch even need ad revenue at this point? Perhaps it doesn’t, perhaps it just wants it. And, perhaps that’s the message Streamlabs is somewhat sending with its not-so-quiet rebellion.
Allowing streamers on any platform to be able to have supporters come in and immediately support what they’re doing without waiting for certain status and paying the majority of it to the streamer is a prime example of putting what’s important first. We understand platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans might not have to serve the amount of video and process data at levels between the two, but for how many years has Twitch been taking 50% now? Why doesn’t it seek to increase stakeholder returns?
The only downside: no sub badges.
For some, the sub badges may be considered the best perk of all for being a subscriber to a channel. Helps you stand out as a committed viewer and supporter. While it’s also not as big of a deal for some, the donation will surely help build traffic quickly enough to not need it anyway if being an affiliate is still desirable. In any case, there is an alternative, and it’s offered by StreamLabs.