In an official blog post, Twitch announced a brand new feature for their platform called “Subscriber Streams”.
You might be wondering what exactly are these “Subscriber Streams”. As the name suggests, Subscriber Streams are those broadcasts which are viewable only by a channel’s subscribers. Twitch introduced this feature in order to give content creators the chance to reward their supporters with something bigger than just badges and emotes.
“Subscriber Streams are a great way to show appreciation to your core community, and thank them for their on-going patronage.” – Twitch Help Site
Here’s how Subscriber Streams work in Twitch. For viewers, this feature is available at any tier such as Twitch Prime, etc. They will be able to view and interact with a Subscriber Stream, given that they have already subscribed to the creator’s channel. But let’s say you are not a subscriber, yet you somehow stumble upon a Twitch channel running a Subscriber Stream; you’ll be able to watch a live preview of the stream for a short period of time. Once the timer ends, the preview will expire. However, if you’re interested in watching the stream, all you need to do is subscribe to the channel. Once subscribed to a particular channel, you’ll have access to Subscriber Streams from that creator.
Apart from the fact that these streams are exclusively for subscribers, Subscriber Streams aren’t very different from normal streams. But here’s how you can differentiate between a normal and a Subscriber Stream. All such streams will always be tagged “Subscriber Stream” for easy discoverability. In case of multiple tags, this tag will appear first. This tag cannot be removed and is a must for all Subscriber Streams. You will also see a star icon beside the streamer’s name, in the left navigation pane of Twitch.
“During a Subscriber Stream, anyone can access your channel for a free preview, and each stream is automatically tagged via Twitch’s native tagging system for easy discoverability.” – Twitch Help Site
As mentioned in the Twitch help site, hosting Subscriber Streams on one’s channel “is a privilege, not a right.” While it may be quite simple as a viewer to join in to a Subscriber Stream, hosting the same on one’s channel require streamers to meet certain requirements. Firstly, the streamer must have broadcasted for atleast 90 unique days as a Twitch Affiliate or a Twitch Partner. This will be difficult for new streamers but then again privileges must be earned through hardwork and dedication. Secondly, the streamer must not have violated the Twitch Community Guidelines in their last 90 unique broadcast days. If by any chance they fail to do so, the counter gets reset and they will have to stream again for 90 days with any violation.
While Subscriber Streams in Twitch maybe exclusive to subscribers, they are not exactly private streams. As mentioned before, non-subscribers can still watch a live preview for a short period of time. They can even report it for violation if they think it goes against Twitch’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. As for clips, no restrictions have been placed upon them. Creators may, however, moderate them from the Clips Manager settings if they do not wish their clips to be shared. As for VODs, they will be automatically available to subscribers after a Subscriber Stream ends. Creators can edit permissions for their Subscriber Stream VODs via the Video Producer tab of their dashboard.
The Subscriber Stream feature is currently launched in Beta. Twitch is probably testing it out in order to further improve upon it in future. We are yet to see how fans react to this newly added feature and what improvements Twitch make in order to make it more interesting. Either way, this feature is surely a great way for content creators to reward their subscribers by giving them exclusive access to their streams.