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This new Twitch feature is making waves

Twitch has made a deal with electronic music label Monstercat that is causing a controversy in the streaming community. Subscribers to Monstercat's Gold service will basically be allowed to purchase Affiliate status on Twitch. 

Monstercat offers claim-free music that can be used in video content such as streams. It is now offering a program in which, if you subscribe to the company's $5 per month Gold plan, you can sign up to become a Twitch Affiliate after 30 days. If you already subscribe, you can become a Twitch Affiliate anytime, as long as you've been a member for at least 30 days.

In general, streamers can only get Affiliate status on Twitch with good, old-fashioned hard work and self-promotion. Twitch says that people earn Affiliate status by having at least 50 followers, 500 total minutes broadcast over the past 30 days, 7 unique broadcast days, and an average of three or more concurrent viewers. According to the streaming giant, the idea is to allow streamers to start earning income on Twitch "while they build their audience and work toward the coveted status of Twitch Partner." Once the criteria have been met, Twitch streamers get an invitation to join the Affiliate program. Affiliates get access to monetization tools, video tools, and other features that help them turn streaming into a real job.

So far, streamers aren't taking the news well. Many responders to Monstercat's Twitter post announcing the fast-track process aren't happy about the news, saying that it demeans the hard work of streamers who have Affiliate or Partner status as a goal — some of whom sacrificed their mental health, as well as time and effort, to get those coveted numbers. One commenter, @TheeRecliner, pointed out that earning Affiliate status is a way of showing commitment, and now it feels like a "pay to win" situation. Meanwhile, @YaBoyBrendan96 remarked that this purchase program might even be considered predatory, if it gives smaller streamers the impression that they are able to monetize their streams easily. Some gamers are expressing their disgust by submitting tickets to end their Affiliate status.

The partnership with Monstercat may be an attempt by Twitch to address recent issues related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which are currently causing streamers to scramble. However, this isn't the first time Twitch has offered a quicker route to Affiliate status. Earlier this year, Twitch made a similar deal with SoundCloud that would allow its creators to earn money right away when they signed up for a Twitch account.

Beyond that, there are plenty of people who think that Affiliate perks should simply be offered to anyone who wishes to participate. That way, everyone has a chance to make their streaming-for-a-living dreams come true, regardless of their Twitch status.