SoundCloud has teamed up with Twitch to help indie musicians who are feeling a financial strain due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. With gigs and tours canceled, lots of homebound musicians have recently started live-streaming to try to make ends meet. The partnership lets SoundCloud artists fast-track new Twitch accounts to Affiliate status, which unlocks Twitch’s monetization tools. This way, artists feeling the pinch can bypass Twitch’s usual Affiliate criteria and start making money on the platform within days.
The opportunity is available to all SoundCloud Pro, SoundCloud Premier, and Repost by SoundCloud artists. You’ll need to create a Twitch account and then fill out a form. (It’s linked in SoundCloud’s post.) The post promises that Twitch will then email an invitation to its affiliate program “within a matter of days.” The announcement doesn’t mention how long the fast-tracking will last. However, there’s a caveat at the bottom stating that “access is not guaranteed” and to make sure your Twitch profile follows best practices before you submit.
Affiliate status on Twitch unlocks monetization tools, like ads and subscriptions, so getting approved quickly is a big deal for many musicians who are currently unable to tour and perform. Normally, in order to qualify for Affiliate status, a Twitch user must have at least 50 followers along with at least 500 total broadcast minutes in the last 30 days, seven unique broadcast days in the last 30 days, and an average of three concurrent viewers or more in the last 30 days. This new deal lets SoundCloud artists sidestep those requirements so they can monetize on Twitch within days.
SoundCloud’s post also gives some tips for new Twitch users, like the hardware and software needed, suggestions for how to interact with fans, and extra ways to monetize not just on Twitch but on SoundCloud as well. It’s a smart and fitting move. A lot of musicians can’t afford to wait to hit Twitch’s Affiliate metrics and need money in their pockets now.
Separately, SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor also announced other deals and initiatives for users during the pandemic. SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscriptions are 50 percent off until Monday, March 30th; SoundCloud staff will begin hosting online AMAs and workshops beginning next week; and the platform has started a resource guide for career tips called Keep the Music Going.