SoundCloud has partnered with Twitch to help independent musicians feeling financial strain due to the new coronavirus pandemic. With the concerts and tours canceled, many homebound musicians recently began streaming live to try to make ends meet. The partnership allows SoundCloud artists to accelerate new Twitch accounts to Affiliate status, which unlocks Twitch’s monetization tools. In this way, artists who feel pressured can bypass the usual Twitch Affiliate criteria and start making money on the platform in a matter of days.
The opportunity is available to all SoundCloud Pro, SoundCloud Premier and SoundCloud Repost artists. You will need to create a Twitch account and then fill out a form. (It is linked in the SoundCloud post.) The post promises that Twitch will email an invitation to its affiliate program “in a matter of days.” The ad doesn’t mention how long the quick follow-up will take. However, there is a warning at the bottom stating “access is not guaranteed” and to make sure your Twitch profile follows best practices before submitting.
Affiliate status on Twitch unlocks monetization tools like ads and subscriptions, so getting approval quickly is a big deal for many musicians who are currently unable to tour or play. Typically, to qualify for Affiliate status, a Twitch user must have at least 50 followers along with at least 500 minutes of total streaming in the past 30 days, seven unique streaming days in the past 30 days, and an average of three concurrent viewers or more in the last 30 days. This new deal allows SoundCloud artists to bypass those requirements so they can monetize on Twitch in a matter of days.
The SoundCloud post also offers some tips for new Twitch users, such as the required hardware and software, tips on how to interact with fans, and additional ways to monetize not just on Twitch but on SoundCloud as well. It is an intelligent and appropriate movement. Many musicians cannot afford to wait to reach Twitch Affiliate metrics and now they need money in their pockets.
Separately, SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor also announced other agreements and initiatives for users during the pandemic. SoundCloud Pro unlimited subscriptions are 50% off until Monday, March 30; SoundCloud staff will begin hosting AMA online and workshops starting next week; and the platform has started a resource guide for professional advice called Keep the Music Going.