Kevin Lin of TwitchTV laid it out for me in a phone conversation yesterday, stating that the goal is to become the premier source for live gaming content on the web and that offering incentives to established pro streamers and talented new gamers is a big step towards achieving it. "A lot of these guys dream of doing this for a living," says Kevin. "We designed this program with them in mind."
Broadcasters who are chosen for the program are going to get access to a pretty robust selection of capabilities. They will be able to create their own subscription pricing for the channel and offer subscriber-only benefits such as limited access streams and ad-free viewing. Pay-Per-View options are available as well for event-oriented programming such as tournament play.
In addition to the revenue options, members of the partner program will have automatic transcoding on their channels so that viewers can watch a stream suited for the speed of their internet connection. Members will also get first access to new features on TwitchTV as they become available.
TwitchTV has begun accepting applications into the program now. There are some requisites that applicants will be expected to meet but TwitchTV is (wisely) keeping the door wide open for gamers who have been previously showing off their skills on YouTube and other on-demand video services. Getting some of those more popular "Let's Play" performers on board could be a huge boon to a service like this, after all.
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