On Wednesday of this week Twitch rolled out the third stage of their program for getting more income streams for small streamers. The first was the bit system, the second was the game selling system (but the games I play aren't part of that scheme so I haven't really looked into it), and the third is opening up the subscription service, which is arguably the most important option of them all.
Subscriptions allow someone to pay $5, $10, or $25 each month in order to get a few bonuses for chatting on Twitch. Twitch takes a pretty big chunk of that (I had one person sub to me yesterday and my dashboard says I made $1.74, so I guess Twitch takes $3.25, but it could be that Twitch Prime subs are worth less? I don't know!) but it's still a way to set up ostensibly recurring income. Donations (direct through Paypal or via the bit system) are super nice and all but they're very erratic. Someone who is looking to be able to pay rent off of streaming is going to appreciate the consistency of subscription revenue.
There's also the weirdness around Amazon Prime which automatically comes with Twitch Prime which lets the person subscribe for free to one streamer. So it's like your Amazon Prime subscription actually comes with a $1.74 rebate, you just have to have the rebate mailed to someone else. Someone else like me!
As for what the person gets, they get a few things that have never seemed terribly interesting to me but there are a lot of people who get really into them. The first is you get an icon beside your name when chatting in that stream's chat that shows you're a subscriber. Partners can customize that icon and can have different ones for different numbers of consecutive months subscribed; affiliates just get a default star. But it's a way to show in chat that you're someone ponying up to support the streamer, and some people like that, so that's cool. The other thing they get is access to a chat emoticon designed explicitly for the stream. They can use it in any stream chat anywhere on Twitch so if you make a really cool emote then it becomes a form of advertising for your channel. (I've never watched AdmiralBahroo stream, for example, but he has some really sweet emotes that people use in my chat all the time.)
Partners get lots of emotes based on how many subscribers they have. Affiliates get exactly 3. One for each tier of subscription. (But if you have enough subscribers to be eligible for tons of emotes I'm pretty sure you can become a partner too so it's not that big a restriction.)
I didn't do a good job of planning ahead (they did say this was coming in the near future) so I don't even have any emote ideas let alone anything made. You can make changes, though it'll take a couple weeks to get things in or changed, so I really need to keep in mind that it doesn't need to be perfect. Getting something decent implemented quickly is more important than getting the optimal thing done in a year.
So I need to come up with some ideas, and then I need to get 28x28, 56x56, and 112x112 PNGs for those ideas.