Twitch Switch, Switcher and DMCA Take Downs! Deck Box Pattern Finally Completed!
Streaming as a creative artist is amazing! I truly enjoy sharing my work with others. I love sitting in my shop, talking about my process. I love being on stream when a creation that I've been working on comes to life! I love everything about streaming... except one thing... it's just one thing that is kind of a big deal though. Streaming on Twitch full time for me isn't financially sustainable. That's such a huge downfall to me and for many others who stream. I gave this streaming thing a good shot, I think. I did my best to stream full time. I did my best to come up with new content. I did my best to pull people from my outside world onto my platform. I did my best to stream for several hours, to stream gaming, to mix up the creative stuff I stream. To stream at different times. I have accepted and tried just about any and all suggestions that were given to me about how to improve my content. If it was affordable for me and if it was not outlandish or created a person that wasn't me at all, then I tried it. Does this sound familiar to you? Does it surprise you at all that you are not alone?
"Be Happy With What You Have"
Recently, Twitter was flooded with statements like "be happy with what you have" or "people who fail at Twitch didn't work hard enough"... all this stuff as a result of a few bigger named partners announcing that they were making a switch from Twitch to a contending streaming platform called Mixer. They were calling these people traitors and wishing failure on others who were making the switch too.
"I'd rather struggle to make it and be happy doing that than to quit what I'm doing and work at a job that I hate for my whole life"
Here's the thing... we all have to eat. We all have to make enough money... at least enough money to make things work in our own lives. Enough to fund a hobby, enough to pay bills, enough to go have drinks with friends. At least enough needs to be made to do these things. It's not an easy road to choose to make your living by creating content for people. But when this is the path that you choose, you have to do what is right for you financially. It's easy as pie to go out there and get a job like a "normal" person and work for a living... I can do that. You can do that. We can all do that... but when you choose instead to create your own business or be a personality or a content creator, that's an enormous risk. Many people fail or give up. Some people weren't cut out for those jobs that require degrees... or didn't have enough money to go to college, or found that what they were working towards wasn't fulfilling enough. So let's take "the struggling artist" for example. All content creators can fall under the struggling artist category... So what is the allure? You either make it or you struggle your whole life? That's basically what it boils down to. So why would we choose this life style? I'd rather struggle to make it and be happy doing that than to quit what I'm doing and work at a job that I hate for my whole life. I think many "struggling artists" can agree.
"People who fail at Twitch didn't work hard enough"
So let's get back to the Twitch Switch... or Switcher as I've also heard it called. I've read quite a bit about the benefits and downfalls of switching to a different streaming platform. For some, this can be extremely beneficial! For others, like me, it would likely prove disastrous (right now). One of the most common reasons for making the switch that has been expressed is that Twitch is over saturated with content creators. They are not wrong! The fact that there's now thousands of new content creators on the platform is actually a great sign that Twitch is doing a marvelous job and succeeding as a streaming platform. Over saturation may not be the main reason that channels are finding themselves unable to grow, but it could be contributing. There's more content to browse now and smaller streamers seem to get swallowed up in the pages. Viewers are also spread out significantly more than they were before. It makes discovering a new channel on Twitch quite difficult. It's great from a viewer's standpoint! There's a lot to choose from and I'm sure that as a business, this was a very smart move for Twitch. This over saturation staggers into channel growth, which has been declining for many streamers, or just halted altogether. Their channel metrics and stats have plummeted. They tried everything to make things better. They give their community great incentives to subscribe. They reach out to other broadcasters. They host giveaways and charity events. They collaborate... They are active with their community, active off the platform, they ask their own community for advice... and have been told countless times that the content they provide is not a problem at all. They even seek outside opinions to see if there's anything they need to change about their stream... and there never is... Does this sound familiar?
"What am I doing wrong?"
A common question is "what am I doing wrong?"... the answer is nothing. Some people can do half the work and get more, some people can work more and get less. It's just life. So if you have tried everything available to you for years, why would you not try something new? I'm sure that some people didn't try hard enough at Twitch, but if someone were to say that to me, I'd want to slap them! You CAN work extremely hard at something and put your whole effort into it and still not see any financial gain. You have to do what is best for YOU!
So for those of you who are making the switch, good for you! This is not a bad thing and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! You never know until you try! Risk is a large part of what we do. You are a content creator and you are representing yourself as a business. You HAVE to do what is in your best interest. It isn't about loyalty to a platform. It's about loyalty to yourself and taking steps to make yourself better. There is no fault in that!
I have actually looked into and even weighed out my pros and cons for switching. For me, it doesn't make any sense to switch. I have invested a lot of time in Twitch and I think that no matter what platform I stream on, I will always have the same problems that I have in Twitch and the reason for that is that I just don't stream the type of content that people are looking for on those platforms. This hinders my growth in the platform and I am well aware of this. I do, however, think that in time, things will continue to grow. Growth will happen either with Twitch, or there will be a different platform that my content is more suitable for. But until that happens, I will continue to make my way on Twitch. But this also means that I need to figure out what's best for me.
I have been trying to make a living streaming for four years. It's been about six months since I took the risk and started taking less orders and streamed more. I wanted to be a leather worker that streams. I wanted to make my living off of streaming and then share my leather creations with the world. I have seen growth! I have seen amazing months and I've seen incredibly difficult months. I do believe that it will grow organically. I will not stop trying to make streaming and leather working my thing that I can do as a living. So for now, and until things change, I am streaming part time again. I will still be here, but there is a new schedule.
I will do my very best to stream on this new schedule. But what that means is that I won't be prioritizing or beating myself up over missing a day of streaming. I'm going to be working on marketing myself to people who will buy my leather goods! I'd love to be able to sell stuff in wholesale, at a bulk price. It would be awesome to have some gaming store say, "Hey! Suchikuchi! I want you to make my leather deck boxes for my store. I'll need an order of 500" that would just flutter my heart a bit. Streaming my leather working is and always will be a passion of mine and I won't be stopping! I just am limiting my stream time to 3 hours per day minimum because I'll need the extra time that I was spending on stream to work on marketing, planning and seeking out stores that could sell my products. I may have appointments where I meet with potential clients. And as I do all of this, I'll be able to share my stories with you on my streams and show off my products. Although I won't be JUST streaming, I think I will be happy doing this! And maybe this is my answer. Maybe this is what I should have been doing anyway all along. Who knows? I guess we will see!
"And maybe this is my answer. Maybe this is what I should have been doing anyway all along"
There has also been some talk about DMCA on Twitter lately! Recently, a few partnered broadcasters (big names as well) were given a 24 hour ban for streaming copyrighted music on their streams. It has been against Twitch's ToS for a long time, however, little has been done about it because Twitch wasn't really mainstream enough for bigger record labels to take notice. Well, they are taking notice now. So stream songs at your own risk!
Here's my opinion... What in the actual HELL!!!??? Seriously... streamers have to be helping these music artists out by streaming their music. Do you have any idea how many people watch my stream and ask me what artist is playing? I'm bringing new people to your music!!!! I'm making others aware of your presence. If it weren't for me, that new person would have NEVER known about you. Not just that, but it's not like someone is going to record the song playing in the background over my loud ass leather working environment... It's not exactly a clean recording with all that streamer talking and key clicking and hammer pounding and ect.. So humph... With that being said, this could be quite beneficial for all you music artists out there who want to get your music played and heard! Streamers are going to need some playlists now that they can't play mainstream music. This is your golden opportunity to market your music to other streamers... title it "stream friendly playlist" or "copyright free music playlist" in whatever genre you want. I know I'll be playing some of our Affiliate of the Month Death Metal Kyle Royalty free songs on my stream! You can find his Royalty free playlist hereyou can also comment on this blog with links to your own royalty free songs!
I worry what this will do to our creative section of Twitch. Not just the music category (since you are not allowed to do cover songs either) but to what extent the DMCA will take into streaming content. Someone clear this up for me: Isn't it technically copyright as well to draw fan art on stream? Isn't it technically copyright that I stream the making of my awesome horde vs alliance leather journal? Isn't it technically copyright to sell that stuff too? It actually is! But someone has to physically see it and then physically bring it to the attention of the right people who have to physically click buttons and send DMCA take down notices and stuff. So it doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. I don't know if gaming companies just don't know that their logos and art are being streamed and sold or if they just don't care. All I know is that I wish they would either abolish the copyright law altogether or enforce it! Just do one of those please because there are TONS of artists making a killing on copyright... In return, there are tons of artists missing out on the opportunity to sell what others are because they got reprimanded and the person beside them didn't. But again, as with everything... life isn't fair for anyone. You just have to take the opportunities as they come at you and keep trying. Whether you make it or die trying.
I finalized a new item! I've been working on this pattern for over a year. I have tried to come up with the perfect design and it has been quite difficult! Either something didn't fit right or didn't line up correctly. I think I have over ten prototypes of this, but I have finally perfected the design of the LEATHER DECK BOX!
At TwitchCon 2016, I sold my first edition of my leather deck box. Back then, I was so proud of this! And people loved them! They bought the crap out of them! I sold out of every one of them! I had one person linger at my booth a few times, really examining the deck box. He wearily asked me if he could provide me with some advice and critique on the box, coming from a hardcore Magic The Gathering player. He was awesome! He explained to me how important protecting the cards were to serious players. He explained that all the cards would be in sleeves and that any rivets or anything on the inside that could catch a corner of the card and potentially damage the card would prevent them from purchasing the boxes. He also explained that the clasp on the box would have to stay closed and that the box would have to withstand a drop so as to not damage the cards. He was very sweet and timid when he was trying to explain this to me so as not to degrade my artwork. I was extremely grateful for his advice and critique on my boxes. I took what he said and set forth into creating a box that had no rivets on the inside, but was simple enough in design to be affordable to the general public. It took a very long time and many prototypes, but I have finally found the perfect design! I'm currently seeking people from the Seattle and North Seattle area who wouldn't mind allowing me to film some footage of them playing the game. In exchange, they can have a deck box. If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The deck boxes will go on sale soon and will be available at TwitchCon
We are having a promotional stream for our Affiliate of the Month, Death Metal Kyle this Thursday 12pm PDT - 3pm PDT. We will be giving away some guitar pick leather holders and working on an amazing leather guitar strap for Death Metal Kyle!
If you are interested in becoming the next Affiliate of the Month, please check out this blog post Video submissions are due on the 25th of every month, but for now, we will accept late submissions.
Here's all my social media links!
Suchikuchi is a partnered creative Leather Working streamer on Twitch. You can read more about Suchikuchi here