Hello streamers! As we mentioned in our last post, over the past year we’ve received thousands of inquiries, questions and applications for management services. While we try to help everyone that we interact with, there are only a finite number of hours in the day and we’re still a very small team! We’ve decided to tackle some of the more frequent requests for advice here in our blog.
[ut_blockquote_right]knowing basic terminology will help you present a professional image [/ut_blockquote_right] One of the consistent themes we’ve noticed as we’ve interacted with businesses and casters is that there is no standard “language of the streaming business.” Most livestreamers don’t have ten years of marketing experience, so it’s not surprising that they have questions about terminology. We get asked all the time: What is the difference between a promotion and a sponsorship? What about an endorsement? Or, my favorite, what is an organic brand mention?
Knowing what a company means when they ask for these sorts of things will give you a huge leg up in your negotiations with them. Here are a few of the most common terms we see in contracts and discussions:
This is what we do! We work long-term with streamers in order to help them produce content, create a brand that works well for marketing, negotiate fair deals, meet sponsorship & other deal obligations, and help plan and facilitate their careers as online performers.
This is a general term that applies to any arrangement where a company pays some amount of money to support your stream in exchange for advertising or marketing work. This is typically a long-term strategy, where the sponsor is hoping that their support for a livestreamer’s channel will generate awareness and goodwill within their community. These payments usually take the form of cash or some sort of product (we often refer to this latter type as an “In-Kind Sponsorship.”) Sponsorships usually last for a set period of time, typically 3, 6, or 12 months and have recurring monthly payments and recurring monthly obligations.
An endorsement is a specific type of advertising arrangement where a company is not only looking for a livestreamer to promote or try a product, but they are looking for a livestreamer to recommend that their audience use the same product. This is an important distinction, because it involves the risk of losing credibility if the product is not up to standards.
Stands for “non-disclosure agreement.” This is a straightforward business document that restricts the sharing of confidential information between the signer and any third parties. Many companies require an NDA before discussing the details of a deal. Like any legal document, it should be read carefully – but a standard NDA simply states that the signing party will not share or disclose any confidential information shared by the NDA’s creator.
This is a deal structure where a livestreamer gets paid a commission on sales they generate on a particular site, like Amazon. For example, if someone clicks through a livestreamer’s link and then purchases a pair of headphones, the livestreamer would receive 5% of that item’s cost. Affiliate programs tend to be relatively easy to get, so streamers starting out on the business side will often add them first.
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An agent is a person or organization that specializes in acquiring deals and matching them to performers. They generally are working with a number of streamers and are trying to get the lowest possible rates for their clients (the sponsors). In general, the deal you sign will tell you who works for whom — if the paperwork has you working for an agency as an independent contractor, the agency is not working for you (you are working for them)!
A promotion is a paid opportunity that happens at a specific time, typically because the promoter is trying to accomplish a specific goal, such as being the top game on Twitch. They often will supplement this with marketing, including with livestreamers. A promotional opportunity may be as simple as playing Game X for 3 hours on Saturday – or it could be as complicated as a viral marketing stunt involving actors taking over your stream, as happened here with Snickers. In general, promotions can be paid for in cash, giveaway keys or other promotional items.
Organic Brand Mention
A “brand mention” is when a livestreamer talks about a sponsored product. “Organic” in marketing means the same thing it does in the grocery store: natural. When a sponsor is looking for organic brand mentions, they are looking for a livestreamer who will talk about their brand naturally, when it comes up in conversation. This feels less forced – and more like part of the show.
Mutual non-disclosure agreement. The same thing as an NDA, except that it goes both ways. You may have confidential information you’d like to share as well. It’s best to protect it.
This means “cost per mille.” This is a measure of the price advertisers pay to generate 1000 impressions on an advertisement or webpage. If you are a Twitch partner, your partnership agreement has a standard CPM rate for your stream. The same is true if you monetize YouTube ads.
While there’s a ton more terminology out there and no way to capture every single piece of the lingo, this should provide a good start and a framework for many of the topics we’ll be discussing in future posts. While there’s never any shame in asking clarifying questions about terms you aren’t familiar with, knowing some of the basic terminology will help you present a professional image when interacting with companies – and, if done right, should translate to more and better deals!