Twitch.tv fans will now have the chance to buy merchandise from their favorite videogame streamers at the Twitch site, a popular destination for watching live play of videogames.
Teespring, a custom merchandise manufacturer, will let Twitch personalities with devoted followings design custom T-shirts for sale in the newly opened Twitch store. These individuals are known as “Twitch Partners,” a designation that also allows them to share revenue from ads run alongside their videos.
Twitch, which Amazon acquired in September for $1.1 billion, boasts more than 60 million unique viewers some three years after its launch in 2011. More than 1.3 million broadcasters use Twitch each month. The Twitch Partner program has over 8,500 members.
Twitch and Teespring say that the shirts and platform will be available to all broadcasters “soon.”
“The first 200 (shirts) are already populating the store,” Brooke Van Dusen, Twitch’s director of business development, said in a statement Twitch PR provided in response to questions from ReadWrite. “As soon as we’re comfortable with the volume of orders and stability of the integration, we will allow now waves of broadcasters into the program.”
While neither side would share exactly how much each party gets per shirt, Van Dusen said that broadcasters will get the biggest cut of the money. They’ll also set the shirt prices.
“The cost of the shirt is based directly on the product expense—how many colors they used, if they printed both front and back, and of course the total number of shirts printed,” Van Dusen said. “Because there is a fixed cost associated with the printing set up, more shirts that are sold, the less the cost of each individual unit. Those savings are passed on to the broadcaster.”
Additionally, any professional streamers that might already have merchandising deals with other companies will not be obligated to switch to Teespring.
The partnership between Twitch and Teespring follows an August trial run in which 24 broadcasters sold limited-edition Teespring products to viewers. According to Teespring, the T-shirts sold out in two weeks.
Lead photo by Taz; T-shirt image courtesy of Teespring