Dear Stream On Judges

Dear Stream On judges,

The seventy days that I have been participating in Stream On have been some of the most formative days of my life, cramming in experiences and realizations on a scale that, under normal circumstances, would’ve taken years. My mind is exploding with thoughts about the overall experience and its implications, and as I sit here now on the final night before the decision is made, I want to filter these thoughts down to what I think is most important for me to convey to you this week.

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First, I want to thank you, as well as the production team of Stream On. Regardless of the outcome this Thursday, I’ve grown in ways I simply didn’t even think were possible for me (which I’ve noticed to be a recurring trend throughout my Twitch experience). This competition has pushed me beyond what I thought I could do, and as a result has shown me that in many cases, I simply thought I couldn’t do something because I’d never tried it. Live stage presentations, charity streaming, extensive game streaming and elaborate collaborations with gaming streamers were not even on my radar before this competition and now are all things I feel completely at home doing. I will always be grateful to your team for giving me this chance to grow by taking the risk of including this one silly piano man in your competition.

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More urgently, of course, I want to make clear exactly what winning Stream On would mean for myself and for my channel, which first requires a look at how I see Twitch.

When I look at Twitch as a platform, I see two things. First, I see a blank canvas, one with absolutely limitless potential for creativity and innovation, the exploration of which has barely even begun. To be clear, I mean the platform even in its current state- the platform itself will certainly grow and have new features added over the years, but even setting aside whatever future improvements it may experience, as the platform exists *now,* its potential is already limitless.

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The second thing I see is room for leaders to emerge and take on the task of demonstrating what this sort of innovation can look like. By this, I don’t simply mean leaders in creating high quality content. I specifically mean leaders that are willing to take risks and challenge preconceptions of what a Twitch stream is “supposed to be,” so that those who observe them will feel confident to then do the same. As more Twitch streamers become confident in their ability to “change the game” of Twitch, we will see that blank canvas filled rapidly with ideas that haven’t even been conceived yet.

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Because these are the things that I see when I look at Twitch, they are also the pillars of my approach to making content. I am regularly exhilarated by the prospect of making something truly new on Twitch, like my channel’s needlessly elaborate theme song. Hiring an entire live orchestra to record theme music for a Twitch channel may sound like overkill, but I don’t believe such a thing really exists in the creation of Twitch content- our streams can be as immersive and as deep as we decide they should be, and I’ve decided that for my own channel, there is no such thing as “too much.” I am also thrilled at the prospect of setting an example by pursuing this kind of content and I am not intimidated by the prospect of being a leader in this.

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Winning Stream On would allow me to dive fully into the daily, ongoing pursuit of making innovative, game-changing content without the nagging worry of having to make enough income from Twitch for it to be “worth it.” Making new content for Twitch always feels entirely worth it to me, regardless of the payoff, but as a streamer in a smaller sector of Twitch, turning my stream into a sufficient means of regular income is an uphill battle. Winning this competition will not change my mission; rather, it will enable me to fling myself at it more fully, with less reservations, and with greater confidence than ever before.

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Perhaps even more important than the monetary prize, however, would be the public, bold assertion from prominent Twitch staff that the kind of content being made on 88bitmusic matters, in spite of being part of a very small minority of the content being made for the platform. Creative streaming (perhaps music streaming most of all) is poised to become a far more substantial part of the fabric of Twitch and represents so much of what the future of Twitch holds, and such an assertion from Twitch staff would be a catalyst to bringing that future about sooner.

If I am selected as the winner of Stream On, it will not be a defining moment for my channel- it will be THE defining moment for my channel. It will be the moment that myself, my community, twitch staff and the Stream On judges come together to unanimously declare that this is not just a good channel, not just an entertaining channel, but a channel that has the potential to make a permanent and widespread impact on what Twitch is as a platform. It will be the moment that the final, pesky barrier of financial security is smashed and, at long last, my only limitation is the boundary of my ideas and enthusiasm (a boundary which is not yet in sight).

I hope that you, the Stream On judges, will enable my channel to thrive in all the ways that myself and my incredible community know that it can by choosing me as the first ever victor of Stream On.

We’re ready.