By putting an in-house tip system within the reach of a larger number of users, Twitch has laid the groundwork for more streamers -- not just Twitch partners -- to monetise their performance.Doing so typically requires keeping a regular schedule, building up a distinct persona, and keeping in touch with fans, all of which are old and familiar strategies for being a successful cam performer, too.Putting aside the specifics of the performance involved, it's hard to distinguish between the two jobs.
I spoke with them about how streaming and camming are similar, how they diverge, and what platforms like Twitch can learn from the history of cam sites.
Camming has been around since webcams existed, much longer than the concept of streaming games -- My Free Cams, one of the largest cam sites currently in operation, was launched in 2002.
In many ways, Geisha Monroe and Mandy Morbid are typical Twitch streamers -- they're gamers who share their play experiences with an online following.
They cosplay, they collect game-related memorabilia, they tweet memes. But what does pay their bills makes them unusual among Twitch streamers: They're cam performers.
Monroe feels that cam sites typically have a better sense of what the performer wants in terms of payouts, customer service and reliability, and that they're better at ensuring audience accountability.