Why Tiered Subscriptions Are Beneficial For Your Live Streaming Platform

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Expand your mobile game business to PC and web to reach new players.

Monetization. It’s a concept we frequently talk about and for good reason. Without a solid strategy to generate long-term revenue, businesses may not stay in business for very long. This is especially true for streaming platforms where viewers come to experience real-time interaction and enjoy control over how they consume the content. That’s where tiered subscriptions come in clutch for sustainability.

From video-on-demand streaming services like Netflix to esports platforms like FACEIT and all-encompassing live streaming platforms like Twitch, paid subscriptions are here to stay. Why? A subscription plan can offer users psychological benefits, like mitigating the fear of long-term commitment to a single platform, and financial benefits, like easing the burden on users’ wallets. With so much of the world living paycheck to paycheck, users might find it more manageable to subscribe for the things they want at a lower monthly cost vs. a larger sum upfront.

To go a step further, tiered subscriptions offer additional benefits both to you and your audience. We break them down, below.


Tiered subscriptions allow a diverse user base to access and interact with content on your platform because they take into account different consumer needs and financial resources. Reasonably structure and price the lowest tier as an entry-level subscription plan, and you will likely see more casual users convert into loyal subscribers.

While there are many different opinions on how to “correctly” price subscription levels, there are two common factors to take into consideration when crafting your pricing structure.

  1. Your product: what type of content or extras you can offer, how much access you want to allow, what your business can sustain long-term, and so on.
  2. Your ideal audience: who they are, what do they want, how do they prefer to consume or interact with content, how much disposable income do they have, and so on.

To further help with user accessibility, you can also allow subscription gifting. Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers, implemented a subscription gifting option with Xsolla, leading to an increase in digital patronage from its viewers. By allowing sub gifting, you also empower your audience with the ability to expand access to available content by themselves, which in turn increases their interactions on, and accessibility to, your streaming platform.

Premium perks and content

You probably have users or existing subscribers that are super active on your platform. These loyal fans engage regularly, consuming a large share of available content, and even act as your unofficial brand ambassadors outside of your platform. They crave extra value, like increased options for live or personal interaction, and would likely subscribe to a plan that offers added benefits or premium content.

Use tiered subscriptions to offer varying levels of access to extra content, services, or products on your platform. As you structure your subscription plan, make sure the access or perks increase in value as the plan tiers do. Offer substantial value in your more expensive plans, whether it’s the removal of ads, additional chat benefits like emojis, or access to premium channels or content.

As a relatively new addition to the livestreaming space, Caffeine.tv branded themselves as a social broadcasting platform to stand out from their competitors, and brought in celebrity broadcasters from gaming, sports, and music to round out their available content. While they don’t have subscriptions – at least not yet! – they allow viewers to purchase Caffeine Gold, a virtual currency that can be exchanged for digital items during broadcasts. By implementing a tiered subscription plan, Caffeine could offer a monthly allowance of Caffeine Gold to their subscribers, increasing the amount available at mid-range and top-tier options.

Financially tiered subscriptions are also a great way to generate the additional revenue that you can invest back in premium perks or content, while at the same time offering incentives and rewards to your loyal subscribers. You can use the funds to empower your creators to produce bonus content, use it to attract different types of broadcasters to your platform and subsequent viewers, or add increased interaction functionality on your platform.

Audience insights

As human beings, we all want to connect and want easy, convenient access to what matters most to us. Creating or offering content that resonates with your audience leads to meaningful interactions – and connection – between your users and your platform.

How can you provide more meaningful content to your users? Tiered subscriptions can help you gather additional insights into your audience’s preferences. Specifically, by tracking which subscription plans are more popular, you can determine which premium content or extras to keep including for subscriber retention, and which you can consider removing. You can then reallocate resources in a different direction, or branch out into different content offerings.

  • YouTube Premium is a good example of how a streaming platform has adapted and evolved its subscription plans to meet audience needs. Initially branded as YouTube Red, the Premium plan now offers ad-free viewing, the ability to listen to music in the background, and has different pricing tiers to include options for families and students.
  • An Amazon’s Prime Gaming (formerly Twitch Prime) subscription offers a wide range of free benefits on Twitch, like free games and a free channel subscription every 30 days to any streamer on the site. In addition to these benefits serving as perks for the subscribers, they can also provide invaluable insight into what games subscribers want to play and which streamers they enjoy and want to support.

Offering tiered subscriptions for your live streaming platform is beneficial both to you and your audience. Giving your users real value, and the freedom of choice and accessibility as they interact with your content is key to maintain a loyal fan base and sustainable long-term revenue for your business.

How to get started

1. Grab a copy of our Subscriptions for Live Streaming Platforms one-pager. Learn how Xsolla can help you:

  • Set up an effective subscription plan that benefits you and your viewers
  • Implement a fair and profitable price structure
  • Easily manage recurring payments

Download your free Subscriptions for Live Streaming Platforms [PDF]

2. Partner with Xsolla. We know creating your revenue model doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why teaming up with a partner like us is valuable. We understand the unique needs of long-term revenue generation for streaming platforms, and we can show you how to:

  • Decide which plan is right for your user base
  • Turn casual followers into loyal subscribers
  • Prevent subscriber churn
  • Keep evolving and upgrading your plan features

When you become an Xsolla partner, we can help take care of your Subscriptions program development and implementation, so you can focus on what you do best.

New to Xsolla? Get started by registering for a Publisher Account.

Already an Xsolla partner? Log in to your Publisher Account or contact your Xsolla Account Manager to chat about the best subscriptions strategy for your platform.

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