“Between covid-19 and my recent diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth [a degenerative nerve condition], my career changed drastically,” said Ellie Belleview, 30, one of the winners known as 3llebelle on Twitch. “Shifting to full-time content creation is much more expensive than you might think. This program helps support that.”
Affording a basic streaming setup can be a challenge for up-and-coming streamers, especially those from certain minority groups that may face tighter financial constraints, according to 24-year-old Flera Feliz, who streams under the name Flera and is also a recipient of the fund.
“Money can unfortunately be a factor in suppressing unique content creators from sharing their stories and displaying their diverse personalities," she said.
According to data from 2018, 81.5 percent of Twitch creators and viewers are White males, with women comprising only 15.6 percent of streamers. Twitch can also be a volatile place for marginalized people, with data from StreamElements showing that at least 27 percent of survey respondents have witnessed racial or gender-based bullying on the platform.
A representative from StreamElements told The Post that, as part of the mentorship aspect of the program will include instruction on how to employ moderation tools to help them stay vigilant in the face of toxicity. Mentorship will also include industry tips on how to build an audience, secure sponsorships, sell merchandise and other advice to make a career in streaming and content creation. Each winner will be given an account manager, as well as access to a Discord channel where they can learn about best practices from industry experts.
“Mentorship to me is invaluable,” Feliz said. “Anyone can have fancy peripherals but top-end gear doesn’t get you anywhere in the streaming ecosystem. It’s about personality and what you have to offer. Often times, we all have the potential. We just need a little bit of guidance.”
StreamElements is known for its suite of widgets, overlays and chat bots. The program will guide its winners on how to optimize those tools and graphics on their respective channels.
“Live-streaming is not an easy profession and it can be even more daunting for members of underrepresented groups,” said Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements, in a news release. “Even with the right tools, it is the access to knowledge from experts who believe in them that is hard to come by. With the Creator Diversity Fund our goal is to provide those invaluable industry insights on top of improving all aspects of their channels. There is no shortcut to success, but having a road map and an aesthetic channel designed for engagement is a great foundation to start with.”
Below are the recipients of the StreamElements diversity fund: