Bits and cheering on Twitch

Update: Cheering is also available to Affiliates now.

Price chart

This is always a pain to wrap my head around; in fact, it’s the main reason I’m writing this piece.

Bits Price Discount Full price
100 $1.40 - -
500 $7.00 - -
1,500   $19.95 −5% $21
5,000 $64.40 −8% $70
10,000 $126.00  −10% $140
25,000 $308.00 −12% $350

On TOP of this, tax applies. Or, it at least does now, because I never noticed it before today, March 23, 2017. With a Danish VAT of 25%; looks at this fun surprise I noticed right after I clicked purchase:

25% VAT on a $64.60 purchase: $80.50

Remind me not to click the “accept” button so fast the next time!

No, but seriously, this is super sketchy and possibly illegal. Twitch is owned by Amazon, and this isn’t the first time they pull something like this.

Here is what it looks like if you want to buy 100 bits:

$1.40, alright.

Now, blink and you’ll miss it.

Prominent Pay Now button the the centre, new post-tax price in the left in small font.
Pay now … Notice anything on the left?

Here is the table with a 25% VAT—given the taxes in Denmark, consider this your worst-case scenario:

Bits Price +25% VAT “Full” price “Discount”
100 $1.40 $1.75 - -
500 $7.00 $8.75 - -
1,500   $19.95 $24.94 $21 +15.79%
5,000 $64.40 $80.50 $70 +13.04%
10,000 $126.00  $158.25 $140 +11.11%
25,000 $308.00 $385.00 $350 +9.09%

Given all this and my bruised wallet, you also have to remember that the streamer doesn’t even get the full amount of money—see “streamer share below”.

Spending bits

In order to spend your bits, you cheer. Cheering works by typing this in a partner or affiliate’s chat:

{optional message} cheer{amount} {optional message}

Some Twitch event streams support hashtags. allowing you to cheer a team or contestant. It’s an experimental feature that I’ve only seen for Evo, though, and hashtag cheering during Evo was pretty much a failure.

You can also use multiple cheers that add up, so do not spam it unless you’re feeling generous:

cheer{amount} cheer{amount} cheer{amount}

So cheer10 cheer100 cheer1000 will set you back 1110 bits. Twitch do not make any effort of pointing this out to you. You sense a pattern emerging.

With the introduction of cheermotes, you can now use Kappa, Kreygasm, and Swiftrage the way you use cheer with different tiers depending on your generosity.

With custom cheermotes, partners can make their own cheermotes with their emote prefix as the command.

If you want to brush up on emotes, check out my emote guide.

Streamer share

1 cent per Bit used to Cheer

~ “Guide to Cheering (Beta)”


Bits Streamer $
100 $1
500 $5
1,500   $15
5,000 $50
10,000 $100
25,000 $250

If we assume a 25% VAT, let us take a look at the streamer share:

Bits Price +25% VAT $ Share % Share w/ VAT % Share w/o VAT
100 $1.40 $1.75 $1 ~57% ~71%
500 $7.00 $8.75 $5 ~57% ~71%
1,500   $19.95 $24.94 $15 ~60%  ~75%
5,000 $64.40 $80.50 $50 ~62% ~78%
10,000 $126.00  $158.25 $100 ~63% ~79%
25,000 $308.00 $385.00 $250 ~65%  ~81%

For $1.40 before tax:

For $1.75 after tax:

Pros and cons of bits




Alternative to bits: gift subs

Gift subs let you get around the VAT for bits and use a contribution feature native to Twitch. And with the new batch gifting, you can go wild:

Gift subs make for a channel-wide event that viewers as well as streamer will get a kick out of. Adding subscribers will also help the stream grow as people feel a bigger motivation (because guilt) to become recurring viewers.

Even you as the streamer can donate subscriptions. What better giveaway than is there than the gift of subscribing to your channel?