How Do Twitch Streamers Make Money?
If you’re someone who enjoys regular live stream entertainment, chances are you’re more than familiar with Twitch. Twitch is a video game streaming platform that’s been around since 2011. The platform has more than 140 million monthly active users and over 2 million monthly broadcasters. You might be curious about how Twitch streamers make money out of the platform. After all, in 2020, the top Twitch streamer made over $5.4 million! In this article, we’ll explore six primary sources of income that Twitch streamers use to build their businesses.
One of the most popular revenue streams for Twitch streamers is advertising. Twitch allows streamers to display ads during their broadcasts as a pre-roll commercial. These brief ads are approximately 30 seconds long, and streamers can run them at any time during the broadcast without disrupting their gameplay.
Twitch has a Partner Program that allows streamers who meet specific requirements to monetize their channels via advertising revenue. The Twitch Partner Program has several benefits, including revenue sharing and the ability to receive direct payments from viewers.
To start earning through advertising on Twitch, your channel must meet specific requirements. Typically, Twitch requires a minimum of 50 followers, 500 total broadcast minutes in the last month, seven unique broadcast days, and an average of three or more concurrent viewers in the last month.
Subscriptions are another popular way for Twitch streamers to make some money. Twitch offers three subscription levels: $5, $10 and $25 per month. Viewers can choose to subscribe to their favorite streamer’s channel, and in return, they receive specific benefits. As a streamer, you get a share of each subscriber’s monthly subscription fee.
Streamers can also add exclusive content for subscribers. This may include early access to new content or access to ad-free viewing. As a subscriber, you’ll receive a badge that shows you’re a follower, and your name turns to a different color that shows up in the chat.
You can encourage your audience to subscribe to your channel by providing subscriber-only content, like play sessions, Q&As, or shoutouts in public. Always ensure that you are adding value to your content so that the audience feels like subscribing is worthwhile.
Donations and Tips
While donations and tips may not provide a reliable income stream, they can create a significant source of supplemental income for Twitch streamers. Twitch streamers can receive donations in a variety of ways, including via PayPal, StreamLabs, and other third-party tools.
Twitch also introduced its own donation feature, called “Cheering,” which allows viewers to purchase and send virtual currency called “Bits” to support a streamer. When a viewer Cheering bits, the streamer receives a share of the revenue.
Streamers should be proactive in reminding viewers about their donation options and thanking them when they choose to donate. Some streamers use an on-screen alert box feature to show the donations and thank their viewers.
Another excellent way to monetize your Twitch channel is through sponsorships. Sponsorship deals can come in many forms, including sponsored streams, events, or products. Sponsorship deals tend to coincide with the gaming industry. If you are a gaming streamer, then this option could be lucrative.
The best way to find a sponsor is to approach them with a direct pitch. You should prepare a sponsorship deck and email them, highlighting your channel’s demographics and audience and your content production. When receiving a sponsorship, make sure that you maintain transparency with your followers, and always label your content as sponsored.
Merchandising is an increasingly popular source of income among Twitch streamers. Selling your merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, or other gear, through your Twitch channel can be a great way to build your brand.
Merchandising is most effective when streamers have a devoted following. You need to ensure that you emphasize unique features in your t-shirts or merchandise that sets it apart from similar products. You can use your branded merchandise as giveaways or to incentivize viewers to donate or subscribe to your channel.
Twitch can be a lucrative source of income for those prepared to put in the time and effort. For the most successful Twitch streamers, multiple income streams are essential contributors to their business. So, explore all possible sources of income, such as advertising revenue, subscription revenue, donations and tips, sponsorships, and merchandising, to find the best combination to grow your brand and business on Twitch.