How Much do Twitch Streamers Really Make?
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Twitch is a live video streaming service, mostly used by those that stream themselves playing video games and those that like to watch. It’s not just for gamers, though. Since Twitch’s huge rise in popularity during the pandemic, the ‘Just Chatting’ category has grown to be the most popular single category, proving that you don’t necessarily need to be a gamer to make it on the platform. But the big question we all want to know the answer to is, how much do Twitch streamers make?
In this article, we’re going to be breaking down the different ways Twitch streamers make money and talking you through how you can get yourself started on the platform.
- How Much do Twitch Streamers Make?
- How Do Twitch Streamers Make Money?
- How Much do Twitch Streamers Make from Subscriptions
- How much do Small Twitch Streamers Make?
- How to Start Making Money on Twitch
- Is Becoming a Twitch Streamer Worth It?
How Much do Twitch Streamers Make?
It is estimated that those in the top 100 streamers list on Twitch make at least $32,000 a month. This income comes from subscribers, affiliate links, and bits; where people can send the equivalent of $0.01 tips to their favorite streamers.
But there is no ‘if this-then that’ answer to how much Twitch streamers make from the platform. This is because there are so many variables.
For example, those with many subscribers have a good chance of making a decent living. However, streamers with small numbers but more interaction can expect to make a decent amount of money too.
The good news is, whatever level of streamer you are, there are plenty of ways to make money.
When you consider how much Twitch has grown in popularity and the fact that there were over 316 million minutes of Twitch broadcasts last month, it's clear that there are significant money-making opportunities for those that want them.
How Do Twitch Streamers Make Money?
The money-making opportunities on Twitch are varied, with streamers making money from subscriptions, adverts, bits, and even affiliate links.
Many of the most successful streamers actually have varied income streams and make money from several of the income opportunities that are available to them.
Whichever method a streamer decides to use, one of the biggest factors that affect how much money can be made is how much engagement they get on their videos and their channel.
Social media is all about interaction, and as such, if you want to be a successful creator, you need to be someone that is happy to chat with their followers and interact with the people that interact with your videos. It is this engagement that can seriously improve your chances of making money via Twitch and the various opportunities that the video streaming platform offers.
If you’re eligible to join either the Twitch affiliate program or the Twitch partner program, then you’ll be able to make money by having subscribers to your Twitch channel.
There are a set of requirements that you must meet before you can join either program.
Once you meet these, you can offer three subscription tiers and make an income this way. Twitch subscription tiers are currently $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99.
As a Twitch affiliate, you will split the subscription revenue 50/50 with Twitch. That’s after deductions from tax and processing fees.
Read our in-depth guide on how to become a twitch affiliate for everything you need to know.
Twitch sells almost $250 million annually in advertising, and they pay content providers based on the views received.
Adding ads is easily done from your creator dashboard and can provide significant income for those with popular content.
Once you’re established and have become an affiliate, your followers can give you a tip in the form of a Twitch Bit. They can be accumulated into significant sums with a value of approximately 1c per Bit.
In the first few months of its introduction, Twitch fans purchased $2 million worth of Bits, so the earning potential can be huge in the right situation.
Sponsorships provide another way for streamers to generate money on Twitch—promoting companies or individual products can be lucrative!
Those with significant following and full-time commitment can realistically expect to generate a few thousand dollars per month, but those with a lower footprint on the site may struggle to exceed Twitch's $100 minimum payout threshold.
More established Streamers can generate income by creating and selling merchandise.
How well the merchandise is marketed and promoted will, of course, affect revenue generation. Like all things Twitch, results become greater as your follower count rises.
Donations are a good way for an established Twitch streamer to make money. However, those with smaller follower counts generally don't perform as well as those with much higher numbers.
Affiliate marketing on Twitch can be an effective way to gain revenue through the site. With the right account, sufficient followers, and a well-targeted affiliate marketing strategy, the volume of traffic and sales that a popular account can generate will often lead to significant income.
Uploading Twitch Videos to YouTube
Twitch content creators can easily upload their videos to their YouTube channel. This gives an additional income stream through advertising on the platform and opens them up to a new audience.
Twitch content on Youtube can receive high viewing figures, and cross-platform benefits can be seen with increasing follower numbers.
How Much do Twitch Streamers Make from Subscriptions
The battle to earn money on Twitch is fierce. And when you realize just how much money there is to be made, it's easy to see why.
If you search Google for a list of the highest-earning twitch streamers, you will see a LOT of different results. The top earners change quickly, with peaks and valleys year after year.
Some top-earning streamers from two years ago, like Ninja, aren’t even on the top 50 list now. Others, like TimTheTatman, have left Twitch altogether after getting more lucrative deals on other platforms.
So, according to Streams Charts (at the time of writing), the top 10 highest earners from subscriptions on Twitch are:
- KaiCenat - 4.7 million followers - Paid Subs: 72,154 - Income: $217,666 - £545,673
- JLTomy - 1.2 million followers - Paid Subs: 14,774 - Income: $53,477 - $136,147
- xQc - 11.7 million followers - Paid Subs: 46,526 - Income: $91,344 - $123,443
- Jynxzi - 757k followers - Paid Subs: 25,367 - Income: $54,650 - $88,830
- Jahrein - 1.8 million followers - Paid Subs - 22,751 - Income: $51,573 - $88,037
- Auronplay - 15 million followers - Paid Subs - 30,251 - Income: $50,600 - $85,622
- Eliasn97 - 1.4 million followers - Paid Subs - 29,625 - Income: $61,550 - $83,103
- Gaules - 3.8 million followers - Paid Subs - 29,048 - Income: $64,590 - $81,398
- Tumblurr - 1.1 million followers - Paid Subs - 27,147 - Income: $62,271 - $78,567
- IlloJuan - 3.1 million followers - Paid Subs - 30,376 - Income: $69,394 - $78,200
That’s not to say that other twitch streamers aren’t making more money from other revenue streams!
Some of the most followed Twitch streamers haven’t made it onto this list, but they still make huge sums of money every month from sponsorships, merch, and ads.
How much do Small Twitch Streamers Make?
Much like monetizing any other social media platform, the amount of money you can make depends on how many subscribers you have, their interaction with you, and how many people watch your streams when you go live.
It is easy to assume that to make money, you need to compete with the big boys in terms of subscribers and even streaming hours, but that isn’t the case.
If you’re just a small streamer after a side hustle that makes you a little pocket money, then Twitch is still a great platform.
As there are different ways to make money via a Twitch stream, it isn’t just about big numbers in terms of making money. Well-liked streamers are often gifted more ‘bits’ than other high-profile streamers that appear less likable, increasing their earning opportunities. Of course, those with high subscriber numbers will bring in more money – but they aren’t the only ones.
Small streamers generally have less than 100 views on average at a time. Depending on how generous their followers are and how often they stream, a small Twitch streamer could earn between $400 - $1000 a month.
How to Start Making Money on Twitch
The first step to making money on Twitch is setting up your account. It’s a really simple process, and if you need a little help, you can follow this step-by-step guide.
You must also use live streaming software to broadcast your game on Twitch. Twitch Studio is one of the most popular options. It’s free, and it’s super easy to use.
Twitch Studio gives you everything you need to go live and chat and interact with your viewers. It also means you can stream with just one monitor, thanks to its built-in overlay, which displays chats, alerts, and everything else you need to see on just one screen.
The other things you will need to get started on Twitch are:
- Camera - You will want a high-quality streaming camera to ensure a perfect picture for your stream. The Elgato Facecam is one of the most popular options for streamers, thanks to its affordable price and professional quality.
- Microphone - You will also need a high-quality microphone so your audience can hear you clearly. The HyperX QuadCast S is undoubtedly the most popular option for gamers and streamers. It’s easy to set up and includes an anti-vibration and shock mount.
When starting out on the video streaming platform, you should first concentrate on finding your audience. This could be looking at the time of day you stream or the type of content you put out there. See what videos get the best interaction and how to grow your audience.
Twitch has a hefty section on its website about how to make money as a Twitch affiliate and how to become a Twitch Partner, so these are also worth checking out to see if they’re the right route for you.
One thing that you can do is use your audience from other platforms to grow your Twitch platform. You can even promote the times you are live streaming to ensure you get the maximum audience numbers possible.
Twitch Monetization Requirements
Depending on the route you go down to make money on twitch, there will be some Twitch requirements that you must have completed before you’re able to get started.
If you’re looking to become a Twitch affiliate, then you must:
- Have broadcast for at least 500 minutes in the last 30 days
- Have broadcast 7 different times in the last 30 days
- More than 50 Twitch followers
- Have an average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
Is Becoming a Twitch Streamer Worth It?
If you are already a gamer, the idea of making money playing video games is very appealing.
However, if you’re joining with the sole purpose of making money, then this is a bigger decision to be made. Money-making does happen for some, and there are certainly opportunities to boost your income significantly. However, that isn’t guaranteed, and it’s certainly not happening overnight.
But if you're a gamer or content creator who loves being on camera and your goal is to grow a following, then streaming on Twitch is definitely something worth exploring.
Do your research, work on building up your channel and engaging your audience, and then you have the best possible chance of being able to monetize your content. Creating content that people want to engage with is the best way to ensure your channel gets the best possible chance of being a platform you can make money from.
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