Making money as a streamer has never been as popular as it is now, whether it is on Twitch, Mixer or any other live streaming platform. It is a phenomenon that is unique to the 21st century and to the youth of today.
Writing about the topic of how much streamers make has given me the opportunity to understand and realize how hard yet rewarding this career option is.
And that if you are willing to become one or find out more about the prospects and possibilities of making money as a streamer. Stay tuned, we will dig deep into how much and how the youth of today are earning as streamers.
To start earning on Twitch or any other platform it is obvious you will first need to be an affiliate, or a partner depending on the stage you are going to be performing at.
For the sake of simplicity and ease of reading, we will explain how you can become an affiliate on Twitch platform only.
Later we might give some comparison of the streamers among the platforms.
In order to become a Twitch streamer:
- You will have to acquire 50 followers within any given 30-day period
- Also, you will have to stream at least 500 minutes
- And have 7 days of unique broadcast, with an average of 3 concurrent viewers.
Once you fulfill all the requirements, you are most likely to receive an invitation to become a Twitch affiliate.
Keep in mind these are the requirements for Twitch only, but the requirements for Mixer and other platforms are alike
If you intend to become a Twitch affiliate in the soonest possible time, you will have to put it quite the effort and dedication. It is not going to be easy nor will it be hard if you are serious about making it on Twitch.
You can learn more about how you can become a Twitch affiliate within 7 days, give this article a read. here
Now let us classify the streamers into at least three categories, levels or tiers per say:
There are a variety of ways of making money on Twitch or any other streaming platform. and 100% of all streamers use these methods.
The main difference between the levels or categories is what percentage use more than the traditional ways of making money on Twitch.
All of which we will explain and examine with the example of a real streamer or the hypothetical one within each category.
Categorizing is important because not all the Twitch streamers make the same amount, but relatively similar to other people on the same level.
But It is not the level of Ninja or Shroud or any other big streamers, for these days they have their league of their own. And almost have become celebrities, if not already the ones, in the streaming community.
The majority of streamers at this level rely on these following ways of making money which fundamentally happens while you are live. Or in other words, it happens within the platform itself.
- People giving you money: Subs, Bits, Donations
- Merchandise: t-shirts, shirts, or Patreon, perhaps Onlyfans too
- Sponsorships, ads
These three ways are how 99% of streamers make money. The ones we named novices are called so, for they rely entirely on these methods of earning.
While all people start out this way only some get to pass to the next level. Because streaming just like in many games is something that you need to constantly work on yourself, skills, the business side, etc.
However, even at this level, you could be making anywhere between $1000 to $50000 per month.
So, in order to make it more precise let us take an example of a streamer who has about 2000 to 3000 subscribers, and averages about 1000 live viewers which is slightly less than half of his or her subscriber count. This example would fit in somewhere between the level 2 competent and level 3 expert.
While this might not seem like a big streamer, when it comes to making money on Twitch, this person alone could earn 6 figures.
Let us calculate.
On Twitch, subscriptions cost $5 a month. Streamer normally gets 50% of this fee from each person. Off course for those with an Amazon Prime account subscription is free to any streamer. But the streamer gets his fair share nonetheless.
It is possible for a streamer to get more than 50% percent of the share. If you have on average 10,000 views on your channel, you can apply to become a partner. (read more about becoming a Twitch partner here)
And once approved, you will be getting $3.50 instead of $2.50 but since out example only has about 1000 we will only take the later sum to do our calculations.
Keep in mind also there are four types of subscriptions as below
So, 50% of $5 is $2.50 multiplied by 2000 equals to $5000
This sum comes only from the subscriptions. If we are to factor in donations such as direct donations or bits. The sum only goes up.
It differs from streamer to streamer and how much they incentivize donations. Usually, people who are just starting out with a couple of subscribers or up a hundred seem to push for donations harder than those with a meaningful size of the community already.
In fact, it is advised you ask, or incentivize donations in the beginning.
- Firstly, it motivates you to keep going and keep giving providing value
- Secondly, of course, at least it pays your bills
However, when incentivizing donations or asking people to give you their money. You need to provide some value at the very least equal value to their monetary counterpart if not more valuable than the amount you received.
If you look at those who grew fast or keep constantly growing they are the example of this practice. They understand to bring value to their viewers first before they ask for donations. It is a practice that should be applied by many and you too.
So, for the sake of argument let us add about at least $1000 from donations to that of subs. $1000+$5000
We are still in the first possible way of making money on Twitch out of three on tier one level. Also, keep in mind we added only $1000 to donations which are the minimum amount. Usually, it is more than that.
At 2000 subscribers, streamers are most likely to have at least 10% of a loyal fanbase. Meaning those who are ready to go and buy merchandise, products or other things you sell.
Again, this depends on the streamer and his connection with his fanbase, but streamers with a couple of thousands of subscribers do usually have higher engagement with their fans and higher trust level than someone with hundreds of thousands.
Despite the fact that Ninja proved this theory otherwise, he is one example out of about 1.5 million streamers on Twitch.
There are many types of merchandise:
Clothes: shirts, t-shirts, hoodies. Let us just say mugs too. We will not explain much as it must be clear from the names of the merch what they are and how they are sold.
Equipment: camera gear, or PC gear other enhancement products (although this is something that is practiced by many streamers who are level 2 or 3, we are giving this now because our example fits in this level.
Games/In-game products: games you play or stream, plus it could be overlays, panels, or skins, other decorations of a character in-game. Because now streamers sell mods, in-game products on steam.
Patreon is included separately under the merchandise section because, even though it might sound like people giving away money on Patreon, usually there is a reason for it such as having more emotes or chat options. Most of the time streamers use names of their Patreons on naming their in-game characters or staff.
We have mentioned Onlyfansapp as it has been getting a lot of popularity lately. Since we live in the 21st century, the app has become a go-to platform for aficionados of adult content as well. But the app itself has whole a lot more use to it than just that.
In fact, it did not start to be popular among those in that particular industry, it later became so. There is still so much use for it for you as a streamer. For example, you could make only the best moments of your 8-hour stream or make another unique video that relates to your subscribers.
Perhaps, you could be playing together with your subscribers which is in fact a good strategy to do to gain trust and befriend your followers. And that clip could be featured exclusively to those subscribed to you. It works well for you and for your community as it makes them feel like they belong to a community while bringing them coins to your wallet.
So, we will add about $2500 here assuming you get half of your subscribers into buying more things from you That is including all types of merch. Be it clothes, in-game material, or exclusive content, anything that we mentioned in the second category.
Apart from donations and sales of your merchandise, you are going to start having offers for sponsorship as soon as you hit 100 subscribers.
Just like you are hustling, there are many other developers who are hustling and making their games. Since they cannot afford a big TV screen to advertise, they usually seek out streamers within their respective genre of the game and ask you to do a play their game.
The range in sponsorship varies way more than it does in any other tier, for we mentioned not all the games have a big budget.
But it will bring a streamer from our example with 2000 subscribers somewhere from $1000 to $10000 a month. On average $2000-$4000 a month, because first, you won’t always have offers, you might, but it does not mean you will take it.
Many witty streamers choose their sponsorships wisely and feature only the games they like, and are willing to play themselves, this works best first to increase the trust value between you and your subscribers, and the higher the trust and engagement with your follower. The higher you can ask for in return.
There are also ads to make money from, which we kept till the end to mention. Have you ever tuned in to your favorite streamer schedule to watch him stream only to watch ads popping up? If you have, then you already know what kind of ads we are talking about.
In simpler terms, every single streamer has a possibility to play an ad any time during the stream, and they get paid just for showing that add. The more often you watch that add the more they get. It is a like button on their PC with a dollar sign on it, and every time they press, it rains money ))
The amount they get paid is different but on average $0.03 cents per view. So if it is shown to 100 people in the audience 0.03*100 =3 thus $3, it does not seem much but as we mentioned, you can play it as many times as you want.
It is surely not advised to bombard your viewers with ads, but let us calculate how much a streamer with about 1000 views. In general, would get having played the ad once, which would be $30. And multiply that with the number of days you stream say at least three days a week. Even though it usually is more, it could easily be about $500 bucks a month.
Now let us add it all up to see how much tier 1 streamer makes
Keep in mind we took the bare minimum of everything that was possible to make, and in most scenarios, people at the level of our example make at least twice more than this sum.
Even at this amount, it is definitely good enough of an amount to motivate anyone to start streaming on Twitch. But as you might have already understood making money at this level completely requires you to be online and live.
It basically makes you a bit scared to not stream, making you feel like this is a work. In fact, it is a career choice and feels very much like one for hundreds of Twitch fans. The next levels of making money on Twitch are unlocked only by the minority, but doing those will bring you a whole lot more.
Now keep all that above in mind and let us move ahead with tier two.
It is important to understand that even though, we categorized streamers into levels or tiers. It is not a curve that you grow through and leave the other levels behind. It is not like you are not competent thus leaving the ways of the novice.
In fact, it is more this:
Once you have toiled your way into acquiring a couple of thousand subscribers on Twitch it is time to branch out. Actually, there is no specific time to do that, you can start on various platforms from the start.
Branching out means, distributing your Twitch content, or the path to it, on different social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter.
The reason we said, you can branch out after some success is because being able to branch out, in and of itself is rocket science. It will require skills and knowledge to do that. But if you are already making some money you can hire people to help you with that.
You do not have to wait until you earn, it is always possible to start on either of the platforms from the beginning and do the work on your own. There are many examples of streamers who accomplished it this way.
So, the advantages of having multiple entry to your stream or multiple channels:
First, it opens up better options for ads, for example, ads on Twitch don’t do well, unless you push that button every 30mins.
But it will only decrease the quality of your stream and even then you are not sure how much of the viewers will in fact watch it, thus less effective.
However, ads do well on YouTube, or sponsorships cost much higher on this platform. TikTok has been known to be a good platform to post 15sec to 1min highlights of streams.
And the possibility of promoting your camera gear or other things is much higher on TikTok and reach the right audience easier.
You can find out ways to make money on YouTube here
Second, you can transfer people over the platforms. For example, someone saw your TikTok highlight if they like it, they are very much likely to check out your stream too.
From then on, it all depends on how well you grab their attention and turn them into your followers. The same logic applies to other platforms, like Instagram, or YouTube, even Twitter.
You could be tweeting about the next upcoming stream you have, or ask questions and engage with your audience.
We did not calculate the ads or sponsorships on other platforms, but sponsoring someone on YouTube per video can cost from $10,000-$100,000, depending on the size of your channel.
Someone with 2000 subscribers on Twitch will most likely have good content as it is not easy to get there, and the earnings are proportional.
Keep in mind that sponsoring is one time per video, even though you were to get the low end of the industry standard, you would already make just as much in one time as you would make the whole month.
That is again not considering how much YouTube would pay you, or how much you would get from the ads.
we cannot add any number here as it is not possible to know how many subscribers you would have on YouTube or follower on TikTok. but for the sake of argument, we let us add at least another $10,000 the lower end. But know it is usually higher.
As a streamer, you can also turn into earning money on Amazon. There is a thing called Amazon associates that pays you a certain percentage of the money from the product sold.
Since as a streamer you will be coming across a lot of camera gear, playing gear, tables, chairs, well anything that facilitates streaming, you can sell those or at least promote them on your streams, or on other social media platforms you have.
There are many streamers who use this strategy to make extra money.There are many ways to go about it, you don’t necessarily have to sell on Amazon
You can choose to do it, on other platforms, wherever they give you the highest commission. It is just that a lot of the streamers use Amazon Associates.
Last but not least, the best thing about branching out on different platforms, not only creates you more possibilities to reach more audience, more outlets to get better deals. But also, it increases your credibility with your community.
Credibility or trust between the streamer and the subscriber is more valuable than any other monetary value you could put on top of that.
Now experts level people are those who were truly able to break into the business world with their small community of followers. The best example would be the Ninja. But there are many other popular streamers too.
So, at this level streamers make money from both of the previous ways. Also, with Sponsorships at much, much higher cost, it could be appearances on various events or tournaments. Or organizing your own events.
Tier 3 does not simply stop at this, because there are many ways than one can explain. As an example of Nadeshot, a professional streamer who built 100 thieves (link to 100 thieves) gaming organization.
Well, you get the idea, anything else you build or grow out into outside of Twitch means you are making money on expert level.
Keep in mind though, like we explained before it is not a process, where once you get to the second you bypass the first, it simply means you are opening more and more ways of making money built on your loyal fanbase.
So, even when you become like Ninja or Nadeshot you will still need to remember the followers that supported you from the beginning and keep creating content for them.
All in all,
It is virtually impossible to answer the question of how much a Twitch streamer makes, as it depends a great deal on a variety of factors.
But now that you have read and understood the possibility to make good money in the streaming world, and how the Twitch revenue system works, you can do it too.
One last video to leave in case if you want to hear some tips from a streamer himself here