Twitch currently has around 140 million monthly active users. Thirty million of which access Twitch daily, creating a massive global audience of engaged viewers. Opportunities to make money on Twitch are wide open, but which is the best option for you? More specifically, what requirements need to be fulfilled to generate meaningful income on Twitch?
The idea of getting paid to play video games seems almost too good to be true. But that’s exactly what thousands of successful streamers are doing on Twitch right now. Streaming video games in real-time can be a surprisingly effective way to earn serious sums of money.
Of course, it’s not quite as straightforward as simply launching a Twitch channel and instantly getting rich. In order to get paid, you first need to build an audience of a decent size and offer something of genuine value. Exactly how much money you can make on Twitch varies in accordance with the type of user you are.
There are three main categories of Twitch users as follows:
- Everyday Twitch users
- Twitch Affiliates
- Twitch Partners
Across the board, those who earn the most money tend to be those with the biggest audiences. Shroud, for example, rakes in more than $100,000 a month from subscribers alone. Then you have the likes of PewDiePie and Ninja, who, through paid advertising, sponsorship, and everything else, have amassed personal fortunes of more than $40 million and $25 million, respectively.
Hence, the key to earning as much money as possible on Twitch lies in exploring all available options. In this guide, we’ll be providing the insights you need to determine which is the best Twitch business model for you.
How To Make Money as a Twitch Streamer?
Building a Twitch audience of a decent size is the first step towards making money as a Twitch streamer. The more Twitch users you pull in with your broadcasts, the more money you stand to make – it really is as simple as that. Consequently, there’s no such thing as overnight fame and fortune on Twitch.
The most successful Twitch channels are established over the course of years – not days or weeks, You’ll start out with a small audience, making minor sums of money based on viewer numbers. But just as soon as things start gaining momentum, you’ll find yourself heading towards the big-bucks territory.
For example, pulling in around 30,000 daily views with an average engagement rate of 50% equates to total estimated earnings of around $40.00 to $65.00 per day. Over the course of a year, this adds up to anything from $15,000 to $25,000 – all from doing what you love.
But given how the most successful Twitch streamers stack up millions of daily views, you begin to see how making serious money is perfectly possible. It’s all about the numbers as a Twitch streamer – more viewers = more money in your pocket.
4 Easy Ways to Make Money on Twitch
Contrary to popular belief, there’s more than one way to make money on Twitch. Best of all, you don’t need a huge audience of followers to get things off the ground in the first place. As a brief overview of what’s possible, here for just a few ways you can generate revenues as a Twitch streamer:
Earn Money as a Twitch Affiliate
First up, the Twitch Affiliate program paves the way for the monetization of your channel. Thankfully, the criteria set out by Twitch to be eligible for affiliate status are fairly relaxed. Basically, your channel needs to have met the following requirements within the past 30 days:
- A minimum of 500 total minutes were broadcasted.
- A minimum of seven different broadcast days.
- An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more.
- At least 50 followers or more
Once you have joined Twitch’s affiliate program, you will be able to generate revenues in three ways – Twitch subscriptions, Twitch bits, and game sales.
After you successfully monetize your channel, you can begin offering paid subscription options. The idea is that those who pay to subscribe to your channel gain access to additional perks and privileges, such as discounts on merchandise, access to exclusive chat rooms, and so on.
You can price your monthly subscription options at $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99, which is collected by Twitch and a percentage paid to the actual channel owner.
Also known as “Virtual Cheers,” Twitch bits are tokens of appreciation that can be exchanged for real money. Twitch users can purchase bits for the price of $1.40 per 100, after which they can distribute them to their favorite streamers.
As streamers stack up bits in their accounts, they can be periodically cashed out. Individual bits aren’t worth a great deal, but their combined value soon stacks up when thousands are being thrown around.
In addition, streamers make money by selling the games they play on behalf of software companies. You’ll often find that a live stream (or a recording of a past stream) will be accompanied by a “Buy Now” button.
When sales are generated by streamers, they receive a commission of 5%. Playing games on Twitch is technically a fantastic form of free advertising for game developers. Hence, it simply makes sense that streamers should get a cut of the action for their efforts.
Get Paid Without Being Twitch Partner
It’s often assumed that unless you are a Twitch Partner or Twitch Affiliate, making money isn’t an option. In reality, it is, in fact, perfectly possible to make money on Twitch without officially monetizing your channel. Each of the three business models above may be out of reach, but the following could prove just as profitable:
One option is to make direct requests for donations on your channel page and to invite viewers to donate during each live stream you broadcast. You’ll need to set up a third-party online payment app like PayPal in order to collect donations from your viewers.
This is a surprisingly popular way for Twitch users to show appreciation to their favorite streamers. Particularly when it comes to getting a new Twitch channel off the ground, collecting donations can be great to help fund the project.
Similarly, a Patreon account can be opened and linked directly with your Twitch profile in order to collect donations. Increasingly, people looking to generate money with their social media accounts are turning to Patreon – the quickest and easiest platform to accept contributions.
Again, you simply need to encourage your viewers to help you out and remind them you’re on Patreon. The whole thing works in a similar way to PayPal but has a much closer connection with Twitch (and social media in general).
Upload Streams on YouTube
There is, of course, also the option of boosting your revenues by publishing your content elsewhere. YouTube videos that stack up enough views can generate huge sums of money for their creators.
Hence, it stands to reason that if you’ve published something great on Twitch, it will also do well on YouTube. Uploading your most popular videos to YouTube is, therefore, a no-brainer, as is showcasing them across the rest of your social media profiles and spreading the word about what you do.
Earn Through Affiliate Marketing
Not to be confused with becoming a Twitch affiliate, third-party affiliate programs can be great for making money on Twitch. This is where you place affiliate links in your content, which direct potential customers to external product and service pages. If they make a purchase, you receive a commission on the total sale price.
Amazon has one of the most popular affiliate programs on the market, making it quick and easy to place sponsored links in your content. Affiliate programs are also 100% free to join and are therefore 100% risk-free.
Get Money on Twitch as a Partner
The Twitch Partner Program is the premier scheme for successful streamers looking to generate high revenues. Eligibility requirements are a little less clear in nature, but having an established and engaged audience is mandatory.
Twitch also states that you need to be a respected role model within your niche and that you must have achieved the following:
- Streamed for 25 hours
- Streamed on 12 different days
- Average of 75 viewers per stream
It’s at this point that you’ll gain access to one of the platform’s more profitable income-generators – Twitch Ads.
Running ads during your Twitch streams is only possible after meeting the requirements above. After which, you can expect to generate around $3.50 for every 1,000 people who view your ads. This may not sound like a lot, but running regular ads with a huge audience of followers can be highly profitable.
If looking to steer things in the right direction, you can always buy Twitch viewers here and there to up your earnings. Plus, given the fact that running ads are free, it’s another way to make extra money for doing little to nothing at all.
Make Money with Regular Audience
Once your audience reaches a fairly large size, making significant sums of money becomes much easier. In particular, there are two things you can do to transform an active and engaged audience into a reliable revenue stream:
Some of the most popular Twitch streamers worldwide make most of their money from brand sponsorships. This is essentially where a company pays for its products (or simply its brand name) to be used, mentioned, and/or recommended in a Twitch stream. In some instances, streamers take a cut of any subsequent sales made from their streams – usually around 20%.
Elsewhere, a brand may agree to pay a fixed fee for a sponsored stream or post. For high-level influencers and celebrities, pocketing more than $1 million for a sponsored content agreement is far from rare. Though again, you can only expect to make serious money with brand sponsorships if you’re already a big deal.
Last up, another great way to boost earnings and promote your Twitch channel is to sell your own merchandise. You can sell branded merch of pretty much any kind and set your own pricing structure accordingly. Of course, nobody is going to wear a shirt or hoodie sporting your name if you’re pretty much unheard of.
But once you start making a name for yourself, those who support you will be more than happy to pay for your branded merchandise. All you need to do is launch a basic online store and link it to your Twitch channel. You can then showcase your merchandise in your streams and even take suggestions from your viewers for new merch ideas.
Making money (and plenty of it) on Twitch is all about the numbers. The size of your audience will ultimately determine how much money you can make. Particularly when it comes to brand sponsorships and advertising revenues, bigger is always better. One way to get a new channel off the ground is to buy Twitch views and followers to steer things in the right direction.
After which, it becomes much easier to convince new followers to join your channel organically. To succeed on Twitch, you need to broadcast regularly, interact with your audience, and offer something of genuine value. You need to focus on building an active and engaged audience before finding potential partners to sponsor your content.
Earning money through affiliate marketing is also an option but is again aligned with the size and engagement level of your audience. Most importantly, if your goal is to make money on Twitch, you need patience and tenacity. Overnight fame and fortune isn’t a realistic goal, but stick with it long enough, and things will eventually start happening.