Remember being young and wishing you could just get paid to play all day? Well, today, that is exactly what is happening on sites like Twitch. People are being paid big, big bucks to stream live videos of their gameplay. It is obviously not as simple as just playing online. You have to dish out the cash for good hardware to support games, develop advanced gameplay and couple it with entertaining commentary.
But if you are really good at it, it can pay more than a lot of full-time jobs. If you are a Twitch partner, you can earn through subscriptions, ads, and bits. In addition to this, paying external partnerships also pop up. Let us go into detail of each channel you can earn through on Twitch:
While YouTube subscriptions are free, Twitch offers only paid subscriptions. For $4.99 a month, people can subscribe to their favorite channels, usually giving them access to exclusive perks like chat rooms (if the channel owner has only enabled them through a subscription), badges and emotes, viewing without ads, and special alerts. So, there is plenty of incentive for a follower to subscribe. For every subscriber, you get a 50% cut of the subscription fee (almost $2.50). The rest is kept by Twitch.
Your goal should be to increase your twitch followers as much as you can. The more followers you have the higher your chances are for conversion.
If you are especially loved by Twitch (i.e. you have a big following), they’ll allow you to keep up to 70% of the subscription fee. There are also different levels of subscriptions, the lowest being the $4.99 one. The second and third one is $9.99 and $24.00 respectively. These, of course, bring way more revenue for you in exchange for extra perks for the subscriber.
For channels like Ninja and Shroud, with thousands and thousands of subscribers each, the subscription revenue adds up fast. Not to say you need that number of subscribers. Even 1000 could earn you almost $2500 a month.
Just focus on creating subscription worthy content. And again, don’t be too blunt about giving preferential treatment to subscribers. If people feel you are only after their money, it won’t help your channel.
Since Twitch is owned by Amazon, all Amazon Prime members get one free Twitch subscription in the form of a credit of $4.99. The good news is that you still get your cut, even though the follower spent no money. Bottom line: work on getting people to spend their free pass on you and it’s a win-win.
In addition to the compulsory ad that plays at the start of every stream on Twitch, streamers can also choose to insert more ads into the stream. Every ad view earns the streamer a small amount of money.
For channels that are just starting out, that amount is almost minuscule. But if you’ve gathered enough followers over time, it could become a hefty sum.
Basically, you can anywhere from a few cents to a few hundred dollars an hour, depending on how many followers you have and how many ads you are showing.
There are two caveats to ads, though. One is that many people block ads through ad blockers. Blocked ads don’t bring in any money. Second, we all know how insanely annoying ads can be when you are actually in the middle of watching something fun.
If you start showing too many ads, it could discourage your followers from viewing your stream. Do use it with caution.
If a follower loves your stream, they can choose to send you a tip or a donation as they call it. Twitch keeps none of this money; it goes straight to the channel owner.
The only deductions are either PayPal’s cut if you use their service or any fees associated with bank transactions.
If you have a large number of followers or even if you are well-loved by a reasonable amount of people, you can earn big bucks through donations. Some of the top twitch streamers for e.g. Jeremy Wang can make up to $2500 in donations every month!
Some twitch streamers do try to purposely evoke donations from their followers in their content however, that strategy can seem a little insincere and could actually end up hurting your following so don’t just go about asking for money. Focus on your content and on being interactive with your followers.
They realize that making content takes time, effort and money in the form of equipment. If you seem sincere, the donations would start pouring in themselves as a reward.
Bits and Cheers:
Bits and cheers are part of the tipping and cheering program by Twitch. Subscribers can buy bits and then send them to their favorite streamers in the form of cheers to show their support. Cheers are animated emojis that range from a 1 bit to a 10,000-bit cheer and are used in the chat room. The cost of a hundred bits is almost $1.40 not including taxes. If people buy them in bulk, the price drops.
One bit roughly earns the streamer 1 cent, which is not much, really. But if someone sends you a 10,000-bit cheer, that’s a $100 tip! It goes without saying that the more avid followers you have, the higher your earning through cheers will be.
Finally, a big way to earn money is by getting sponsors for your stream. These are external partnerships made with brands of all different kinds. It will depend on the type of content you produce, which companies approach you for sponsorships.
These deals are a way for companies to reach millions of people through the streamers’ followings. You usually either have to showcase a product by them or talk about their services to your followers in exchange for a fee.
If it is a large company, they will be very generous and you can earn a whole lot of money through an agreement. Again, the more successful your channel, the more and richer the companies that will seek you.
It is not sensible, however, to blindly keep accepting sponsorships. Followers can sense forced pitching and feel used. Accepting sponsorships is not wrong but make sure you only work with companies you truly believe in, have tried and tested and can vouch for.
Do not sell to your followers what you won’t buy yourself. Insincere pitching does not work for any party, be it the streamer, the follower or the company.
Some streamers also create merchandise and advertise it on their streams. It is kind of like being your own sponsor. For content creators that have gone viral or become iconic in some way, this strategy could go a long way. After all, we all buy shirts with our favorite catchphrases on them.
These right here are all the most lucrative strategies you can use to start generating an income through Twitch. If you look closely though, the underlying prerequisite to all of them is a good following. Maintain a nice steady stream of great content and a friendly profile.
Entertain your followers well, be kind to them and stay genuine and you are sure to attract followers and good money with them.