Streamers, notably in the gaming industry, are among the most established careers a millennial aspires to be. On top of achieving celebrity status and reputation, the amount some streamers make can be motivation to get anyone excited.
If you are still pondering on just how much do streamers make, here’s our breakdown of the various sources of revenue streamers earn.
How do streamers make money?
There are two main types of revenue streamers get from entertaining the masses.
- The first one is revenue generated directly on the streaming platform, either by direct subscriptions or donations.
- The second type is revenue generated from external sources like: partnerships, sponsorships, awards and outside donations.
Let’s go over the amount and potential revenue streams in each category.
Twitch is considered the granddaddy of esports streaming platforms, thanks to its vast user base and popularity. While the occasional Twitch controversies regarding its policies and streamer dramas may deter new users. Twitch is still unrivaled when it comes to providing effortless support/usability for streamers and viewers alike.
Starting out as a first-time streamer is a piece of cake for the most part. However, unlike Youtube, where channels earn revenue by having viewership, Twitch’s primary revenue model comes from subscriptions. Viewers can show their support to streamers by purchasing a monthly subscription worth $5, which provides the streamer with a consistent flow of income.
Most aspiring streamers can expect a 50/50 split on revenue from subscriptions when they first start up. As subscription counts rise, streamers can negotiate a more lucrative split up to 70/30 and 80/20 in rare cases. Furthermore, Twitch has implemented a more localized pricing and revenue split policy recently, which might result in more differentiated splits for streamers based on location.
Subscription costs can also vary in tier and status going from 5$ for Tier 1 up to $25 for Tier 3 subscription. The revenue split on each tier can be renegotiated as your channel grows.
Do note that you will need to sign up as an Affiliate before starting earning from subscriptions and Twitch Bits. Twitch Bits is another form of revenue, essentially the platform’s currency that viewers can purchase and send to their favorite streamers.
Becoming Twitch Affiliate
Well, we hate to break it to the fresh streamers because a couple grands’ worth of paycheck is impossible, let alone one grand per month. Like most careers, it’s all about hard work and dedication, so prepare to put in some elbow grease.
Twitch Affiliates need to fulfil several requirements before they qualify for the program. You would need to have a minimum of 500 total minutes broadcast along with an average of three simultaneous viewers in the last 30 days since you begin. Have a minimum of seven broadcast days in the last 30 days and more than 50 followers.
Now, don’t let these requirements deter you from debuting your streaming career because the real cause for concern should be how you need to set a personality for your audience. In fact, most streamers secure the Twitch Affiliate status in just two months!
Finally, there’s the pinnacle of Twitch streaming careers, becoming a Twitch Partner. Twitch Partners can consider themselves as ambassadors for Twitch and often accept sponsorships from various third parties. At this level, streamers have complete influence over their channel, where they can put ads on their stream too.
Becoming Twitch Partner
Months or even years down the line, you are getting quite good at the whole Twitch streaming shenanigans. It’s time to consider an upgrade to the Twitch Partner program.
Sure, it comes with heftier requirements, such as a minimum of 25 hours broadcast and minimum of 12 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days. You also need to have a concurrent average of 75 viewers within the last month. Once you got these checked out, you can apply to become a Twitch Partner.
Unfortunately, these criteria are merely minimum requirements for you to apply, so it’s still up to Twitch’s evaluation to have you on board.
External revenue types
Besides the Twitch-related revenues, outside donations are also available to streamers if they wish to pursue this revenue stream. Both Paypal and Patreon are a common form of revenue. The latter of the two is more prominent with content creators on Youtube, but Twitch streamers utilize it also. Donators can directly send money to a particular streamer’s account, which Twitch doesn’t take any share of the amount. The flipside is that it’s a single revenue, but it allows the donator to send a customized message to the streamer.
Partnerships with brands and merchandise product placements are the bread and butter of any aspiring twitch streamer. While subscription counts are important to get you through the door, the real profit comes once big business comes knocking. Everything from lifestyle, nutrition, fashion and tech can be seen as a potential partner as companies realized the consumer of the future is heavily influenced by the streamer they follow vicariously.
Betting on streamers is another revenue type recently gaining momentum. Renowned pro players and former esports athletes sign partnerships with esports betting sites to have bets placed on in-game outcomes as they stream games. Plenty of streamers can be seen featured on dedicated sites that take this sort of bets. In return the streamers get a cut of the revenue.
Content creator Disguised Toast breaks all of this down nicely as well.
Now with the essential knowledge on how money is made simply defined:
How much money do Twitch streamers make
We covered several revenue sources that an aspiring streamer can make. Of course, we will fuel your motivation further with some serious numbers.
Lets take Imane Anys, aka “Pokimane” as an example, featured on the hall of fame as one of the highest paid female streamers.. It is estimated she makes over $50,000 per month just from subscriptions. This is just an estimate based on her 10,000 Twitch subscribers’ revenue, so the number is merely the tip of the iceberg. She has additionally made deals with brands like LG and Cloak which j boost up these numbers even further.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the highest paid Twitch streamer to-date. He makes an estimated $25 million, hosted concerts, and had partnership deals with Adidas. Ninja built his gaming empire by being an idol for many Fortnite players. His demeanor and on screen performance have made him one of the most influential streamers to date. With all that influence the partners and companies interested in getting their message through him has grown exponentially.
Former pro players, also net insane revenue numbers after their esports careers ended. Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek is another high net worth streamer and a former pro player with an estimated $12 million in his bank account. His success comes from being a famed CS:GO and Valorant streamer, along with exclusive partnership deals. His skill and aptitude with FPS games has attracted the support of gaming purists and big game developers who want Shroud as their brand ambassador.
These examples are all from the higher cap a streamer can reach when talking about revenue. If you are just starting up you can expect to make reasonable income to pay the bills, if you are entertaining and if the fans respond positively to you.
Realistically, there’s no denying that a streaming career can be a sustainable one. Instead of hesitating from stage fright, you might want to start setting up your streaming setup.