Marathon gaming sessions are all the rage these days, and for the hardcore gamer who wants to take his skills to the next level, Twitch is the place to go. Twitch is a streaming website similar to YouTube except that Twitch specializes in live stream gaming. Users from around the world either upload videos or livestream their gaming sessions to the platform, and the top gamers can earn considerable money doing so.
But what is the point of gaming on Twitch? There are millions of video game players out there — casual, amateur, and professional — and many of them are looking for ways to up their game. Twitch streamers play through today’s popular games on a variety of systems to show users how to find Easter eggs, how to beat hard levels, where to find specialty items, or how a game plays before making a purchase commitment. Many of the users also watch videos purely for entertainment.
The best Twitch players are entertaining, funny, natural storytellers, or any other combination of qualities that makes them engaging to watch. Gamers work hard to build a following, just like any other social media or video platform — think YouTube and TikTok. The more followers and likes a gamer has, the better their videos and streams do on the website, and the more money they are likely to earn from their efforts.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make money playing video games, Twitch could be an answer. Let’s find out exactly how to make money on Twitch with this guide.
What Do You Need To Stream On Twitch?
Twitch has, on average, 100 million page views each month – a considerable number that makes the platform a lucrative way for gamers to make a steady income. You can start by creating a channel on which you upload your gaming streams. You also need to purchase equipment so that you can stream your sessions directly on the website. Hardware includes a webcam with audio, a computer or gaming console, and any other gaming equipment you need to get the job done.
How Do Gamers Make Money On Twitch?
There are three levels of Twitch gaming. Everyone starts out as a novice, but you can quickly move on to become an affiliate and then a Twitch partner if you put in the time and effort required. For each level upgrade, Twitch provides specific guidelines that you must follow and goals that you must meet.
After you create your channel and start uploading videos, you are considered a novice. There are a couple of ways you can earn money as a novice, but it isn’t as much as affiliates and partners have the potential to make.
Before you can start earning money, you need to build a following. Twitch is a 24/hour website, and while you can upload pre-recorded videos at night to gain an audience without staying up late playing live, the point of Twitch is to offer live streams. You can get an edge on your competition by only doing live videos and providing the occasional stream in the middle of the night for viewers in different time zones or those who can’t sleep.
There is a variety of companies that use Twitch for product placement, and some of them are willing to use novices to get the job done. Brand partnerships typically come from companies that sell related products to gaming like energy drinks, consoles, accessories, and even comfortable chairs.
Partnerships work by you, the gamer, introducing and discussing a product during your live stream, and then the company gives you a kickback of the profits generated. Brand partnerships are also referred to as affiliate partnerships, which is entirely different from being an affiliate with Twitch.
Brand partnerships can be lucrative, but you need a solid following to attract advertisers who are willing to take a chance on you. Most companies prefer to work with big-time gamers with a significant audience that is willing to purchase the advertised products.
You can find partnership opportunities by approaching companies with a pitch or talking with fellow streamers about who they are partnered with.
Once you have a dedicated following, you might consider selling merchandise. Some streamers sell T-shirts, stickers, and even coffee mugs to their fans. You can produce your own designs with your streamer handle, a catchy slogan you say in every video, or custom artwork. Use a print-on-demand website like SpreadShop to host your merchandise.
You can build your own store on SpreadShop to display merchandise with your custom designs. When a fan buys a product, SpreadShop prints the design on the item and mails it directly to the user. While you don’t get 100% of the profits, SpreadShop advertises that most store owners make an average of $25 for T-shirts and hoodies.
Becoming a Twitch Affiliate is by invitation only. You must meet the following goals to get an invitation: have a minimum of 500 minutes broadcasted, have a minimum of seven unique broadcast days, have an average of three concurrent viewers or more, and have at least 50 followers.
Affiliates can earn money through user subscriptions. Your fans can subscribe to your channel at four different levels: $4.99, $9.99, $24.99, and Twitch Prime. Viewers opt-in to a subscription as a way to support their favorite streamers. Subscribers also get perks like special emotes (emoticons) in the chat room. In return for a subscription with perks, the streamer receives a recurring monthly income to pay for their streaming and living expenses.
Subscriptions are a popular way for streamers to earn money, and you might be surprised by how many of your viewers are willing to pay for a subscription to keep you in business.
Bits are virtual goods that your viewers can purchase as a way to Cheer your channel in the chat room. When your channel is Cheered, you get a portion of the revenue from the sold Bits. Bits show up as animated gem emoticons (Cheermotes).
Bits are essentially mini donations from your following that they provide as a way to show appreciation and to increase your source of income. One Bit equals one cent, and viewers can purchase Bits in multiples of 100. Streamers have the option to choose how many Bits are required for a viewer to Cheer in the chat room, which prevents you from only getting single-Bit Cheers.
Another revenue stream is through games and in-game item sales on Twitch. When you stream yourself playing a game that is available for sale or has in-game items for sale on Twitch, and one of your viewers buys something, you have the ability to earn 5% of the revenue. Game sales are an excellent way for your viewers to support you, especially if they are already planning on purchasing the item.
Unlike affiliates who are invited into the program, you must apply to become a Twitch partner. A Twitch partnership is different from having a brand partnership. Twitch partnerships are for top-performing streamers who are dedicated and serious about creating new content and who have a significant following.
The best way to get accepted as a partner is to complete the Path to Partner achievement and to be an established affiliate (though being an affiliate is technically not required). The Path to Partner achievement involves streaming for 25 hours, streaming on 12 different days, and having an average of 75 concurrent viewers excluding hosts, raids, and embeds.
Partners earn money in the same ways as affiliates do. The main earning difference between an affiliate and a partner is that partners receive a share of the generated ad revenue on their channel. Partners are also more likely to snag endorsement deals and brand partnerships.