5 Ways to Make Money Video Game Streaming | Twitch

How Much Money Can You Make as a Professional Video Gamer

This week’s Addiktz Kudos goes out to Jesse Aaron, for his article “How Much Can You Make Streaming as a Professional Video Gamer,” which provides more detail than you’ll usually find breaking down a reality of Twitch advertising revenue, subscription revenue, sponsorships, donations, affiliate programs, product sales and YouTube revenue through examples found from multiple sources.

Here’s a bullet-point summary we found to be relevant, cutting out the “article fat” around the edges of the article, and leaving us with 5 Ways to Make Money as a Streaming Video Gamer. Be sure to check out the full article here:

Exclusive Blog Post Bonus: Click here to get access to a free report on how to launch your pro eSports gaming career »

1. Twitch Advertising Revenue

  • Twitch streamers first need to apply to become a verified Twitch partner.
  • Becoming a Twitch partner earns partners: (1) ad revenue, (2) subscription revenue.
  • Subscriptions give subscribers certain perks, e.g. emoticons in the chat, appearance in the streamer’s live stream.
  • Twitch partner preconditions = (1) average concurrent viewership of 500+ people (2) broadcast at least 3 times per week.
  • A random sample showed that only 34 out of the 900+ League of Legends broadcasts pulled over 500 concurrent viewers. Out of those 34, only half were seeing over 1,000 concurrent viewers which has a direct impact on the amount streamers can make from showing advertisements.
  • Twitch takes into account an estimate for the number of viewers using ad-blocking extensions and produces an “effective cost per 1000 impressions” (eCPM). Streamers earn better eCPM the longer they stick with the partner program and the larger their viewership grows. Starting off, partnered streamers can expect an eCPM in the range of $0.70-$1.40. The more popular streamers pull in from a $1.00 – $2.50 range.
  • The streamer decides when they run advertisements, giving them more control over their revenue and brand. If a streamer with 2,000 concurrent viewers and $1.00 eCPM runs three commercials per hour and streams for eight hours a day, five days a week, they can earn about $240 a week or $960 a month from advertising revenue. However, a popular streamer with 20,000 concurrent viewers and $2.00 eCPM on the same schedule would make $40/hour or $1600/week or $6400/month.

2. Twitch Subscription Revenue

  • The standard subscriber rate of $4.99/month starts off on a 50/50 split between Twitch and the streamer, but is open to scaling with their viewership and streamers can earn up to 60/40 — about $3.00 per subscriber.
  • 100 subscribers would equate to $250 extra per month for new Twitch Partners
  • Those on the 60/40 plan could net $3000 extra per month from 1000 dedicated subscribers.

3. Sponsorships

  • Sponsorships are one of the primary contributing factors to streaming revenue. They either partner up with the eSports organization as a whole – such as the eSports team – or the individual streamer.
  • These sponsorships fluctuate greatly and as a result are more of an unknown variable that adds on to streamer incomes. As an example, the League of Legends team “Team Dignitas” stated their first sponsorship was for $18,000 but have grown to accumulate over $1.6 million in 2014.

4. Donations, Affiliate Programs, Product Sales

  • Streamers also have a digital space below their broadcast to include information, links, and other media. For example, Imaqtpie has a donation button, sponsorship links and images, and affiliate links to Amazon.
  • Amazon’s affiliate program offers 4 percent on anything purchased within 24 hours and scales up to 8.5 percent depending on how much monthly traffic you can send them. If 100 people per month purchase $500 worth of gaming gear listed on his channel page, Imaqtpie would earn $3,250 per month just from Amazon’s affiliate program. Similarly, the gaming marketplace G2A offers their own referral program that specifically favors the gaming industry and offers three ways for streamers to make money of their links.

5. YouTube

  • After Twitch streaming is done with, streamers can then turn edit videos and upload them to YouTube, where they earn money based on YouTube‘s advertisement model.
  • Under this model, streamers can make an average of $0.90 CPM for video banner ads and an average of $6.50 for pre-roll video ads.
  • Jeffery Shih, aka “Trump,” is one of the most popular streamers in the gaming niche, notorious for his Hearthstone videos. In an interview with Forbes, Trump explains that top streamers easily make $100,000 and more annually, also confirming that sponsorships make up a big part of this income. Some players also offer coaching lessons for a premium, with reports of $1,500 per month for private StarCraft II lessons. But reaching this level is no easy task and requires years of building a following, developing an on-camera personality, and above all else, being consistent.\

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