You cannot simply go to Twitch, start streaming, and expect to start making money. Twitch requires that you first apply to the Twitch Partner Program. In order to apply, you need to have:
- A decent Twitch viewership of 500+ regular viewers to your stream (not just a one-time peak).
- A regular schedule of at least 3 broadcasts per week.
- If you are new to Twitch, then you should be able to show the Twitch staff that your videos on other video sites (e.g. YouTube) get decent viewership, i.e. that you have an average of at least 15,000+ views on your videos, and that you have at least 100,000 subscribers.
- If none of the above apply to you, then this is where the above “4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Twitch Stream” comes in handy, because it is still possible to get a Twitch partnership if you can convince the Twitch staff that you will run a dedicated channel with great gaming content that will attract a decent, regular viewership.
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How Does Making Money Through Twitch Work?
Twitch pays its partners $2.00 per 1,000 ad views.
You can select how often ads show in your stream. Twitch recommends running about 3-4 ads per hour.
There is an additional ability to get paid subscriptions, where you offer more services for premium members to your channel. This allows you to charge either a one-time price or a monthly fee, and offer additional services like ad-free viewing, exclusive subscriber-only chats, subscriber badges and emoticons. Subscriptions cost the user $4.99, and you get $2.50 per subscription per month (i.e. Twitch gets the other $2.49).
See the Twitch Partner FAQ for more information about how earning revenue through Twitch works.
Other Ways to Make Money Through Twitch
Other than the Twitch model for earning revenue just mentioned, if you develop a regular following on Twitch, then there are ways to monetize that following through donations and sponsorships.
It is important to note that a lot of streamers are already established pro gamers, and use streaming as a supplementary income to their main income.
So no matter whether you are one of the top few Twitch streamers, or whether you are just starting out, Twitch should be used as part of a wider online strategy that integrates with other services, e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and your own website. If you look at top Twitch streamers’ channels, then you will see their profile pages full of links and banners linking to their website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other pages. Here are some of the top Twitch streamers with links to their Twitch profile pages that you should be well aware of before starting your own Twitch streaming:
- Captain Sparklez
Let’s take a look at some of the additional methods these top Twitch streamers are using:
In almost each of the above pages, you will see a donation banner either as the very top banner, or one of the top banners.
The online gaming community statistically makes more online payments than ordinary Internet users, and this is also reflected in Twitch’s subscribe page (i.e. the page you reach when you want to subscribe to a Twitch streamer you are following). When Twitch lists the benefits you get from subscribing, the first benefit listed is “Directly Support the Broadcaster.” With this supportive approach to streamers, it is no wonder why donation buttons are among the top banners on the Twitch streamers’ pages.
Usually, if you are a Twitch streamer with a regular viewership and following, you will have potential sponsors writing to you. Therefore, before you start thinking about “How do I get sponsored?” you should be more concerned with “How do I get a following of 100 regular viewers?” and then “How do I boost that following to 500, 1,000, 1,500, etc. regular viewers?” and when you are on that path, increasing your viewership goal each time, then you will have sponsors knocking at your door. Many of the top Twitch streamers have stated that they get lots of offers from sponsors that it takes them a lot of time just to read through the offers they get.
Even by viewing the above Twitch streamers’ pages, you will see that among their banners are ones where sponsors are offering the Twitch streamers special discounts through the sponsored streamers’ pages.
Each sponsorship has its unique perks and requests, and it is up to you to find which sponsors best match you, and which sponsors you can best suit. If you can establish a mutually beneficial relationship, then you raise the chances of a more sustainable sponsorship that can endure long term.
But sponsorships are already “rich people’s problems.” As mentioned, the most fundamental concern on Twitch is developing your stream to consistently grow your viewership.