Live streaming is when you are doing something on camera and people on the internet are able to see it in real-time, rather than you recording it first and then putting it up on the internet. It is just like live broadcasting on TV, Instagram, and Facebook Live.
The platform has a predominantly young male viewership. 41 percent of the Twitch audience is between 16-24 years old, and about 65% of the audience on the platform is male.
One of the most impressive features of the platform is its strong and dedicated communities, especially around e-sports and video games. The platform is really interactive and provides a social experience in a virtual space.
In This Article:
Twitch is an online live video streaming service owned by Amazon with more than 4 million monthly broadcasters and 17.5 million average daily users, most well-known for live video gaming videos.
In addition to video games, you can stream and watch all kinds of live content, be it coding, making music, cooking tutorials, dance videos, or casual chats with strangers and ASMR audios.
One of the things that make Twitch content particularly engaging is that content creators are able to interact and have conversations with their viewers in real-time rather than replying to comments later. It is typical on the platform for creators to casually talk to the viewers while webcasting their content.
You can install the Twitch app to use it on your smartphone or visit the website URL, Twitch.tv if you are using a computer. You do not need to create an account to view videos, you only need to create one to broadcast videos.
To watch videos ad-free, you can get the Turbo mode for $8.99 a month and also get additional special features with it. You can access Twitch through different devices, including consoles (like the Playstation and Xbox), PCs, and smartphones.
Some streamers do not make any money, while others make thousands of dollars a month, and some even make more than that.
How much money you can make streaming on Twitch depends on several factors, the most important being how many viewers you have. It’s pretty straightforward—the more people who tune in to your live streams, the greater is your earning potential.
To give you an idea, streamers with 5-10 average viewers per stream generally make up to $50-$200 a month, and those with 10,000 average viewers make up to $30,000 per month (as per a report by streamerfacts.com).
The next biggest factor is what monetization method you use. Paid subscriptions are the most profitable of all the monetization options available on Twitch, even though Twitch takes a 50 percent cut of the subscription fee.
Your entrepreneurial and marketing skills and your ambition also play a big role in deciding how much you can make by streaming on Twitch.
Making efforts like collaborating with fellow streamers and marketing your broadcasts on other social media platforms significantly increases your chances of making more money.
For a list of the top-earning Twitch streamers, check out this article on Gobankingrates.
Here’s a quick overview of the steps you need to take to start streaming on Twitch:
Although it is not necessary, it is highly recommended that you read the community guidelines before creating an account on any social media platform.
To create an account, go to the Twitch.tv website (or install the app if you are using a phone) and click on the sign up button in the top right corner. Follow the prompts on your screen to finish creating your account.
It includes simple, standard steps such as choosing a username and password and filling out information like your e-mail address, and so on.
Enabling two-factor authentication is necessary to join the Twitch Affiliate and Partner program (the two major ways to make money on Twitch). When you enable it, Twitch sends a text message to your provided phone number to make sure it is you who is trying to log in with your email ID.
You can stream to Twitch from almost all kinds of devices, like a PC, smartphone, Mac, or gaming consoles like the Playstation or Xbox.
Gaming consoles and smartphones, which have inbuilt support for streaming to Twitch, are the most convenient options, while a PC generally allows for the highest degree of customization.
Do check out Twitch’s hardware recommendations before deciding on a device.
Unless you are using the Twitch app, you will need to install a streaming software to go live on Twitch. Popular streaming softwares include OBS Studio, XSplit, and Streamlabs OBS. Read up on them to learn about their pros and cons and pick one that suits your preferences best.
The basic hardware requirements for streaming on Twitch are a streaming device and an internet connection with an upload speed of 3-6 Mbps.
However, depending on your content, you might also want to invest in a webcam, a microphone, and additional gear like a green screen and lighting for your live streams.
You need to connect your selected streaming software to Twitch, the steps for doing which vary from software to software. You will also need to carry out a few more steps, like setting your scene and adding your sources, which again, vary.
Once you complete those steps, you can just hit the "Start Streaming" button to go live.
Though Twitch is primarily a live video-sharing platform, making money on it is fundamentally the same as on other mainstream social media. Basically, building an audience is the key to making money on Twitch. The more people watch your content, the higher your earning potential.
Here are some of the most common methods to make money on social media used by Twitch streamers:
As already mentioned, Twitch is a community-based platform, and it is very common for viewers to send tips to the streamers they like. Twitch has an in-built tipping system called Bits to facilitate fan donations, but you need to meet certain criteria (number of viewers, etc.) to be eligible for Bits.
Until you grow your channel to meet the Bits requirements discussed in detail further ahead, you can make money on Twitch through viewer donations by adding a ‘Donate’ button to your channel using a third-party service like PayPal, Streamlabs, Donorbox, or Muxy. Most streamers seem to use PayPal for this.
This way, you can not only make money from donations even with a modest following of loyal fans, but you also get to keep 100 percent of the proceeds for yourself, unlike with Twitch Bits, where half of the money goes to Twitch.
Patreon subscriptions are another great way to make money on Twitch if you make great content but don’t have a whole bunch of regular viewers and don’t qualify for regular subscriptions through the Twitch Affiliate Program yet.
With a Patreon page, you also get the autonomy to set your own subscription tiers (unlike Twitch Subscriptions) and set what perks come with what tier. This is especially useful for streamers of tutorials and other videos with levels such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
You can also create a Patreon page and have special content for your patrons there, like exclusive chat rooms, on-demand content, and so on.
Remember to add a web link to your Patreon page in the Twitch profile description and mention your Patreon page in your live videos.
Until you get a significant following and start getting sponsorship deals from brands, you can make good money as a Headhunter by giving visibility to job openings on the internet.
The Synkdup Headhunter program is a very convenient way to monetize your Twitch viewership, even if you don’t have a very large one yet.
You get into the program, start getting links to the latest job openings across America, and share them on your Twitch chat or get them before your audience any other way.
The great thing is that it goes with any sort of content or niche, e.g., "...and that, my friends, is how you write good code! By the way, if any of you are looking for a job or know someone who needs one, check out the link in chat."
It’s a commission-based program, and you earn around $25-$50 for every job candidate who applies through your link.
To know about how Jacob made it as a Headhunter, read Share Jobs the Right Way and Earn Up to $3,000/Week.
Being shot live gives a great deal of value to Twitch videos, and so you could reuse the recordings of your live streams to upload on a YouTube channel of your own.
Your YouTube channel can help give more visibility to your Twitch channel with minimum effort as the main part of the work, i.e., creating content is already done. And since so much has been done, you might as well put in some effort and do something interesting with the YouTube videos.
You could make a compilation of great moments from your live stream, including bloopers and behind-the-scenes videos, and so on. Understandably, it is very common for Twitchers to have a YouTube channel as well.
If your channel gets 1,000 subscribers or more than 4,000 public watch hours in the past year, you can monetize it by linking it to an approved Google AdSense account and joining the YouTube Partner Program.
Two main ways to earn money from your YouTube channel in this way are:
If you qualify for the Twitch affiliate program, you can make money on Twitch through the platform's own subscription system (Twitch subscriptions) and donation system (Twitch Bits).
Your channel needs to meet the following criteria to receive an invitation to be part of the Twitch Affiliate program:
It is invite-only, and you cannot apply to be a Twitch affiliate. When your channel becomes eligible, you will be alerted on your user dashboard by Twitch. With affiliate status, you get access to making money with:
Becoming an affiliate also allows you to accept donations directly on the platform in the form of ‘Bits’ without the use of a third-party service like PayPal.
Bits are like a cryptocurrency that viewers can buy (or earn by filling out surveys and watching ads) and donate (tip) to the streamers they like to ‘cheer’ them on in chat. They come in different kinds of vibrant visual forms called "cheermotes," making the transactions pretty playful and fun.
For every bit donated to your channel, you get $0,01; they cost the viewer slightly more than that as a share of the money paid also goes to Twitch. However, they can be cheaper when purchased in bulk.
To encourage Bit donations, many streamers set up leaderboards on their channels that display the top donors.
Twitch provides your viewers the option to support you with paid monthly subscriptions in return for subscriber privileges.
In addition to exclusive emoticons subscribers can use in chat, subscription privileges include
There are three subscription tiers available on Twitch: $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month, and streamers share fifty percent of the subscription revenue with Twitch.
Becoming a Twitch Partner has one added benefit over becoming a Twitch Affiliate, which is getting a share of the ad revenue.
To become a Twitch Partner, a streamer's channel must meet the following criteria:
These requirements are clearly higher than Twitch affiliate ones. They are supposed to be framed to ensure that Twitch Partners are established and successful streamers who can be relied upon to consistently put out quality content.
And apparently, your overall community engagement and growth, in addition to your adherence to Twitch's terms of service and community guidelines, are also taken into consideration while reviewing your application to be a Partner.
Twitch may take several weeks to make a decision on your application, and if accepted, you will receive a range of benefits, including an ad revenue share.
Viewers get ads before they can join a live stream on Twitch, and streamers who have applied and been selected to be a Twitch Partner get a share of whatever the advertiser is paying Twitch to run their ad.
Normally, streamers are paid $3.50 for every 1,000 ad viewers, so, you need to have a really robust following for this monetization method to work for you.
Streamers can also have ads placed in the middle of live streams (mid-roll ads), typically when they have to take a break.
In addition to partaking in the ad revenue, Partners are also more likely to get sponsorship and endorsement deals, where you are paid to promote a business during your live streams.
However, if you don’t have a huge following yet, but have a good following in a particular marketable niche, you can try affiliate programs and sponsorships. Just like Patreon, PayPal donations, recruitment marketing, and owning a YouTube channel, they don't require you to be a Twitch Affiliate or Partner.
You just need a good number of followers (up to 10,000) from a specific category like sports and fitness, fashion, photography, pets, etc. Basically, something related to a product or service out there.
If your channel gets noticed, brands typically reach out to you for sponsorships. But for affiliate marketing, you need to look up "affiliate marketing programs for [your niche]" on Google. Read this article for more on affiliate marketing.
Promoting a business under a sponsorship deal can be a particularly lucritive way to make money on Twitch if your content aligns with a brand.
Streamers typically talk about their sponsors during their live videos to promote them. Many also go more explicit and mention products, add their logo to their video, put a link to the company page in their description, and so on, because sponsorships are very profitable for streamers.
Just like any other social media platform, getting more and more followers is the key to making money on Twitch.
However, due to the unique format of the platform, building a solid audience base on Twitch is not as simple as uploading quality content consistently, though that is an important part of it.
Here are some tips you should consider if you are wondering how to get more viewers on Twitch
Generally, if the videos you are streaming belong to one of the more popular categories on Twitch, you are likely to get more viewers.
However, it can also be helpful to stream videos in a less popular category due to less competition within that category.
So, while deciding on a niche, consider picking something with a medium-sized demand on the platform. In this way, you neither have to compete against hundreds of streamers nor face the difficulty of insufficient demand.
It is generally better to stick to your own thing if you are passionate about it rather than switching to something with better demand. Unless, of course, the demand for what you are doing is really low.
So, if you are good at a game (for instance) that has a decent demand on the platform, rather than switching to a more popular game that you are not as good at, stick to the game and use the rest of these tips to get more viewers streaming it.
Putting out content frequently is as important for building an audience on Twitch as it is on any other platform, but since the videos on Twitch are live, there is an added element of regularity to it.
On Twitch, you need to have a fixed time for when you stream so your target audience knows what time to tune in.
Being there when the audience expects you there is essential for building a loyal audience on Twitch. So, come up with a streaming schedule for yourself and follow it consistently.
Also, it is usually a good strategy to prioritize regularity over frequency. For instance, if you have to choose between streaming at the same fixed time three days a week and streaming five times a week at different times, choose the former.
For a lot of viewers, the main appeal of Twitch is the interactive environment and active participation it offers. So think of your viewers as members of your community rather than your audience.
Try to create a welcoming environment in your broadcasts and interact with your viewers as much as you can. Make light-hearted commentary, make small talk, ask questions, do shoutouts, reply to chats, and respond to requests.
Having a fun personality is as useful for building a loyal audience as being skilled at the game you are playing. A streamer who is not as good at a game as you may very well get more viewers if they are more entertaining and involve the audience more. So, try to be an entertaining host rather than just a performer.
Use your social media accounts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to spread the word about your Twitch live streams. If you have the time, you can also record your live streams and use them to make clips for your Youtube channel, where you promote your Twitch live streams.
Another great way to promote your channel is to multistream. To reach more people, you can stream the same content simultaneously to another platform like Tiktok. And due to the better viewer experience on Twitch, your viewers on Tiktok may start following you on Twitch as well.
Being a community-oriented platform, synergy works really well to grow your audience on Twitch. Check out fellow streamers who make similar videos as you, and if you like their style, try to connect with them to build your network.
If it clicks, you could collaborate and stream together and benefit from each other’s following.
Another thing you should do while watching the streams of your peers is to participate in the live chats. This way, you will have a chance of being noticed by some of their audience, who might go ahead and follow you. This is very likely since your and your peers’ target audiences would be more or less the same.
Customize the appearance of your broadcasts by making full use of Twitch features like overlays, panels, emotes, and alerts.
Also, remember to be creative with your titles and avoid using banal titles that don’t convey anything interesting about your broadcasts.
All these tips are of no use if your videos are of poor quality. So, spend on a quality microphone and webcam and a good internet connection to give your audience a premium experience.
Twitch rewards your performance as a host as well as a performer. If you interact well with the onlookers, you may very well be more successful than a better content creator who doesn’t involve the audience very well.
You see, the sense of being part of a community of acknowledged, sometimes participating audiences is one of the greatest appeals of the platform. The element of participation is the biggest benefit of the live format.
This might very well be one reason why video games are so big on the platform—watching others play does feel oddly similar to playing yourself after all.
You need to join the Twitch affiliate program to earn money directly through the platform through ads, subscriptions, and bits (Twitch’s virtual currency). And to be eligible for the program, you need to have at least 50 followers. However, there is no minimum follower requirement to make money on Twitch with other methods like Paypal donations, Patreon subscriptions, selling merchandise, and partnerships with brands.
For subscriptions, Twitch pays you half the subscription fee, keeping the other half for itself. Payment methods include Amazon, PayPal, direct deposit, and check. You get your payouts around the 15th of each month if you have at least $100 in your account.
Beginners make money on Twitch through means that don’t require you to be a Twitch affiliate or partner. Some popular means include selling merchandise, affiliate marketing, fan funding through Patreon, and PayPal subscriptions.
The most common reasons why some Twitch streamers don’t make money are: