How to Make Money on Twitch
Not only has Twitch become the hottest online destination for video gamers, but it’s also a unique way to make money online. At any given moment, there’s an average of roughly 3 million viewers on the streaming platform. So there’s plenty of income potential to go around.
In this guide, we’ll tell you what you need to know to start out as a successful Twitch streamer. Keep reading to learn what Twitch is, how it works, and how you can use it to make money.
What Is Twitch?
Twitch is a live video streaming service for video games and esports competitions. The company is a subsidiary of Amazon.
Twitch has a monthly active user base with hundreds of millions of viewers and community members who log in regularly to watch content and engage with other users via live chat.
Twitch streamers produce content on various topics ranging from video games like Grand Theft Auto to art demonstrations and music performances. Politicians even use Twitch channels for streaming town hall-style meetings.
There’s truly something for just about everyone on Twitch. It’s a unique, fun, and educational viewing experience.
But as it turns out, you can also make a lot of money on Twitch if you play your cards right. In fact, there are a few Twitch streamers who have gamed their way to millions of dollars in income. Why not join them?
How to Make Money on Twitch
Here are the top 5 ways to make money on Twitch.
1. Become a Twitch Affiliate
To start making money on Twitch, you must first become an Affiliate. Becoming a Twitch Affiliate requires:
- At least fifty followers
- An average of three or more concurrent (simultaneous) viewers
- At least seven unique broadcast days within thirty days
- At least 500 minutes of broadcast within thirty days
On average, this takes about three months of regular Twitch streaming to accomplish.
2. Generate subscriptions
Once you’re an Affiliate, you can start getting your followers to subscribe. These subscriptions cost $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 per month. Subscriptions are also available through Prime for free. You’ll receive 50 percent of subscription fees.
You can make subscriptions even more appealing to your followers by offering special benefits like exclusive streaming content or live-chat features.
3. Earn Bits
One unique way to make money on Twitch is by earning Bit donations. The Bit is Twitch’s unique currency. Each Twitch Bit is worth one cent.
Users buy Bits in bulk and give them to their favorite streamers for slaying zombies in a dungeon or nailing a tricky guitar riff. It sounds like chump change, but Bits can add up. For example, say 500 viewers watched you streaming a game for an hour, and each gave you ten Bits. You’ve earned $50 per hour. Not bad!
4. Game sales
Nothing makes you want to buy a video game quite like watching someone else play it. Once you’ve seen how much fun another gamer is having, you just have to get that game for yourself.
Twitch allows streamers to monetize the buzz they create by enabling viewers to purchase games directly from live video streams. So, for example, if you’re streaming yourself playing DubWars, you can display an on-screen link that will let viewers buy it right then and there.
When this happens, you’ll get a commission for the sale. As an Affiliate, you’ll earn 5 percent of each purchase from your Twitch stream.
Check out Twitch’s game list to see which games support this feature.
5. Become a Twitch Partner
After logging many hours and attracting many viewers, some Twitch Affiliates start earning income as Twitch Partners.
To reach Twitch Partner status, you need to do the following:
- Stream for at least twenty-five hours within a thirty-day period
- Stream for twelve unique days
- Reach seventy-five average concurrent (simultaneous) viewers
These steps are usually not easy to complete. But once you get close to this level of viewership, it means you’re doing something right — so keep going.
The Twitch Partner program provides several ways to make money. You’ll earn seventy-five percent of subscription revenue. And you can also sell merchandise like T-shirts and even generate money from ads.
Plus, the program offers unique features to grow your channel — such as customization tools, extended video on demand (VOD) storage, and access to Partner-only opportunities like promotional events, meet and greets, and other perks.
Tips for Making a Lot of Money on Twitch
At this point, you’re probably thinking, Sign me up! But before you open an account, become a broadcaster, and start reaching for Affiliate streamer status, here are some things to keep in mind.
Figure out your content
Spend some time thinking about what you want to offer on Twitch. Twitch has so many users that it can be hard to stand out and attract audiences.
The best approach is to zero in on what you do best and make that your niche. For example, maybe you’re really good at putting people in checkmate in chess. Or maybe you have an elite ability in Counter-Strike. You might also be a virtuoso on the electric guitar.
Start with one area at a time and try to build an audience. Give people a reason to come back to your channel when they tune in.
Create quality content
This is the hard part: You have to be magnetic on Twitch. In other words, you have to be one of the people whom users think about when logging onto Twitch.
Above all else, this requires quality content. It requires putting in a ton of work and keeping the content light and value-packed. This can take a lot of dedication and consistency to get right. And unfortunately, all it takes is a few clunkers to lose followers.
Show some personality
Do something to stand out from the herd on Twitch. For example, you could dye your hair purple or dress up in costumes while you play.
Think of something that you can do to create an X factor and keep people glued to your channel. People will run away from boring, plain old content on this platform unless you’re good enough at a particular skill to keep them interested in what you’re doing.
Concurrent users are important
If you want to excel on Twitch, it pays to have many concurrent viewers. In other words, you need to have a lot of people watching and engaging in the chat feature at once.
Concurrent viewers are the best way to demonstrate that your content is relevant and worthy of capturing followers’ attention. They’re the ticket to attracting ads, generating subscriptions, and making a lot of money on Twitch. Without concurrent viewers, it’s going to be difficult to maximize earnings.
Be respectful on video and in chat rooms
This part is a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. You have to be respectful and nice on Twitch.
That’s not to say you can’t talk trash or have an attitude — that’s fair game. But using threatening, racist, or offensive language is going to get you in trouble. If you can’t hold your tongue, avoid streaming on Twitch (or any other platform, for that matter).
Don’t spend money on Twitch
The more time you spend on Twitch, the more tempting it will be to spend money on things like Bits.
Avoid this at all costs. This is one example where it can pay to be greedy. Accepting Bits as a form of payment is one thing. But spending money on an animated gemstone to congratulate someone when you can just compliment them for free with words is not a good use of your cash.
It’s also going to be tempting to buy video games that you see on Twitch.
Embrace the money mindset and buy a video game only if you can earn income from it. Your time is extremely valuable. If you want to reach financial independence, you won’t get there wasting time on unpaid activities.
Double down at work and have more fun when you’re financially independent.
Think beyond Twitch
Some of the biggest Twitch earners actually make a lot of money from other web activity, rather than directly from the platform. That’s because they’ve figured out how to monetize their Twitch channels in other ways.
One of the most popular off-Twitch income streams is ad revenue from YouTube videos. Once you’ve wrapped up a live stream, you can upload the video to YouTube to generate even more money from ads and followers.
You can also supplement your Twitch income with a Patreon page. This platform allows followers to support your content by making a regular donation.
Remember to loosen up and have some fun! Keep your content interesting and lighthearted. People often log in because they like the streamer’s personality, not just because they enjoy the video feeds they’re sharing.
If you enjoy doing something, don’t be afraid to let your passion show. This will resonate with Twitch viewers and keep them coming back for more.
Who knows? You might be able to turn your personality into subscribers who use Patreon to pay you steady money!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about making money on Twitch.
What are Twitch live streams?
Just as the name suggests, Twitch live streams are live videos that Twitch streamers broadcast to attract viewers. Videos can be anything from gamer content to music, art, and everything in-between.
Live streams are hosted through the Twitch platform. Afterward, you can upload the videos to YouTube for increased exposure — and ad revenue.
Is live streaming on Twitch profitable?
Live streaming on Twitch can be profitable if you follow the Affiliate plan and eventually become a Partner. Your money-making ability depends largely on the type of content you’re posting, how often you’re posting it, and how many people view it.
Be consistent, attract subscribers and sponsorships, collect Twitch Bits, and you’ll be well on your way to making money as a Twitch user. It’s also a good idea to share your clips on social media accounts like YouTube and Instagram to get more viewers.
Of course, dominating on Twitch.tv is harder than it looks, and not everyone has success making this platform a source of income. Sharpen your skills and form a business plan to increase your chances of making money from Twitch streams.
What is the Twitch Affiliate program?
The Twitch Affiliate program is a monetization program that Twitch offers to compensate users for posting content on the site. The Twitch Affiliate program can lead to recurring payments. If you’re really good, it can even lead to a full-time income.
What are small Twitch streamers?
“Small streamers” are Twitch users who haven’t yet reached Partner status. That means they have fewer than seventy-five concurrent viewers.
But even if you’re a small streamer, you can still make money from the platform. On average, Affiliate streamers make between $50 and $1,500 per month.
The Bottom Line
Think you have what it takes to monetize a Twitch channel? You won’t know unless you try it.
Making money on Twitch’s streaming platform can be done. And if you’re successful, you can become one of the many influencers who make money from their Twitch streams.
Spend some time watching popular Twitch streamers. Grab a notebook and take notes about what you observe. Look for small things they do to keep people interested and engaged, and try to emulate them on your channel.
If you try this approach, you may start generating Twitch subscriptions and making money for yourself. That could turn a fun hobby like playing games into a potentially lucrative side hustle.
So what are you waiting for? Open a Twitch account and start creating content today.