Monetization - one of the primary reasons why people get into streaming in the first place. That’s the dream, after all, isn’t it? Being able to do something you love while making some money on the side is something a lot of streamers aspire for. But what does it take to get there?
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to where to stream your content, but since Twitch is one of the bigger platforms right now, so let’s start there. After getting your stream setup ready and finding your audience and your voice, there are a number of ways you can make money as a Twitch streamer. Let’s go over some of the most popular ones, starting with the most basic ones and going into some that are a little more creative.
1. Twitch Donations
Donations are what they sound like - some money your viewers decide to give you, usually in exchange for an animated alert or a shout out. You can set this up via PayPal or any other payment method. With a third party service like Player.me, you can set up alerts and donation trackers to gamify your donation goals. Make it easy for your audience to give you some love by setting up a donation button on your Twitch page.
2. Being a Twitch Affiliate
To become a Twitch Affiliate, you’re going to have to satisfy a few criteria first.
- 500 minutes or more of stream time in the last 30 days
- An average of 3 or more simultaneous viewers in the last 30 days
- Have at least 50 followers
- Broadcast 7 unique days in the last 30 days
Sure it sounds simple enough, but it takes quite a bit of dedication and you’ll have to stand out in a sea of your fellow streamers all vying for that precious Affiliate status. Here’s what you get with the Affiliate status:
- The Subscribe button becomes available for your viewers. A new affiliate can make up to 50% of each subscription cost.
- You can be given Bits. Bits are essentially a virtual currency that your viewers can buy and give out to their favorite streamers. Twitch pays you $0.01 per Bit you’re given.
- You can make money off any game sales done through your stream, like an affiliate program. So if you’ve got a good following, might be a good idea to play a highly sought after game. Affiliates earn a 5% commission off every sale.
3. Being a Twitch Partner
A Twitch Partner is like a Super Saiyan version of a Twitch Affiliate, meaning you get all the perks for being an Affiliate alongside some special perks.
To become a Twitch Partner, you’ll need to satisfy the following criteria:
- Stream for at least 25 hours in the last 30 days
- Broadcast 12 unique days in the last 30 days
- Have an average 75 viewers for the last 30 days
Besides getting everything an Affiliate gets, Partners get access to ads. As a Partner, you have control of the frequency of displaying the ads. You’d get paid a flat rate for every 1,000 impressions.
Be careful about putting out too many ads, though, because your viewers might not like that too much.
When you get popular enough, you have the opportunity to use your infamy to get brands to notice you. Popular streamers can become very good brand ambassadors, especially if your followers share a lot of overlap with the target demographics of some brands.
Twitch allows sponsored content. Just make sure you’re honest with your viewers that they’re watching a sponsored stream - it’s good to keep a good relationship with your community.
You can customize your Twitch page to include all kinds of links and content. You can put in all your sponsorships, links to your social media, or even your website if you have one. That’s the perfect place for you to link to your Patreon.
A Patreon page is essentially another way for your viewers to support you. They can pick from different tiers with corresponding rewards. Make sure to make it worthwhile for your Patreon supporters by offering exclusive content, which can range anywhere from special bonus footage from your streams to exclusive streams just for them. Make them feel special!
And there you have it - 5 income sources from being a Twitch streamer. Just remember - it takes charisma, charm, talent, and dedication. Good luck and happy streaming!