The great mystery of making money with Twitch, YouTube and other platforms occupies the scene every year anew. When do you earn your first Dollar as a streamer? How can you earn money on Twitch? What do the big YouTuber and Twitch streamers earn?
Questions upon questions for which there are still no exact answers, because the big stars and the platforms only talk less about them. Sometimes it happens that stars disclose their income - for example, the german streamer "Ungespielt" published a video in which he talked about his YouTube monthly income, which was around 200,000€ in November 2019. In this article we will tell you the possibilities of earning money with Twitch, what the big players of the streaming scene and e-sportsmen earn and what potential is waiting for you if you want to become a streamer on Twitch or have already started.
Ways to make money on Twitch
We'll start directly into the main part of this article and show you what types of money-making exist on Twitch. But keep in mind that first of all, not everything works right away, secondly, you won't be driving home high four- or five-digit amounts in no time, and thirdly, not every method will suit you.
Finally, there is no guarantee that sooner or later you will become a big star on Twitch. But the streaming platform can also be a nice extra income if you build up a healthy community that is happy to support you.
Whether on the side, for fun or with the goal of creating a big channel on Twitch: Here are six ways to earn money on Twitch.
Become a Twitch affiliate
The easiest way to make money on Twitch is to become a Twitch Affiliate. To achieve this status, you must meet the following requirements:
- At least 50 followers
- In the last 30 days at least 500 minutes of stream time on seven individual days
- At least three or more viewers at the same time
As soon as you have fulfilled the above-mentioned requirements you will receive an invitation to the affiliate program via email from Twitch and you can start earning money with Twitch. With the affiliate status you have the following possibilities:
Money through subs and subscriptions
On Twitch they are called Subs, on YouTube subscriptions. In the end it's a paid support of certain viewers who like to reach into their wallets to see and support you. In return they get exclusive access to emotes, badges or community events.
A subscription costs $4.99 at Twitch. Twitch gives you half of that, which makes a good $2.50 per subscription. So if you build up a homogeneous community over time, many viewers are willing to support you financially with a subscription.
Depending on how popular a streamer is, Twitch is also willing to pay more than half per sub in individual cases.
With Donations you get as a streamer arbitrarily, if viewers think you are great and would like to support you financially. What you collect or use donations for is mostly up to you. Most streamers invest the money in a better setup.
You can receive donations from the first day on. All you need is a PayPal account and a provider like OWN3D.pro, Tipeeeee or Streamlabs. They will provide you a link where your viewers can donate money for you.
However, this source of income depends on the mood of the audience and is therefore subject to extreme fluctuations. Although they are usually indicated by alerts in the stream, it is rarely possible to make a reliable statement about how much it really is.
Some large streamers like Ninja sometimes receive a donation every few seconds, others less frequently. Since the amount of the individual donations also varies, it is not possible to make a generally valid statement here how high the donation income is in the end.
Factors on which the willingness of the audience to donate depends on the familiarity and popularity of the streamer and the presence of other donors. The willingness of the individual viewer to make a donation increases exponentially with the number of other viewers and followers, i.e. quasi directly with the first-mentioned factor. The factors for willingness to donate are therefore directly dependent on each other.
Of course, there are other reasons for donating, such as the feeling of being part of a large community or a personal connection to the streamer.
Donations are always subject to the risk of a so-called chargeback. A chargeback occurs when a viewer donates money to you via PayPal, but then asks for it back. If the chargeback is approved by PayPal, your PayPal account will be debited with the donated amount and also with a processing fee. Chargebacks are not the rule, but they can happen, which is why we have described them briefly here.
Bits are something like the virtual currency on Twitch. Viewers buy small or large packages of 100 or more bits and cheer them in the stream of their choice - sometimes in multiple streams they like. So cheering is nothing more than donating money, except that it is not directly cash. Thereby 500 bits correspond to a value of 7 US dollars.
It is not clear how much you as a streamer will receive from the donated bits. What is known is that the share of the streamer is greater than the share of Twitch. See the cheering as a small encouragement to your followers. The big advantage of cheering compared to donations is that there is no chargeback.
Game or ingame object sales
When you stream a game on Twitch that is offered for purchase on Twitch, a buy option is displayed on the channel page below the video window. If one of your viewers buys the game via this link, you will receive 5% of the purchase price as commission.
If Twitch has accepted you as an affiliate, you also have the opportunity to earn money with advertisements. You can earn 2-5 US dollars per 1,000 viewers in advertising revenue. You are allowed to place a maximum of four ad blocks per hour. A calculator will tell you what this means in the end.
Become a Twitch Partner
If your stream grows and is well received by your viewers, you have the possibility to become a Twitch Partner. To reach this status you have to fulfill the following requirements:
- 100 viewers per stream
- Regular streams (at least three times a week)
If you meet the requirements, you can apply to become a partner. However, the platform belonging to Amazon does not accept everyone who fulfills these requirements. Twitch often reserves the right to reject applications. If this happens in your case, try again at a later date. A rejection is not final.
The partner status offers many more possibilities and features that are constantly being expanded to strengthen the bond to your community. More information about the Twitch Partner Status can be found here.
Sale of merchandise articles
We continue with the potential money making: Surely, you've seen many big streamers that sell merchandise. That means T-shirts, sweaters, mugs or other items, printed with their logo or words that are popular for him or her.
Opening a store where you can sell your own merchandise online is a relatively easy thing to do these days. Suppliers like Spreadshirt offer you a ready-made platform where you only have to register and then create your own store.
But just like with the stream itself, quality is the key here. Logo, slogans and other design elements on your merch should definitely be included. It's best to have them designed by professionals who provide you with high-resolution graphics. Then you can design your own fan clothes.
At this point, however, we'll slow you down for a moment if you want to set up your store effusively. Merchandise always needs sales if you want to earn money with it. If you are still at the beginning of your streaming career, not many people will buy your stuff. Merchandise is suitable if you have a certain popularity in your community. From this point on, a sustainable source of income is created that can bring in a lot of money. So make sure to keep it in mind for later.
This form of money collection is one of the oldest, but it still proves itself on the net. Affiliate marketing means that you give someone a link to a product on a shopping site. If they then buy the product, you get a small commission for it.
Since streaming and gaming are usually accompanied by expensive technology, this can be quite worthwhile. Simply recommend the technology that you use in your PC or for streaming. As a thank you for the recommendation your viewers will gladly use your link. It is best to place this link in your panels.
Especially Amazon is known for its affiliate program "PartnerNet". You can simply sign up for this program and receive 5-10% commission for every product purchased via your link. But also MMOGA or G2A have corresponding affiliate programs where you can register.
Sponsoring is something like the holy grail when it comes to making money by streaming on Twitch - and other social platforms. Companies pay streamers to promote their product. But such cooperations can look completely different. With sponsoring, you are not dependent on sales, but have usually agreed a monthly amount with the respective company. In most sustainable sponsorships, corresponding contracts are concluded.
Of course you can search for a suitable sponsorship yourself. But once you have reached a certain reach on Twitch, companies will find you on their own.
But beware: Often dubious sponsoring requests are circulating around, which also end up in your e-mail inbox by themselves. So make sure you get detailed information about the company and the offer. We also recommend that you only accept sponsorships that suit you and your community.
Share streams on other social networks
As a streamer, you not only have opportunities to earn money on Twitch itself, but also on other platforms that live from social interaction. YouTube is the most important one.
Here you can cut and publish highlights from your streams. Most of your Twitch followers will also follow you there to watch the funny (or sometimes salty) cuts. You can also find new followers who will become aware of you through your videos on YouTube.
Vlogs are especially good there, where you give insights into your private life and show your community who you are in "real life". You can also earn money on YouTube, if you have a certain number of followers. This includes affiliate marketing, promoting your merch or, from a certain status on, placing ads and winning members that can be compared to the subs on Twitch. A channel membership on YouTube also costs the viewer something and you get a part of it.
Twitter, Facebook & Instagram
Also, on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram you should be present to draw attention to you or your stream. On Twitter you can do this via a short tweet, for example when you are starting a stream. On Facebook and Instagram, you have several possibilities to do this.
On Facebook, for example, you can create your own page where your community can follow you. On this page you can create posts and post short videos/stories.
You can also upload videos to Instagram. If they exceed a certain length, IGTV is also available. There you can show up to 10-minute highlights from your streams or small vlogs. Instagram also offers you the Story Mode and Reels Mode, where you can also address your community with short stories.
The Chinese social media app is the latest opportunity for streamers to present themselves. It's about short videos in which you can also show clips from your streams to promote your Twitch channel. TikTok is also known for lip-syncing music videos.
To make your followers have fun there as well, you can move your lips to funny songs. A little tip: Make the audience laugh by choosing songs that your community associates least with you. For example, if they know that you like rock, take a look around the rap section.
Becoming part of an esports organization
E-sport is a crowd puller in today's world and brings countless gaming fans together for different games. Right at the top of the list: CS:GO, FIFA or League of Legends. Accordingly, there are now also numerous esports organizations worldwide, which let the best players compete against others for themselves. In order to increase the popularity of the respective organization, many rely on streamers. You can compare it with sponsoring: You get paid for carrying merchandise from the organization, using overlays in their design or agreeing on other measures that promote the organization.
However, an essential prerequisite is an outstanding talent in the respective game. It doesn't have to be on a professional e-sportsman level - after all, you're not supposed to fight at events - but you have to attract esports fans with your gameplay. They will only be attracted if you are really good at the game. If you always die right at the beginning or have no tactics, your community will rather consist of other spectators. In this case you are not interesting for esports organizations. Remember: There is a lot of money in esports!
How much do you earn with Twitch?
It is not easy to estimate the income of top streamers, because they often don't make it public and use too many different ways to earn money. On the one hand, there is Twitch income itself via cheers and subscriptions, but many streamers also earn their living through donations, advertising, merchandising and sponsoring.
Sometimes Twitch explicitly prohibits the publication of revenues, but in general this is not conducive to the donation behavior of the viewers anyway. Especially if a streamer already has high revenues, an insight into these could distract a potential donor from his project, because in his eyes the streamer already earns enough money.
If you take a closer look at the lifestyle of some streaming celebrities, you can conclude that streaming on Twitch can make a lot of money. However, this also requires large numbers of followers. Reaching them takes time. Those like Ninja, Imaqtpie, and Faker are
the non plus ultra but only few make it into this league.
But as we have shown above, a million followers are not required in order to achieve a nice extra income or the earnings of an average employee. But even that does not happen overnight and also takes time.
Earn money with YouTube or Twitch?
It is less about the OR than about the HOW. How can you earn money with YouTube and Twitch? After all, as a streamer, it is important to use several ways of making money so that you don't have to rely on just one.
The main difference between Twitch and YouTube is the type of platform. While Twitch is focused on streaming, YouTube also allows you to upload videos. These can be vlogs, raffles or clips of the best moments of your streams.
What both have in common are the possibilities of monetization. For example, you can work with affiliate links on Twitch and YouTube, draw attention to your merch and promote products. In addition, viewers can become members of YouTube from a certain status of your channel, which is comparable to the sub on Twitch.
The most effective is the combination of both platforms. Since this opens up two ways to make money. But keep in mind that even on YouTube, building a channel is not an easy task.
But the more points of contact you offer for your potential community, the higher the probability that you will be found. Often it also has an effect on how fast a channel grows.
How does making money on Twitch work?
This is relatively simple: Due to the high traffic of viewers every day, companies want to advertise themselves or their products on Twitch. The Amazon streaming platform can be paid for this and places the advertisement in front of the streams. Once you as a streamer have reached affiliate status, Twitch shares the advertising revenue with you. Almost every possibility to earn money on Twitch works on a similar principle.
For example, you can advertise products either through an affiliate link or through a cooperation with a company. In both cases, you will receive payment when you recommend a product to your community.
Ultimately, the point of the web is always to convince many people of yourself. You sell yourself and not a product. Once a certain number of people follow you, companies and Twitch are interested in profiting from this. In return you receive cash or products.
As you can see, there are many ways to make money by streaming on Twitch. However, your community should always be in the foreground. Give yourself and your Twitch channel plenty of time to grow. You won't get any glory overnight. Don't forget the other platforms like YouTube, Instagram or TikTok to entertain there as well and make your stream on Twitch more popular.
Once you have reached a certain number of followers and viewers, you can earn money with a Twitch partnership, subs and subscriptions, donations, your merch, affiliate programs or sponsorships. How much depends on various factors and varies greatly from streamer to streamer.
But no matter what your intention as a streamer is, whether you want to earn a little bit on the side, stream for fun or make big money: It takes a lot of time to build a community. Especially one that wants to support you with its money. So show attention to every donation, every financial support, because it is often part of the pocket money or salary your followers give you.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to pay taxes on my earnings on Twitch?
The answer to this question can be found in the following blog post:
How much money do Twitch streamers make?
There is no general answer to this question. Every streamer has different sources of income and there is no absolute transparency about Twitch income.
But you can roughly say that a sub earns the streamer half of $4,99. If you know the sub-number of the respective streamer, you can roughly calculate what he or she earns from the subscribers alone.
How can I earn money with Twitch?
There are many different ways. For example, as an affiliate and partner, you can share in the advertising revenue and your subs, receive donations, sell merchandise when it becomes popular, or get sponsorships from larger companies.
When can I start earning money at Twitch?
From Affiliate status on, you can theoretically earn money on Twitch. In the beginning, however, these are cent amounts. But before this status you have the possibility to accept donations from the first day on. You can use third-party sites such as Tipeeeee or Streamlabs for this purpose.