It’s very easy to look at the most popular Twitch streamers and believe that “the dream” is possible. Thousands of subscribers, fans that buy your merch, and a handful of brand deals that results in an income beyond anything you’ve experienced before.
Sadly, this is not the reality for the vast majority of content creators. For the other 99%, Twitch – and content creation in general – can be a very tough landscape to traverse. How does one turn their favourite hobby into a stable income, and potential full-time gig? Well, it’s tough, but it’s not impossible.
For the uninitiated, streamers on Twitch can earn revenue via three official channels, and several unofficial channels. Via Twitch, users are given the option to subscribe to their chosen streamer. This costs $5/$10/$25 and typically Twitch takes 50% of that. Another official method is to buy “bits” from Twitch, and gift those to a streamer. One bit is equal to one U.S Cent. And finally, streamers can manually play mid-roll video ads to their viewers during their broadcast. It’s important to note that to be eligible for any of these, a streamer has to be a Twitch “affiliate” or “partner” – each requiring their own metrics to achieve before being offered.
Unofficial channels involve things like donations, merchandise, and sponsorships/brand deals. All of which typically rely on having a much higher concurrent viewer count than the official channels to even start generating income.
The bottom line, though, is this: The vast majority of streamers are not monetising their content.
So how do we change this?
First and foremost, it’s important to note that streamers should not feel FORCED to monetise their content. Many, many people do this strictly as a hobby and do not feel the desire to earn money from streaming. And that’s absolutely fine.
And for those that do want to turn this hobby into something more, it’s important to keep those expectations tempered. Twitch is an extremely competitive landscape. There are thousands of people going live every single day in hundreds of different categories.
It is simply not possible for everyone to reach their objective of becoming a full-time streamer. If you only stream because you think you’re going to become the next Shroud and earn millions…it’s time to rethink
With the warnings out of the way, it’s time to start thinking positively. It absolutely IS possible to earn from your stream. You don’t need thousands or even hundreds of viewers to start supplementing your income from your stream. And only a couple of hundred engaged and dedicated viewers can send you well on your way to becoming a full-time content creator.
Initial efforts should be made to simply engage the viewers that you currently have. Growth is exciting, but the fastest way to monetisation is to convince those that currently enjoy your content to support your efforts. At the highest echelons of Twitch, there are content creators with 1500 concurrent viewers earning as much as those with 10,000.
An affiliate earns $2.50 for each of their subscribers. Consider the difference between having 100 concurrent viewers and 10 subscribers against 70 concurrent viewers and 30 subscribers. The former is earning $25 per month, while the latter is bringing in $75. The difference here is minor, but scale that up 10 times, and that minor difference turns into $500 per month.
Once you have grown your channel to 50+ concurrent viewers, you can start to lean on other revenue opportunities to supplement your income. Mindfuture Gaming operates a service where streamers of all sizes can get the opportunity to partner with brands to promote products on-stream. Streamers can pick and choose the brands they work with, and get paid for the traffic they direct to partners websites – meaning that they can decide how aggressive or intrusive they want these advertisements to be.
As growth continues into the hundreds of concurrent viewers, options grow, and revenue along with it. Subscriptions and donations may still make up the bulk of income, however affiliate marketing efforts (Amazon wishlists, for example) and brand deals utilising the services of someone like Mindfuture Gaming will top that up.
Once viewership numbers enter the thousands, the world is your oyster and full-time content creation should become a simple enough target.
But until that day arrives, it’s best not to get too caught up on it. The full-time content dream relies on growing your viewership, which takes time and a lot of effort. Enjoy the process, take the time to learn, and cultivate the audience you want for your content. Any money made in the meantime is simply a bonus!
If you want to learn more about Mindfuture Gaming, click here.
One of our campaigns may be the right fit for you and your audience, and could help you begin that journey towards monetisation of your content. Feel free to apply, and one of our dedicated Streamer Managers will review your application and offer you the chance to work on any campaigns that fit.