The prospect of getting paid (generously) to play video games seems almost too good to be true. But that’s exactly what thousands of Twitch streamers are doing daily, having found ways to monetize their output and generate reliable revenues.
As of early 2023, Twitch had close to 150 million active monthly users. Of these, more than 30 million were accessing their accounts every single day. This amounts to a massive global audience of potential viewers for your streams and a lot of money to be made by those who get it right.
But here’s the thing – figuring out how to make money on Twitch begins with choosing the right type of revenue stream. Contrary to popular belief, there’s more than one way to make good money on Twitch. In fact, there are at least eight things you could be doing to generate cash with your live streams, which we’ll be examining a little later.
In the meantime, it’s worth highlighting the importance of getting popular on Twitch before attempting to turn a viable profit. The size of your audience will single-handedly dictate how much money you can make, so the first thing you need to do is work on getting plenty of viewers on board.
Building Your Twitch Audience
The more Twitch viewers you pull in with your broadcasts, the more money you stand to make – it really is as simple as that. Irrespective of your preferred business model, it’s all about the numbers. More viewers = more money in your pocket, so this is exactly where you need to start.
Think of it this way – streamers who get around 30,000 daily views with an average engagement rate of 50% can expect earnings of around $40.00 to $65.00 per day. This means approximately $15,000 to $25,000 per year – a fairly generous paycheck for having fun on Twitch.
In order to attract more viewers and followers on Twitch, you first need to find your niche. This means something you are genuinely passionate about and good at – not just something you think people want to see. Unless you focus your efforts on a niche, you’re genuinely into; it’s not going to happen.
There’s no quick and easy way to build network connections on Twitch or to fast-track revenues. Time and effort need to be invested in engaging your target audience, but it will all pay off in the end. Put out consistently great content, interact with your viewers, and stream as regularly as possible to keep them hooked.
That said, buying real Twitch followers can be great for steering things in the right direction – a simple yet effective way to add credibility to your channel. The more popular you look, the easier it becomes to convince other Twitch users to check you out.
8 Proven Ways to Make Money on Twitch
There’s no shortage of ways to turn your Twitch streams into hard cash. Even if you only have a fairly modest audience of followers, you could still turn a profit with the right approach.
With this in mind, here are the eight most effective ways to make money on Twitch and to start getting paid for doing what you love:
1. Twitch Affiliate Program
First up, the Twitch Affiliate program is the main target for most people looking to make money on Twitch. Certain criteria need to be met to monetize your channel, but the requirements set out by Twitch aren’t particularly demanding.
Just as long as you meet the following requirements within a timeframe of 30 days, you’re golden:
- A minimum of 500 minutes were broadcasted in total.
- A minimum of 7 different days of broadcasts
- At least three average viewers concurrently or more
- At least 50 followers or more
If you successfully gain access to the Twitch Affiliate program, you will then have three separate options for making money – Twitch Bits, Subscribers, and Game Sales.
A Twitch Bit is a form of virtual currency, also known on the platform as a ‘cheer .’Currently priced at $1.40 for 100 Bits, Twitch viewers can hand their Bits over to streamers as a show of appreciation. A few bits here and there may not be worth a great deal, but their combined value quickly accumulates when you start pulling in thousands at a time.
Channel monetization also allows streamers to start offering paid subscription options. Twitch currently allows streamers to charge 4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 per month – each of these monthly subscription tiers comes with different benefits for those who sign up. For example, paid subscribers can unlock perks such as price cuts on merchandise, access to exclusive chat rooms, and so on.
1.3) Game sales
When you stream live gameplay footage on Twitch, you’re essentially marketing the games you play on behalf of their developers. Hence, it’s only fair that streamers get a flat 5% share of the price of every game sale they generate. Where viewers hit the ‘Buy Now’ button during your stream and make a purchase via the Twitch Store, you collect a commission of 5%.
2. Twitch Partner Program
One step up from the Twitch Affiliate Program is the Twitch Partner Program, which is aimed at high-profile streamers looking to generate more generous revenues. In order to qualify, Twitch states that you must be an established and respectable role model in your niche and have fulfilled the following criteria:
- Streamed for a minimum of 25 hours
- Streamed on 12 different days or more
- Averaged at least 75 viewers per stream
If you successfully gain entry to the Twitch Partner Program, you’ll be able to start making money with Twitch Ads.
2.1 Twitch Ads
Running ads while streaming on Twitch can help you consistently generate more income, albeit on a comparatively modest level. Your viewership will determine how much money you stand to make, but you can expect to pull in approximately $3.50 for every 1,000 people who view your ads.
This may not sound like much, but it is, again, the kind of ongoing revenue stream that gradually stacks up. In addition, the fact that running Twitch Ads is free makes it a no-brainer – everything you collect is 100% profit.
People are often willing to support their favorite streamers by way of direct donations. If they want to support your channel in a way that goes beyond Twitch Bits, they can do so via PayPal (or any other comparable online wallet).
Basically, it’s a case of asking directly if they’d be willing to help you out and giving them instructions on how to do so. If they’re a fan of your live-streaming activities and want to see more, they may be perfectly happy to throw a few bucks your way.
4. Brand Sponsorships
This is where big money often lies on Twitch – beyond even affiliate marketing and hard product sales. With brand sponsorships, an established brand or business pays you to talk about its products, its services, or its company as a whole during your streams. It could even be something as simple as wearing something that sports their logo or linking your audience to their website.
Some brand sponsorships involve a fixed fee, agreed upon in advance and paid in return for promoting/mentioning the brand to your viewers. Elsewhere, streamers agree to collect a commission (say 20%) on all sales generated from their streams. The kind of income that can be generated from corporate sponsorships is huge – some brands routinely pay seven figures for a single high-profile mention.
5. Twitch Merchandise
Another option is to sell your own merch on Twitch – a great way to make money while building brand recognition. T-shirts, blankets, hoodies, pens, hats – anything your viewers will be happy to purchase and can be used to display your name or logo.
Selling customized products on Twitch is as easy as setting up a basic external sales page and posting a link to it on your Twitch page. After which, you can remind your viewers to check out your merch during your live streams and feature your products as prominently as possible in your content.
6. Patreon Subscribers
Patreon blurs the lines between donations and subscriptions, effectively bringing together the best of both. Those who choose to support you on Patreon can choose from three tiered options, which you can price from $1-$50 per month. For this, you can offer them access to exclusive content and other goodies.
Requesting Patreon support can be a great way to grow your Twitch profile and generate ongoing revenues at the same time. Again, it’s simply a case of asking your most engaged viewers to support you during your streams and expressing genuine appreciation for those who do.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Third-party affiliate programs give you the opportunity to earn a fixed commission on product sales without having to invest a penny of your own money. You can pocket anything from 10% to 50% on every purchase your Twitch streams generate simply by placing affiliate links in your Twitch profile and encouraging your viewers to use them.
Amazon offers one of the most popular and profitable affiliate programs on the web, enabling Twitch streamers to promote pretty much any product and earn commissions on every sale. Best of all, there are no limitations on how many affiliate programs you can sign up for, and the same links can be posted across all of your social media accounts to generate more sales.
8. Post on YouTube
Last up, if your content is popular on Twitch, you can pretty much guarantee it’ll be a hit on YouTube. Sharing your best content on YouTube can be a great way to make more money from your output with zero additional effort required on your part. It can also be a fantastic way to attract new followers and grow your Twitch channel organically.
The simple fact of the matter is that if you post quality content on Twitch, it makes sense to promote it as actively as possible. Use all of your social accounts to your advantage, and make it as easy as possible for your order online audiences to find your Twitch page.
There’s good money to be made on Twitch, but the importance of a strategic and structured approach is paramount. You cannot and will not generate meaningful revenues on Twitch if you simply make things up as you go along.
Instead, you need to determine which of the methods above is right for you and combine them into a workable strategy.
Once again, it’s important to emphasize the benefits of building an audience of a decent size before chasing profits on Twitch. The size of your audience will single-handedly determine how much money you stand to make with your output.
It takes time and effort to join Twitch’s most successful earners, but it’s a small price to pay for what you can expect in return.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How Much Money Do Twitch Streamers Make?
The most successful Twitch streamers in history have comfortably pocketed up to $10 million per year. On a slightly more modest level, the top 1,000 Twitch streamers make around $7,000 monthly through Twitch, while the top 10,000 Twitch streamers make closer to $900 each month. Exact figures are hard to come by, but everyday streamers who join the Twitch Affiliate program can expect to take home anything from $50 to $1,500 each month, with a sufficient dedication to their channels.
2) How Much Does Twitch Pay Per 1,000 Views?
Twitch itself does not pay a set amount per 1,000 views. Instead, the money you stand to make on Twitch is determined by your chosen business model or a combination thereof. Some estimates suggest that a typical streamer will make around $250 in ad revenue per 100 subscribers or $3.50 per 1,000 views. However, those who secure brand sponsorships, Patreon contributions, and generally paid subscribers for their channels stand to make significantly more.