how to make money on Twitch

How to Make Money on Twitch: 2024 Guide

Many aspiring streamers often ask how they can monetize their Twitch streams. With Twitch hosting over 7.8 million active streamers in the last month of 2023, it’s clear that a large number of these creators are keen on turning their hobby into a source of income. Impressively, some streamers manage to make up to 8 million dollars annually from Twitch alone, highlighting the platform’s potential for those interested in live streaming.

Fortunately, Twitch offers numerous innovative ways for creators to earn money, regardless of whether they’re just starting out, or if they’re already affiliates or partners. We’ll explore the most effective strategies for generating income on Twitch.

However, it’s important to remember that making money on Twitch requires hard work and dedication. Despite the array of opportunities, achieving a lucrative income stream demands consistent effort and commitment to growing your channel. With perseverance, your Twitch channel could potentially become your primary source of income.

Twitch Streamers Path to Monetization

twitch path to monetisation

For streamers aspiring to monetize their Twitch presence, it’s essential to understand the platform’s tiered structure, which ranges from Non-Affiliated to Partner Plus. Each tier represents a milestone in a streamer’s journey, offering unique opportunities for revenue generation.

Non-Affiliated Streamers

Streamers who are just starting and have not yet met the criteria for Twitch Affiliate status fall into the Non-Affiliated category. Although direct monetization through Twitch is not available at this level, streamers can explore alternative revenue streams such as sponsorships or merchandise sales.

Requirements:

    • Available To Everyone

Affiliate Streamers

Achieving Affiliate status marks a significant step for streamers, indicating initial success and community building on the platform. Affiliates gain access to revenue through subscriptions, Twitch Bits (a form of digital tipping), and advertising. This tier opens up several avenues for streamers to start earning from their content directly.

Requirements (Over 30 Day Period):

    • At least 50 followers
    • A minimum of 500 total minutes broadcast
    • 7 unique broadcast days
    • An average of 3 or more concurrent viewers

Partner Streamers

Becoming a Twitch Partner is a notable achievement, indicative of a streamer’s ability to attract and maintain a substantial and engaged audience. The path to partnership is challenging—famously displayed when the CEO of Twitch faced rejection on his first application. Partner status does not introduce new direct monetization methods but provides enhanced control over the ad experience, such as the ability to manage mid-roll ad frequency and duration, potentially increasing revenue.

Requirements (Over 30 Day Period):

    • Streaming for 25 hours
    • Streaming on 12 different days
    • An average of 75 viewers (this number may vary based on content and audience)

Note: Meeting the eligibility criteria doesn’t guarantee that your application will be accepted

Partner Plus Program

The Partner Plus tier is designed for the top performing Twitch Partners, offering a program for those who demonstrate exceptional performance. Despite the current program title, streamers can qualify for this program at either affiliate or partner.  Streamers in this tier benefit from improved revenue-sharing terms on subscriptions, further enhancing their monetization potential.

Requirements:

    • Reach Affiliate or Partner
    • Level 1: Maintain 100 Plus Points* for three consecutive months
    • Level 2:  Maintain 300 Plus Points* for three consecutive months

*Tier 1 Subs = 1 point, Tier 2 Subs = 2 points, and Tier 3 Subs = 6 points

Gifted Subs and Prime Gaming Subs won’t help you meet the eligibility requirements for the program. However, once you’ve made it into the Partner Plus program, the gifted subs will qualify for the higher revenue splits.

Twitch’s Direct Revenue Streams

Some of the most popular methods for earning money on Twitch involve the platform’s built-in features, primarily subscriptions, bits, and ad revenue. Let’s delve into each of these to grasp how they function.

How Much Do Streamers Make from Subscriptions?

Streamer LevelRevenue SplitTier 1 SubscriptionTier 2 SubscriptionTier 3 SubscriptionPrime Gaming Subscription
Affiliate & Partner50/50$2.49$5$12.5$2.25
Partner Plus (Level 1)60/40$2.99$5.99$14.99$2.25
Partner Plus (Level 2)70/30$3.49$6.99$17.49$2.25

Note: The figures above are based on a subscriber located in the US.

Twitch has introduced
regional pricing for subscriptions, meaning the cost varies by the subscriber’s country. This applies to both regular and Prime subscriptions, aiming to make Twitch more accessible globally and strengthen streamer communities.

The income streamers receive from each subscription now depends on either a revenue split or a fixed rate. Take a look at the table below to get an idea of how much revenue a streamer can earn from each type of subscription.

How Much Do Streamers Earn From Prime Gaming Subs

Twitch Prime subscriptions, a free monthly perk for Amazon Prime members, significantly contribute to the earnings of many popular streamers.

Streamers earning from Prime Gaming subscriptions will receive $2.25 for each sub from the US. Initially, Prime Gaming subs were valued like regular subscriptions, but now they’re based on a fixed rate that depends on the subscriber’s country.

For instance, if a Twitch streamer gets a Prime Gaming sub from someone in the U.S., they’ll earn $2.25. Meanwhile, a Prime Gaming sub from a viewer in Spain will bring in $1.55.

How Much Are Twitch Bits Worth ?

Quick Reference: 1 Twitch Bit = $0.01

Twitch Bits are a virtual currency that viewers can buy on Twitch to cheer for their favorite streamers during live streams. Each Bit translates into a direct financial support for the streamer, with every Bit equaling $0.01 in value for the recipient. This system allows viewers to actively support and engage with streamers.

Beyond adding excitement to chat messages, Bits are often integrated with interactive extensions like sound alerts. In such cases, the revenue is shared: 80% goes to the streamer, while the developer of the extension receives 20%. This setup not only enhances viewer interaction but also contributes to the streamer’s income, making Bits a valuable tool for both engagement and monetization on Twitch.

How Much Do Streamers Make From Ad Revenue?

Quick Reference: 30% to 50% of Total Ad Revenue

On Twitch, Affiliate and Partner streamers earn ad revenue by sharing the total ad earnings with Twitch, receiving a percentage that ranges from 30% to 55%. Initially, streamers start with a 30% share of the total ad revenue. For instance, if $50 is earned from ads, they would receive $15 at this base rate.

However, by participating in the Ads Incentive Program and airing at least 3 minutes of ads every hour, streamers can increase their share to 55%, which would mean receiving $27.50 from the same $50 total ad revenue. This revenue split is a way for Twitch and its streamers to jointly benefit from the ad earnings.

Ad revenue on Twitch is calculated based on CPM (Cost per Mille), meaning the amount paid per 1000 ad views on a stream. For example, with a CPM of $3, a streamer earns $3 for every 1000 viewers who watch an ad on their stream. Predicting the exact CPM can be challenging as it varies with several factors, including the stream’s engagement level and the type of content being broadcasted.

Top Monetization Methods: How to Make Money on Twitch

twitch monetisation methods

Here’s a comprehensive guide to earning money on Twitch, tailored for both beginners and streamers with an established following:

1. Subscriptions

Subscriptions are a key revenue source for streamers, accessible once they’ve grown their community to reach Twitch’s Affiliate or Partner status.

To attract subscribers, offer exclusive perks like subscriber-only streams or unique emotes. This encourages viewers to support you at various subscription levels. Additionally, streamers benefit from gifted subscriptions provided by generous fans and from free monthly subscriptions by Prime Gaming members.

Subathons have become a popular strategy among Twitch streamers to rapidly increase their subscription count. During these events, every new subscription extends the stream’s duration, creating an exciting challenge for the streamer to continue broadcasting for longer periods.

2. Bits

Bits are Twitch’s virtual currency, providing a unique way for streamers to receive support. They are exclusive to Twitch Affiliates or Partners.

Encourage viewers to cheer with Bits for special shoutouts or to trigger unique on-stream alerts, creating an interactive and engaging viewer experience. Consider using interactive extensions like Sound Alerts or channel leaderboards to provide more engaging rewards for viewers. 

3. Ad Revenue

Ads appear on all live streams on Twitch, but only Affiliates or Partners can earn revenue from them. Schedule ads to be shown during your stream to earn a percentage of the revenue. Carefully time them to minimize disruption and maintain viewer engagement.

Streamers who join the ads incentive program have the option to earn up to 55% of the ad revenue they generate by meeting certain criteria. Those who don’t opt into this program will only earn 30% of their ad revenue.

4. Sponsored Gaming

Game publishers are constantly seeking ambassadors to play their games upon release to generate hype. These sponsorships can occur directly with the game developer or through programs like Twitch Bounties.

5. Brand Deals

streamelements sponsorships
StreamElements Sponsorship Program

Earn money from brand deals, which can come in various forms such as sponsored overlays, channel panels, and in some cases, even your own line of products, as commonly seen with GFuel brand deals with creators. Companies like Streamion and InStreamly are designed to connect brands with content creators, regardless of audience size.

The popular platform for live streamers; StreamElements has it’s own program for connecting content creators with reputable and trusted brands.

6. Donations

Earn tips from your viewers with platforms such as Streamlabs, Streamelements, or PayPal. Setting up donations is one of the easiest and quickest ways to start earning as a creator. Enhance engagement further by using platforms like TTS Monster to add more interactive elements to your content.

7. Affiliate Marketing

Becoming an affiliate allows you to earn a percentage of every sale made through your unique affiliate link or coupon code. Adding links to your channel for your streaming equipment is not only useful but also provides you with a revenue source. The best way to acquire affiliate links is through Amazon Associates or directly through a brand’s website.

8. Support a Creator Programs

epic games support a creator program
Epic Games Support a Creator Program

Many games with a thriving in-game marketplace now offer creator codes to popular streamers, allowing creators to earn a percentage from all in-game sales made when viewers use their code.

This became widely known when Fortnite became a global phenomenon. Epic Games introduced their “Support a Creator” program during this time, which attracted top Fortnite streamers like Ninja.

Since then, numerous other game developers have followed suit, launching similar programs to collaborate with creators.

9. Merchandise

Develop your own merchandise line unique to your brand. This doesn’t have to be limited to standard items like hoodies and T-shirts; why not develop custom mouse mats or keyboards?

This merchandise can revolve around various themes, be it your gaming logo, an inside joke, or your favorite catchphrase. The objective is to produce items that enable members of your community to connect with and feel more closely tied into the community.

Print-On-Demand services like Printify are a low risk and efficient way to begin offering custom merch designs for your community.

10. YouTube Ad Revenue

YouTube is a huge platform and provides an excellent way to enhance awareness and generate additional income for your live streams. By repurposing content from your streams and refining your past streams (VOD) content into professionally-edited, narrative-driven videos, you can begin earning revenue potential through advertisements on YouTube.

Mastering the art of good content for YouTube is very different to Twitch, where the primary emphasis is on engaging with your community in real-time. On YouTube the focus is much more on the entertainment factor. To achieve this you’ll need to get the hang of editing and crafting narratives around your videos.

11. Exclusive Content

Platforms like Patreon offer a way for creators to earn extra money by offering their Patreon fans exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes looks or early access to news or content. Offering private Discord channels exclusively for Patreon supporters is a great way to provide exclusive content if you manage a Discord channel.

For those comfortable with more mature content, platforms like OnlyFans or Fansly can become significant revenue streams focused on exclusive content.

12. Gifts from Viewers

Fans can gift you physical products as a way to support you. Platforms like Throne allow you to create a wishlist of products you need, letting viewers buy them for you. Another interesting platform is Treat Stream, which enables viewers to order takeout for you.

One significant advantage of using these specialized wishlist platforms is the ability to safeguard your privacy. This allows you to accept gifts from fans without revealing your personal information, such as your home address.

13. Sell Your Art

If you’re an artist streaming your creative process, think about offering your artwork for sale during your live sessions. Conducting live auctions with your community can be an enjoyable approach. You might also explore leveraging your artistic skills to design custom graphics and stream overlays for fellow creators through commissioned work.

Numerous emerging creators are in constant search of reliable and skilled artists, and considering you’re already an established streamer on Twitch with your work showcased, this could potentially become a valuable additional source of income.

14. Launch Your Own Brand

starforge home page banner
Starforge Systems

If you’ve built a community around a specific niche, consider creating a brand around that niche and selling quality products to your community.

Popular streamers like Asmongold and SodaPoppin, known for their success in streaming, founded companies like StarForge. Their fame has turned them into influential marketing forces, enabling them to venture into new businesses and lend credibility to new products.

15. Shout Outs

Selling shoutouts is a popular method for content creators on Twitch to generate extra income. Viewers can easily place an order through specific platforms to receive a personalized shoutout and message tailored just for them.

16. Tournaments

If your content is focused on a specific game at which you’re highly skilled, consider entering tournaments and playing at the highest levels. Winning can bring you prize money and establish you as the go-to streamer for that type of content. 

17. Coaching

Once you’ve mastered the art of growing on Twitch, you have the option to offer coaching services and assist smaller streamers who are struggling to grow. This is an excellent way to earn additional revenue and use your expertise to help others in the community.

Concentrate on developing coaching services designed to assist small streamers in overcoming prevalent challenges and obstacles. This includes aiding them in discovering their unique niche, resolving technical issues, and guiding them in planning their content strategy.

You can offer your services on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

How Does Twitch Pay You ?

Twitch creators can get paid through several methods such as ACH/direct deposit, eCheck/local bank, PayPal, and checks, once they meet a minimum earnings threshold. Payments are made monthly, typically around the 15th, provided the creator’s earnings exceed the set threshold and their account is in a payable status. 

The minimum payout threshold for most payment methods is $50, but for wire transfers, it’s $100 due to transfer fees. If a creator’s earnings don’t reach the required threshold, the balance is carried over to the next month and continues to accumulate until the minimum payout amount is reached. 

Creators can track their payout status and view a detailed breakdown of their earnings, including any applicable taxes and fees, by checking their Payout History on Twitch.

How Difficult Is It To Make Money on Twitch ?

If the prospect of earning a living through Twitch or perhaps even just a side hustle, has got you perked up, then you’ll need to begin making a plan of how you’re going to go from a beginner to being able to support yourself as a full time streamer.

Firstly, it’s very important to keep in mind just how incredibly difficult it is to grow a significant following on Twitch. Roughly 95% of the active channels on Twitch in 2024 go live to less than 5 viewers. If you’re going to succeed you’ll need to consistently show up and create high quality content. To do this we’ve put together this simple checklist for becoming a better Twitch streamer and getting on the track to success:

Taking Care of Yourself

The top piece of advice from small streamers emphasizes the importance of maintaining mental and physical health for success. Success doesn’t come from shortcuts, so a long-term mindset is crucial.

Understanding the need to play the long game means it’s unwise to compromise your health for faster results. The significant effort and time required for each broadcast are well known to anyone who has tried streaming.

Most small streamers, who are often balancing a full-time job, family responsibilities, or studies, find that making time for streaming demands careful planning to prevent burnout and avoid its negative impact on everyday life. Here are some essential tips for managing a busy lifestyle while consistently streaming:

    • Plan Your Streaming Schedule: Identify the days and times that suit you best and commit only to a manageable number of streaming hours.
    • Take Breaks: When life gets overwhelming, don’t hesitate to pause your streaming to address personal matters.
    • Stream What You Love: Avoid streaming content based solely on its potential to attract viewers. Focus on what you genuinely enjoy, as this will reflect positively in your content.
    • Prioritize Sleep: Compromising sleep for more streaming hours is a poor trade-off. Chronic sleep deprivation can adversely affect your mental health.
    • Learn to Say No: Don’t allow viewers to pressure you into actions that make you uncomfortable. Establish and communicate your boundaries within your community.
    • Set Achievable Goals: Approach your streaming journey with small, realistic goals to maintain motivation. Ambitious, distant goals can be demotivating.
    • Concentrate on What You Control: Focus on your presence, consistency, and content improvement, rather than viewer numbers, which are out of your hands.

Money Isn’t Everything

humble beginnings

If you’re entering the streaming world solely for the financial prospects, you might want to reconsider your approach. In the realm of Twitch streaming and content creation, passion is the cornerstone of success.

Many top streamers began by fostering communities centered around specific interests or passions. During the early days of JustinTV—Twitch’s predecessor—there was little indication that streaming could evolve into a lucrative career. The initial users were drawn to the platform by a genuine enthusiasm for their hobbies.

This isn’t to imply that desiring to earn money is wrong; rather, it shouldn’t be your primary motivator. Start by identifying a passion or niche you genuinely enjoy and use Twitch as a medium to cultivate a community around it. When you’re driven by passion, financial rewards tend to naturally follow.

Final Thoughts

Having explored the extensive monetization options available on Twitch, your next decision is whether to dive into this content creation world. As outlined, there are specific requirements, such as achieving Twitch Affiliate or Partner status, that you must meet to start earning revenue directly from Twitch.

Nonetheless, with numerous alternative methods to generate income from your content before reaching these milestones, there’s no need to be discouraged from beginning your journey. Remember, earning money on Twitch is a challenging and lengthy process that requires developing new technical and community-building skills, along with mastering the art of producing high-quality content. Therefore, it’s crucial to heed our advice on maintaining your health throughout this journey to prevent turning your passion into a burden.

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Liam Doherty

Liam Doherty

Liam Doherty comes from game development background, initially exposing him to the world of content creators. In 2017 he decided to dive headfirst into the creators realm, offering solutions for branding and creating better content.

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