June 19, 2021

How Much Do Twitch Streamers Make

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Getting paid to live-stream games may seem like the best-case scenario. Read on to how much Twitch streamers make how many Affiliates become Partners.

Twitch is online live-streaming platform that focuses on video game live-streams. In fact, dozens of gamers have earned a lot of money streaming video games on Twitch.

Is it a get-rich-quick scheme?


Will you make money doing it?

Maybe. It depends on your following and gaming expertise. It's not as simple as playing games and getting paid.

So how much do Twitch streamers make? Find out below.

Do Twitch Streamers Get Paid for Views?

To make money on Twitch, you must first become a Twitch Affiliate. Their Affiliate Program allows you to earn money while streaming. It's also the first step in joining the Twitch Partner program, where your earning potential is even higher.

As an Affiliate, you can earn money with Twitch Bits and Subscriptions, plus selling various merchandise or other products. The requirements to be an Affiliate are:

  1. Minimum 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
  2. Average of 3+ simultaneous viewers over the last 30 days
  3. Minimum 7 broadcast days in the last 30 days
  4. At least 50 followers

As a Twitch Partner, you'll be able to run ads, which greatly increases your earnings. While it's harder to join, the profits are worthwhile. The top 10 Twitchers gross an estimated $20 million. The requirements to be a Partner are:

  1. Minimum 25 hours broadcast in the last 30 days
  2. Minimum 12 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
  3. Average of 75 viewers in the last 30 days.

Note: The above criteria for the Twitch Partner Program does not guarantee acceptance into the program. It's only the minimum required for application.

What Can You Expect to Make on Twitch?
The typical "expert" streamer makes between $3,000 and $5,000 per month by playing 40 hours per week.

More average streamers will make roughly $250 in ad revenue per 100 subscribers or $3.50 per 1,000 views. To start earning money on Twitch, you need roughly 500 regular viewers.

How Much Do Small Twitch Streamers Make?

"Small" Twitch streamers usually have 50 - 100 subscribers and can earn around $500 a month. The "real money" comes in when you have enough viewers to make money off ad revenue and subscriptions.

The bigger Twitch streamers get, the more likely they are to have sponsorships, which is where income increases significantly. This is an added income stream on top of ad revenue, subscriptions, donations, and game sales. As you'd expect, the more income streams you have, the more you earn.

Do Twitch streamers pay tax?
Yes, just like any other earned income, Twitch streamers must report it to the IRS. This includes money earned from ads, donations, tips, sponsorships and any other revenue source. Twitch streamers also file as independent contractors, which means they pay the full tax instead of splitting it with an employer.

How Much Do Twitch Streamers With 1000 Viewers Make?

If you have 1,000 views per Twitch stream, you're doing pretty good for yourself. With 1,000 viewers, your earnings will depend on how many subscribers you have and how often you stream, among other factors.

If even half (500) of your viewers subscribed to the lowest tier subscription ($4.99), you'd make a cool $2,500 per month.

But you can make even more on advertisements, subscriptions, donations, and sponsorships.

The more viewers you have, the more money you'll earn per subscription and through sponsorships.

You'll also make more money per stream, and you have the option to add on other options, such as selling merchandise.

How Do Twitch Streamers Make Money?

Twitch streamers have many ways to make money, including donations, advertisements, subscriptions, and sponsorships.

Just like in real life, viewers can donate money to Twitch streamers in the form of "bits." On average, they are worth $0.01 each.

Usually, the more bits a viewer buys, the less each bit costs, but streamers always earn one penny per bit.

Like YouTube videos, Twitch streams always start with an ad, plus streamers can push the "ad button" at any time to push an ad to its viewers.

Of course, you don't want to do this too often or you'll turn your viewers off. Advertisement earnings are based on cost per 1,000 views.

The cost varies based on season and demand, but averages between $2 and $10 per 1,000 views.

Subscriptions make up a large portion of the largest Twitch streamers' income. Twitch streamers earn 50% of the subscription fees, which are available in increments of $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month.

Subscribers get benefits like ad-free viewing on your channel and chats during streams.

Companies look for the most influential Twitch streamers and pay them to promote their company (such as paying them to play their game) or to use their equipment (such as their gaming chair or headset).

Other Ways to Make Money on Twitch
Twitch streamers also make money through tournament winnings, uploading videos to YouTube to make money from YouTube, live appearances, and selling branded merchandise such as mugs, T-shirts, and phone cases.

What Twitch Streamers Make per Follower
On average, for every 100 followers (i.e., subscribers), Twitch streamers make $250, or $2.50 per follower.

To put that into perspective, streamers really only make "good money" when they have millions of followers. With 100 or even 500 followers, it's more like a paid hobby than a lucrative side gig.

If you're able to make it to Partner, though, you can supplement the per-follower income with sponsorships and subscription income, and again, the more followers you have, the more likely it is that you'll make "good money."

How much do Twitch streamers make per bit?
On average, Twitch streamers make $0.01 per bit, but occasionally they are worth more.

What Twitch Streamers Make per Ad
Advertising revenue varies, just like on any other channel, but on average, Twitch streamers make around $250 per 100 subscribers. This means a Twitch streamer with 1,000 subscribers could make $2,500 just on ads.

One issue Twitch streamers face is users turning their ad blocker on, but most streamers ask their viewers to disable their adblocker.

What Twitch Affiliates Make per Prime Sub
Twitch Affiliates make 50% of the subscription price, and a Prime subscription is $4.99 per month. For every subscriber, Affiliates make $2.49. Affiliates receive this income per subscriber monthly, as long as the viewers remain subscribers.

How to Become a Twitch Affiliate and Partner

Becoming a Twitch Affiliate and eventually, Partner is the key to making money on Twitch. First, you must become an Affiliate, and then you can become a Partner.

On average, it takes a Twitch streamer 2 - 4 months to reach Affiliate status, and it can take as long as 12 months or more to become Partner.

As we mentioned above, becoming a Twitch Partner isn't a "sure thing." Anyone can become an Affiliate if you meet the above guidelines. Partners are invited to join upon application, and not everyone receives the illustrious invitation.

Only about 1% of Affiliates become Partners (if that puts it into perspective for you). Twitch Partners earn everything Affiliates do, but also can:

  • Monetize their channels with ads
  • There's no limit on the quality of the streaming offered (Affiliates have limits)
  • Partners are treated as "royalty" and receive the highest and best treatment
  • Partners can have sponsors

Sponsorships are the one way Partners make much more than Affiliates. Getting paid to advertise a company's product or play their game certainly makes it worth it to be a Partner.

Top 10 Twitch Influencers
Here are the top 10 Twitch Influencers (as of writing):
  1. Ninja (Tyler Blevins) - 16.6M followers
  2. Tfue (Turner Tenney) - 10.2M followers
  3. shroud (Michael Grzesiek) - 9.1M followers
  4. Rubius (Ruben Doblas) - 8.8M followers
  5. auronplay (Raul Alvarez) - 8.2M followers
  6. Pokimane (Imane Anys) - 7.7M followers
  7. TheGrefg (David Cavovas) - 7.2M followers
  8. Myth (Ali Kabbani) - 7.2M followers
  9. TimtheTatMan (Timothy John Batar) - 6.4M followers
  10. Summit1g (Jaryd Lazar) - 5.9M followers

Bottom Line: Is Being a Streamer Worth It?

If you're looking to "get rich quick," Twitch isn't the path to financial freedom. But, if you're looking to make money doing something you love and the money is more of a "bonus" rather than something you rely on, then yes, being a streamer can be worth it.

You must be dedicated to promoting yourself and getting followers to make it worth it, though. Otherwise, you'll end up making peanuts for what feels like all of your free time streaming on Twitch. So when you ask yourself "how much do Twitch streamers make," it all comes down to the work they put into it.

Write to Sam Hawrylack at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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