Streaming was born in the early 2010s and has become a real industry in less than 10 years, thanks to the Twitch platform. The most famous streamers are real stars, and sponsors offer them more and more lucrative contracts.
How much does a streamer earn on Twitch? The most-watched streamers earn millions of dollars a year, thanks to subscriptions, bits, ads, and sponsor contracts. They can also generate income outside Twitch, for example by attending events or selling merchandise.
While these figures are impressive, they don’t reflect what the majority of streamers earn. In this article, we decided to compare the income of the heavyweights with that of more modest streamers, and you’ll see that it’s quite possible to make a living from even a few hundred viewers a day.
How do streamers generate revenue on Twitch?
On Twitch, streamers can generate income in 4 ways:
You probably noticed that when you start a stream on the Twitch platform, a 30-second advert is waiting for you. These ads are launched automatically and the streamer earns money for each new view. However, you may have also noticed that some streams offer ads on a fairly regular basis. These are launched by the streamer himself, who has the possibility to do so via a dedicated button which make it so new viewers that are coming into the stream don’t have to watch an ad as long as you keep pressing that ad button often enough (look for the timer letting you know when pre-roll ads are going to be enabled).
It is also possible to subscribe, renewable every month, which will give you access to some additional features such as emoticons or access to raffles organized by the streamer, for example. Here too the platform recovers between 0 and 50% of the amount. This metric is one of the big data points that many use to answer the question How Much Does a Streamer Earn on Twitch?
Donations allow viewers to support the streamer by donating a sum of money. On Twitch, there are two ways to do this. The first one is to send bits to the streamer that you buy beforehand on the platform. Twitch takes a percentage that can go from 40% to 20%. The second way is to make a direct donation to the streamer via PayPal or stripes, which will take a small percentage of the transaction. This metric is one that we cannot really measure with a lot of precision on answering the question How Much Does a Streamer Earn on Twitch? Since they are hard to measure how often and big the donations are.
Here we will only talk about sponsoring contracts related to Twitch and to the player’s image, we will talk about the others in the next section. Several types of sponsoring are possible for the streamer:
- Sponsored streams: video game studios pay a streamer to play their game for x hours.
- Brand sponsors: who pays the streamer to use a certain product live in order to advertise it.
- Structures: who pays the streamer to wear their color, to ensure their presence on Twitch.
These types of sponsorships become more and more successful depending on the number of viewers on the stream. Regarding sponsored streams, the player is required to add the mention “#ad” in the stream title. If you see such a mention in your favorite streamer, it means that he/she is getting paid to play the game.
This is probably even harder than Donations when trying to answer the question of How Much Does a Streamer Earn on Twitch? Since we cannot know of all the details on such deals.
When a streamer plays a game live, it becomes possible to buy the game he broadcasts and at the same time, to offer him 5% of its value. This service is not yet available for all games.
Streamers also have the opportunity to generate other types of revenue outside of Twitch. The main source of additional income comes from the Youtube platform, and most of the streamers have a channel to upload content from their stream.
It is also not uncommon to see streamers attending physical events (such as a video game show), or on social networks to promote a brand or a product. Some contracts contain clauses obliging the streamer to ensure a presence on social networks on behalf of the brand or the structure that pays him.
Finally, we will finish with the merchandising, which is rather reserved for the famous streamers. These streamers offer products with their effigy or that of their channel. These are usually clothes, mugs, or various phone accessories.
This is one of the biggest points of data for big streamers on answering the question How Much Does a Streamer Earn on Twitch?
How much do the most famous streamers earn?
As mentioned above, the most famous streamers can earn several million per year (we are talking about tens of millions for the elite. We’ve done some research into how this income is generated, and here’s what we found in order to answer How Much Does a Streamer Earn on Twitch?
The streamers in the 1% have an agreement with Twitch regarding subscriptions: 70% for the streamer and 30% for Twitch (although some apparently have agreements allowing them to get 100% of the money from subscriptions), which allows them to get $3.50 per level 1 subscription, $7 per level 2 subscription and $17.50 per level 3 subscription.
Concerning the advertisements, the big streamers get on average 250$ for every 100 subscribers. Then there are the daily donations, which easily reach $500 for the top of the line. In the case of a streamer who has an audience of 15.000 subscribers/month on average, we can estimate that he earns about 52500$ per month with subscriptions, 37500$ with ads and at least 15.000$ in donations. This makes us a total of $105,000 per month without any sponsorship deals, marketing, Youtube or affiliations.
The income of the streamers more modest
Far from the incredible figures detailed above, streamers with a small community can also earn income by sharing their passion. Regarding subscriptions, a streamer with a small community has a 50/50 deal with Twitch. For each level one subscription, he will get $2.50. However, the revenue from ads is much lower on a small scale.
The young streamer explains that she received about 150$ for 3700 views and less than 50 subscribers. These incomes are obviously calculated before taxes. Based on these calculations.
If you want to know more you can check out other articles on how to grow on twitch