Twitch is by far the most popular streaming platform in the world for gamers. Both spectators and streamers benefit from Twitch’s advanced infrastructure and its huge userbase. While Twitch is most commonly associated with video game streaming, there are plenty of other kinds of stream available on the service now. As well as videogame streaming, streams of both live dealer casinos and fully-digital online casinos are available. Some podcasters have even taken to the platform to spread their content during the Covid-19 lockdown.
As well as the platform’s impressive infrastructure and large user base, it has also proven popular with streamers because it presents them with numerous opportunities to monetise their content, so if you’re wondering how to make money through your Twitch stream, here’s what you need to know.
Bits are a bit like Twitch’s own ‘in-game’ currency. This isn’t a cryptocurrency, but it is a virtual currency. Each Twitch Bit is worth 1 cent ($0.01), and they can be given to streamers through the platform’s cheering mechanic.
Viewers can use cheers to give individual Bits or thousands of Bits at once. Some viewers will use them to reward particularly skilful gameplay. Others prefer to use them in response to the streamer themselves. Viewers have the option of attaching a message to their cheer and can use ‘cheermotes’ – animated emotes.
If you think that every cheer you receive will add $0.01 to your account balance, which you can then redeem for cash via PayPal when your balance reaches a certain threshold, well done, you are a sensible person. Unfortunately, Twitch is not sensible; it’s barely even a person. Only participating streamers will receive a cut of the profits from spent cheers. However, for streamers with a large following, Bits are an important source of revenue.
Tips And Donations
For streamers who aren’t affiliates and are, therefore, unable to benefit from Twitch’s Bits program, there are still ways that you can solicit donations from your viewers. The easiest way of doing this is through a third-party platform like Stripe or PayPal. Both of these platforms make it easy to send money directly to you. You can also share a link with your followers that will take them straight to the page they can use to send you money.
Many streamers have found that setting a donations goal and providing a graphic showing how near to the target they are is an effective way of encouraging more viewers to donate. You can also utilize Twitch alerts to encourage more donations from viewers.
Patreon is a very popular platform for creatives who want to open up a new revenue stream. Not only does Patreon make it easy for your viewers to donate to your channel, but it also enables you to provide them with platform-exclusive content as an incentive.
This is another option only open to those who are part of Twitch’s Affiliate or Partnership programs. Once you have enrolled in one of these programs, a ‘subscribe’ button will automatically be added to your page and your viewers can sub to your channel. Subscribers get access to premium-only features for that streamers channel, such as custom emotes and other perks—meanwhile, the streamer get to split the cost of a subscription 50/50 with Twitch.
Subscriptions range in price from $4.99 up to $24.99 a month, so they can form a significant source of recurring income for the most popular Twitch streamers.
If you have a large online following in 2020, your own line of merch is virtually mandatory at this point. Producing your own merchandise is easy today. In fact, the only thing you need to produce is the digital designs. You can then sell your products to order using a custom merchandise store like Spreadshop. The great thing about print-to-order merchandise is that you don’t have to pay for production upfront. This means that you don’t have to worry about ending up with a garage full of unsold merchandise that you have no use for. You also don’t have to worry so much about your own ability to sell to your audience.
Many of the biggest Twitch streamers today are essentially brands at this point. Combining your Gamertag or online handle with a suitable graphic to produce a logo will further help you to sell your merch.
Twitch is currently the biggest streaming platform in the world and is by far the most popular choice for both professional and amateur streamers. There have been attempts at starting competing platforms, but Twitch is such a dominant force that any competitors have their work cut out for them. Even those alternative services that have managed to lure some of Twitch’s bigger names to their platform have been unable to unseat the giant from its throne.
There are boundless sponsorship opportunities for big streamers on Twitch. If your stream is popular enough, then these opportunities will start to come to you. However, if you are prepared to track down leads on your own and approach potential sponsors on your own initiative, you will find it much easier to connect with viable sponsors.
Streamers who are part of Twitch’s partner programs can sell games and in-game items via their pages. Participating streamers will receive a 5% cut of any sales made through their page. This process is entirely automated. If you are selling through your profile, you will automatically receive your cut of the profits.
When you are playing a game that supports selling in-game items via Twitch, a box will be added below your stream. Your viewers can then make purchases without having to leave your stream.
There are a number of reasons that Twitch has proven to be such a hit amongst streamers and their audiences, but a big part of Twitch’s appeal is that it enables streamers and content creators to make money. The revenue streams we have identified above are just a selection of the many opportunities out there on Twitch.