Twitch is one of the most popular platforms for live streaming, especially for video game content. Millions of viewers tune in every day to watch their favorite streamers play, chat, and entertain. But how much money do Twitch streamers actually make? And what are the main sources of their income?
Twitch Revenue Streams
Twitch streamers can earn money from various revenue streams, such as:
Viewers can subscribe to a streamer’s channel for a monthly fee, ranging from $4.99 to $24.99. Subscribers get access to exclusive perks, such as ad-free viewing, custom emotes, badges, and chat privileges. Twitch streamers get 50% of the subscription revenue, while Twitch takes the other half. However, some popular streamers can negotiate a higher percentage with Twitch, up to 70% or more.
Bits are a virtual currency that viewers can buy and use to cheer for their favorite streamers. One bit is equivalent to one cent, and streamers get 100% of the bit revenue. Viewers can also use bits to unlock special emotes and badges. Bits are a way for viewers to show their support and appreciation for the streamers they enjoy watching.
Twitch runs ads on streamers’ channels, and streamers can earn a share of the ad revenue. The amount of money streamers make from ads depends on several factors, such as the number of viewers, the length of the ad, the type of the ad, and the streamer’s contract with Twitch. Twitch does not disclose the exact rates for ad revenue, but some streamers have reported earning anywhere from $0.25 to $4 per 1,000 views.
Viewers can also donate money directly to streamers, either through Twitch’s built-in donation feature or through third-party services like PayPal, Streamlabs, or Patreon. Donations are a voluntary way for viewers to tip streamers for their content, and streamers get to keep 100% of the donation revenue. However, some donation services may charge a small fee or commission for processing the transactions.
Streamers can also earn money from sponsorships, which are deals with brands or companies that pay streamers to promote their products or services on their streams. Sponsorships can be very lucrative, especially for streamers with large and loyal audiences. Streamers can charge different rates for sponsorships, depending on the size of their following, the type of the product, the duration of the promotion, and the terms of the contract. Some streamers can earn thousands of dollars per sponsored stream.
Streamers can also earn money from affiliate programs, which are arrangements where streamers get a commission for referring their viewers to buy products or services from certain websites. For example, Twitch has its own affiliate program, where streamers can earn a percentage of the sales from games or in-game items that they link to on their streams. Streamers can also join other affiliate programs, such as Amazon Associates, where they can earn a commission for linking to products on Amazon.
Streamers can also earn money from selling their own merchandise, such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, stickers, posters, and more. Merchandise is a way for streamers to create their own brand and generate additional income from their fans. Streamers can either create and sell their own merchandise, or use platforms like StreamElements, Teespring, or Design by Humans, which handle the production, shipping, and customer service for them.
Twitch Earnings Statistics
The amount of money Twitch streamers make varies widely, depending on their popularity, sub count, content quality, and revenue streams. However, some general statistics can give us an idea of the average and potential earnings of Twitch streamers.
- According to a survey by StreamScheme, most full-time Twitch streamers have the potential to earn an average of between $3,000-$6,500 per month. As for smaller Twitch streamers, 76% said they were yet to reach Twitch’s $100 minimum payout threshold. Of those regularly earning from Twitch, most stated they make between $25-$130 monthly.
- According to a data leak in 2021, which exposed the earnings of the most popular Twitch streamers from August 2019 to October 2021, streamers in the top 100 on the platform made a minimum of $32,850 USD per month on Twitch via subs, bit donations, and ads alone. Streamers in the top 1,000 on the platform made a minimum of $7,063 USD per month. Streamers in the top 10,000 on the platform made a minimum of $904 USD per month. The top earner was Critical Role, a Dungeons & Dragons channel, which made a staggering $370,258 USD per month in subs and bit donations.
- According to Statista, the leading Twitch streamers based on estimated subscription earnings during the first quarter of 2023 were KaiCenat, xQc, Jynxzi, HasanAbi, and Eliasn97. KaiCenat earned $1,200,000 USD from subscriptions alone, while xQc earned $1,000,000 USD. Jynxzi, HasanAbi, and Eliasn97 earned $800,000 USD, $700,000 USD, and $600,000 USD respectively.
Twitch streamers can make a lot of money, but it is not easy or guaranteed. Twitch streamers need to work hard, be consistent, be entertaining, and diversify their revenue streams to succeed on the platform. Twitch streamers also need to deal with various challenges, such as competition, trolls, burnout, and legal issues. However, for those who are passionate about streaming and have a loyal fan base, Twitch can be a rewarding and lucrative career.