Twitch.tv is the most popular streaming website for live video games. It’s the home of highly popular streamers from YouTube and little known fan favourites. You can browse through the popular channels, search through the list of popular games or just search for a game/streamer of your choice. If you really like a streamer, you can follow them and receive emails whenever they come online.
Twitch.tv is also home of eSports, where games such as Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Dota 2, League of Legends and many more are streamed to thousands of viewers when pro players are competing for the World Championships of their respective games. Due to this, many pro eSport players make a ton of money through streaming on their own, through the site’s advertising and through their own subscriptions.
However you don’t have to be a pro player to make money from Twitch, but you do have to really put in the effort and work at it.
Making an account is as simple as making an account on most websites, but you’ll want to choose a name people will remember, so that viewers always come back to your channel. You’ll also have to take some time and effort into making your channel look presentable. For example, a custom banner for your channel page.
Wait a minute… people watch other people play video games?
Not only do they watch it, they pay to watch via donations / subscriptions!
Twitch falls right behind Netflix, Apple, and Google when it comes to peak internet traffic in the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal.
58% of Twitch users spend more than 20 hours a week watching videos on its site. That’s almost three hours a day.
What equipment do I need to stream?
In order to stream, you will need a decent PC/Laptop (at least 8GB of RAM and a processor that is equivalent to Intel’s Core i5 Sandy Bridge (check here for more details)) as well as some free streaming software. If you plan on streaming from your PS4 or Xbox One, you will also need an external capture device that can plug into your TV as well as your PC/Laptop.
I usually use Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) to stream from my PC as it is free, but if you don’t mind paying for software, there is also XSplit. For PS4 and Xbox One, you will need something like the Elgato HD60. For older consoles, further research would be required to get the best quality, but this is not a very cheap investment.
Note: PlayStation 4, can also press the Share button from your PS4 controller once you have accessed a game from the dashboard menu, select “Broadcast Gameplay” from the menu and then sign in to your Twitch account.
How do people earn money from it?
As stated above, not just pro players can make money. If you manage to gain enough popularity with your channel, you can apply to be a Twitch partner, which gives you the power to play ads on your stream. You also gain a Subscription button, which allows viewers to subscribe to your channel for $5 a month (50/50 split between Twitch and the streamer). As the host of the channel, you can create custom emotes (emoticons) for the chat and have Sub-only days (days where only subscribers are allowed to chat). For example, League of Legends streamers sometimes set aside a full day where they only play games with their subscribers, or watch their own subs play games and commentate.
Twitch pays an “effective cost per 1000 impressions” (eCPM) for each video, in other words they pay you for every 1000 viewers but after they’ve factored in people who have adblockers turned on etc. You can increase your eCPM (amount they will pay you per 1000 views) by growing your viewership, increasing the interaction your users have with you and by getting people to support you with adblockers switched off for your channel (easier said that done).
You will start off (once approved on the partner program) at roughly $0.70-$1.40 per 1000 views, this can increase to around $1.00 – $2.50 and earning the 50/50 split on monthly subscriber fees, the more popular you become the better you can negotiate/request your eCPM/monthly split is increased.
Twitch won’t automatically place adverts on your streams/videos, it is down to the creator to select which type and what videos to insert the ads on.
In order to become a partner, you need to schedule your stream to be online at least 3 times a week, whilst also maintaining an average of 500+ viewers on every stream. Or, if you’re a big youtuber, if you receive 15,000+ views per video and have 100,000+ subscribers you can apply to become a partner.
If you have a paypal account, you can place a donation button in the description section of your channel. You never know when someone might fling a cheeky fiver at you 😉
Post affiliate links to sites like G2A, Cdkeys, Amazon etc in the hope that anyone watching your video clicks them. Everytime someone buys from your link you earn a small % of the purchase price (as a sort of thank you from the company) & if those people then share their affiliate link you may get a small percentage of those as well.
If you’re good enough / have a big enough following you could offer private lessons (yes really), start entering competitions, get sponsored by brands wanting to be featured,
Things you should do to create a successful channel
- Engage with your audience. They will appreciate that you are taking the time to notice them, meaning they might come back to watch you.
- Always be talking, even if no one is watching. It’s really weird when you click on a random stream and the streamer is stone faced and quiet.
- Provide the audience with a description on your channel. If they want to know more, they can ask and you can engage with them.
- Look up how to create stream alerts online. Having an alert whenever someone follows you or donates allows you to thank them personally on stream and give them a shout-out.
- ALWAYS thank people for the donation and follows. It might persuade people to do the same just to hear their name on stream.
- Have a schedule. If you’re planning to put a lot of effort in, decide when you’re going to stream every day and include it as a section in your channel description.
Things you probably shouldn’t do:
- Doing giveaways may attract viewers, but chances are when there aren’t any more giveaways they will switch off. There’s a chance that this may work but I wouldn’t take the chance.
- Ignore chat. Viewers probably won’t want to watch someone who doesn’t answer them.
How much can I realistically make?
If you managed to get 100 subscribers you would be looking at $250 extra per month, if you managed to increase your subscription/views to a high enough level those on the 60/40 plan could net $3000 extra per month from 1000 dedicated subscribers.
A streamer on $1.00 eCPM with 3 adverts per hour, streaming 8 hours a day, 5 days a week would be pocketing around $240 a week or $960 per month from ads.
Become popular and lets say you’re getting 20,000 viewers whilst on a $2.00 eCPM working the same hours – you would be looking at $40/hour or $1600/week or $6400/month or $76 800/year.
Top level gamers are pulling in $20,000 per month! + they’ve got the other revenue options above (donations, merchandise, affiliate links etc)
a 10ways warning:
Don’t expect to give up your day job tomorrow and start earning enough cash to retire on, it will take you a long time but it will be mostly doing something you love to do! Work hard alongside other income and you could eventually swap to a full time career.
Have you thought about doing YouTube instead?
Thanks to GentlemanBroGathStream for helping with this article1 comment