How Much do Twitch Streamers Make? [+Twitch Media Value Money Calculator]

Do Twitch Streamers Get Paid For Views

Twitch streamers get paid depending on many different factors, but views are not one of them. The number of regular viewers that a streamer has obviously factors quite a bit into how much money they earn, but there is no direct correlation between viewership and earnings.

Typically, more viewers means more money, however there are exceptions to this rule. One Twitch streamer that averages 20 viewers can end up making more money than another Twitch streamer with an average of 40 viewers, depending on how many of the viewers subscribe to the channel, how many donations and bits they give, and other factors.

So in short, no, streamers do not get paid solely for views although their view count will heavily weigh into how much money they make.

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Off-Twitch Ways to Make Money

The four ways listed above are where streamers make money directly off their Twitch streams.

There are, however, a couple of other ways to make money from your channel outside of Twitch.

Uploading Videos to Youtube

Twitch streamers generally only make money when they are streaming. But with all that content, why not post it to Youtube?

What you will see a lot of folks do is upload individual games or sessions to Youtube. They will put a title to it (to make it easier to search for on Youtube) and limit it to Youtube-friendly length, around 7-15 minutes. They’ll try to do unique things, sometimes clickbaity, or funny things – to get people on Youtube to watch.

How much can Youtubers make? According to my friends at Millenial Money, anywhere from 0.3 to 1 cent per view. Youtube runs ads before, during, and after a video – which the streamer gets.

As for the top Youtuber earners, Millenial Money Man has a list from 2018:

  1. Ryan Toys Review – $22 million
  2. Jake Paul – $21.5 million
  3. Dude Perfect – $20 million
  4. DanTDM – $18.5 million
  5. Jeffree Star – $18 million
  6. Markiplier – $17.5 million
  7. VanossGaming – $17 million
  8. Jacksepticeye – $16 million
  9. PewDiePie – $15.5 million
  10. Logan Paul – $14.5 million

Live Appearances

As you can imagine, you have to be a decently sized Twitch streamer to get paid for live appearances. 🙂

Sometimes they tie these live appearances along with Snapchat/IG stories and other social media bumps.

Affiliate Income

Much like a blog, you can earn affiliate income from your Twitch stream by sending viewers to sites like Amazon.com to purchase items. If they buy something, you earn a small commission on the sale.

If you look at a streamer’s profile, you may see some widgets promoting different physical products. Amazon Blacksmith is a popular widget some streamers use to list products.

Merchandise

You can also sell branded merchandise – something StreamLabs also supports, through their Merch program.

Here are some of the items in Anna Rudolf’s (streamer who is a Hungarian chess player holding the FIDE titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster) StreamLabs Merch store:

How Many Partners Does Twitch Have?

There are around 27,000 Partners on Twitch – out of a total of 2.2 million unique monthly broadcasters. Twitch is currently still accepting for the program.

How Much Money Do Twitch Streamers Make?

That depends on the streamer. On average, expert streamers can make between $3,000 to $5,000 each month playing around 40 hours a week. That specific number doesn’t include ad revenue, which averages about $250 every 100 subscribers.

If you put in the time and grow a respectable audience, Twitch can certainly be lucrative.

Twitch, Brave, and the New Internet Economy

With the Brave browser, Twitch streamers gain a new revenue stream. Using their Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) earned by viewing opt-in ads, Brave users can tip streamers on Twitch directly and securely.

Brave lets users support streamers without going through Twitch, PayPal, or any other third-party platform. Users can even set up recurring monthly donations, “subscribing” directly to their favorite streamers.

Brave uses BAT as part of a new, privacy-based internet economy. No more trading away browser info to third-party data brokers. Keep tighter control of your info, and reward content creators on Twitch, YouTube, and more directly.

Other Ways to Make Money From Twitch

When you’re an influential Twitch streamer, you’re not limited to making money on the platform. There are plenty of other ways to make money from your Twitch stream.

Sponsorships

You know how NASCAR vehicles are always decked out with brand logos? That’s because companies sponsor drivers and teams as a form of marketing.

Brands also sponsor top Twitch streamers. So you might get paid for using a particular piece of hardware, wearing a particular T-shirt, or drinking a particular energy drink.

Merchandise

You can go beyond earning money for wearing someone else’s label. Several prominent Twitch Partners have also created their own lines of apparel and other merchandise to sell.

YouTube

Many Twitch streamers record their video streams and upload them to their YouTube channels. This allows them to receive additional income from YouTube ads.

Patreon

Patreon is a website that lets fans support their favorite creators with recurring donations. You can also provide unique bonuses to Patreon supporters.

How to Build an Audience on Twitch

If you really want to know how to make money on Twitch, it all comes down to this: grow a sizable audience.

Let me be honest: This takes an enormous amount of time and work — and even then, success is far from guaranteed.

Still, how can you build a community and increase your Twitch viewership? Here are 4 best practices to follow.

1. Find Your Niche

To attract attention, you need a way to stand out from the crowd. So, look for ways to carve out a niche for yourself. 

For example, perhaps you become an expert at a new game that’s growing in popularity. Or maybe you’re not the best gamer, but you’re witty and fun. 

2. Build a Following on Other Social Media Accounts

Compared to many social media platforms, Twitch offers very few ways to promote your streams. So, venture out to other platforms to build an audience.

For example, you could build your audience on YouTube or grow an Instagram following. Then you can promote your Twitch streams to your followers.

Take Real Summit1g — he often shares stream highlights on his Instagram account:

3. Network with Other Streamers

Networking and supporting other ambitious and popular streamers is a great way to generate new opportunities.

For instance, if you engage with another streamer and are active in their chat, the streamer and their viewers may visit your channel and follow you.

Plus, if you build friendships with other streamers you can plug each other’s channels and host each other. This will help cross-pollinate your audiences and attract new viewers.

4. Engage Viewers

Whenever a new viewer joins your stream, you have a golden opportunity to convert them into a true fan who’ll subscribe and promote your stream to their friends.

So, engage them in every way you can.

Ask viewers questions, respond to chat comments, crack jokes — ultimately, create highly entertaining content to get viewers to tune in regularly.

What Do Twitch Streamers Make Per-Follower?

As previously mentioned, Twitch streamers don’t necessarily earn money on a per-follower basis. More followers doesn’t always equate to more money, as anybody has the ability to follow a channel without ever having to tune in to watch a stream.

Consistent viewership is far more important than high follower numbers, as it ensures that streamers will actually be seen. Discoverability on Twitch is solely driven by a channel’s current view numbers, so follower count isn’t the goal that you should strive towards; some streamers do the “follow-for-follow” method, pay for followers, or have fake followers, which may look good on paper but is worthless in the long run.

However, if we were to roughly estimate, a Twitch Streamer could probably expect $1 to $1.50 per average viewer per month, if they were to stream 5 days a week. But again, this is a very rough estimate. If you happen to have viewers that are extremely generous, then this number is probably higher. If you’re less fortunate and have viewers that rarely ever subscribe or tip, then this number may be lower.

Sale of Games and In-Game Items on Twitch

Although the direct sale of games and in-game items was initially limited to Twitch Partners, it has more recently been expanded to include Twitch Affiliates. Both Affiliates and Partners can earn a 5% share of the revenue from purchases that originate from their channel page.

When a broadcaster streams a game that is available on Twitch, an offer to buy the game or in-game items automatically appear on the channel page in an area just below the video window. Whenever one of the viewers takes up the offer, the streamer gets paid 5% of the purchase amount.

Conclusion

Other than subscriptions, Twitch doesn’t pay streamers directly. Instead, Twitch streamers earn money from affiliate links, some advertising, and a variety of other methods. The Brave browser and its revolutionary BAT system offer yet another way for Twitch streamers to support themselves.

How much do big streamers make on Twitch?

Big streamers make anywhere from $5000 to $30,000 per month depending on the number of average viewers they have.

Below is a chart of how much the average big streamer makes depending on the number of average viewers they have.

Amount of viewersEarnings
1000 average viewers $5000 per month
5000 average viewers$13,000 per month
10000 average viewers$30,000 per month

Here are some examples of big Twitch streamers ranging from 1000 to 10,000 average viewers and how much they make.

Ezekiel_III Ezekiel_III is a Twitch streamer who makes an estimated $5,000 USD per month from Twitch.

For example streamer Ezekiel_III averages 1200 viewers per stream and has 1300 subscribers according to Twitch tracker. This would give him around $3,250 per month in subscribers alone or around $5000 if we add possible donations and advertisements.

Fuslie Fuslie is a big streamer who makes $20,000 USD per month from Twitch. View Net Worth

Fuslie consistently streams to over 9000 people and has around 7000 subscribers on average, this brings her in about $20,000 every month. Her monthly income is not just limited to Twitch though and also earns money from YouTube, Sponsorships and merch as well.

Through her YouTube channel, Fuslie brings in an additional $10,500 every month.

Hafu Hafu is a big streamer who makes $13,000 USD per month from Twitch. View Net Worth

Hafu streams to around 7000 people every time she goes online, this brings her in about $13,000 per month from Twitch alone. On top of that she makes an additional $8,700 from her YouTube channel and she earns money through merch and sponsorships as well.

How Twitch Streamers Make Money

Twitch streamers have a variety of different ways to make money but four ways make up the bulk of their income:

  1. Donations
  2. Advertisements
  3. Subscriptions
  4. Sponsorships

Donations

Donations are the oldest form of support that’s ever been known – it’s when viewers just give money to the streamer.

The Twitch currency is known as “bits.” You can think of them as being worth roughly a penny each but that depends on the current purchase price. As of this writing, you can get 1,000 bits for $10 but buying 100 bits will cost you $1.40. Oddly enough, buying 10,000 bits will cost you $1.26 – which is a higher per bit price than buying them in 1,000 chunks.

The streamers gets a penny for each bit. Twitch’s cut comes on the purchase of bits, not on the donation of bits, which makes logistical sense. As a viewer, you donate bits through cheering and other more visible methods in the chat.

Outside of Twitch, you can always make a direct donation to the streamer.

The amount that makes it to the streamer will depend on the platform you use. Many of the platforms don’t take any percentage outside of what it costs to process the charge, usually credit card fees. For example, Streamlabs doesn’t charge any fees on donations and so the streamer gets it all minus Paypal or Stripe fees (usually for credit cards).

Advertisements

Whenever you start a stream, there’s almost always a thirty-second advertisement. Sometimes, on big promotional pushes, you may get two ads before a stream.

Then, whenever the Twitch streamer wants, they can press an Ad button that delivers a 30-second ad. Usually, you’ll see them do it when they get something to eat or have to get up to use the bathroom.

But put too many ads and you risk turning people off. So, it’s a delicate balance.

As for how much they make off the ads, commonly referred to as the cost per mille (CPM) or cost per thousand views, you won’t ever see anyone disclose it because of disclosure reasons. Twitch streamers aren’t allowed to share these. Also, as someone who is also advertisement supported, the ad rates will fluctuate based on demand. I’d imagine that the rates go up a lot around major game releases and go down otherwise.

As a viewer, I haven’t seen anyone press the Ad button and they only show ads during major game releases. I imagine this isn’t a major percentage of revenue for Twitch streamers since ad block will prevent the display of ads too.

Subscriptions

For the more popular streamers, I imagine this category makes up the bulk of their income.

This is the top right of every stream.
This is the top right of every stream.

On Twitch, you can get notifications when a streamer is about to stream just by following them – click the Heart and leave Notifications (the bell) on. That’s free.

But you can also “subscribe” and that puts money in a Twitch streamer’s pocket.

There are up to three tiers of subscriptions (all renew automatically:

  • Tier 1: $4.99 per month (1 Subscriber Point)
  • Tier 2: $9.99 per month (2 Subscriber Points)
  • Tier 3: $24.99 per month (6 Subscriber Points)

As a Twitch streamer, you can get to upload custom emotes whenever you reach a certain number of subscribers. This is based on the concept of Subscriber Points (each tier gets you different Subscriber Points). You start with 25 and can get up to 60.

A viewer gets some perks for being a subscriber, depending on the streamer. Here, for example, is what you get if you are a Tier 1 subscriber to John Bartholomew, a Chess IM and Twitch streamer:You get:

You get:

  • Ad-free viewing on JohnBartholomew’s channel (with limited exceptions).
  • Chat during Subscriber-Only Mode and not affected by chat slow mode.
  • Watch and chat during Subscriber Streams.
  • Resubscribe to retrieve your highest unlocked Sub Badge.
  • And 10 Custom Emotes

Twitch streamers earn a minimum of 50% of the subscription fees. The more subscribers they have, the more they get to keep.

“Top tier partners” get up to 70% of the subscription fees.

If you know how many subscribers a streamer has, it’s relatively easy to calculate how much they earn each month through subscriptions. Twitch doesn’t release the number of subscribers a streamer has, so any figures you see online are guesses. The number of Followers you see at the top of each Profile is NOT subscribers, those are free followers, but I suspect that’s what online lists use as a way to guess actual subscribers (and other factors, like live viewers).

TwitchTracker has a list of subscriber counts that looks as accurate as any other, so based on those figures, here’s how much some of the top streamers make each month on subscriptions (assuming a 70% cut):

  • CRITICALROLE – $37,783.263
  • SHROUD – $36,107.295
  • RFUE – $35,609.637
  • GAMESDONEQUICK – $39,360.216
  • NICKMERCS – $64,990.492
  • TIMTHETATMAN – $34,504.939
  • MOONMOON_OW – $43,371.797
  • XQCOW – $26,073.502
  • NINJA – $19,647.39
  • DRLUPO – $42,836.92

Who knows how accurate these figures are but even if they’re close, that’s some good money!

The Bottom Line

The Twitch streaming platform is an increasingly popular way to make money. A well-run Twitch channel can potentially be a source of significant revenue.

That said, Twitch streaming isn’t easy. Your best bet is to make a business plan and study what other people are doing. And perhaps most importantly, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and treat gaming as a job. 

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