Studies have consistently shown that if you were to ask a classroom of young children in your average Western country what they want to do when they grow up. They don’t want to be doctors or lawyers, or engineers, train drivers, or even writers; They want to be influencers. These days influencers are very, well, influential, and the profession can be extremely lucrative if a number of factors are taken into account, whether the person in question is an Instagram model, a YouTube channel owner, or a Twitch streamer.
Twitch is a leading platform for content creators, whether they be individual people or teams, or companies that want to take an innovative marketing route. Once the preserve of hardcore gamers characterized by gatekeeping policies, Twixt is now a social media giant, and hundreds of creators who have appeared on the site have become financially wealthy. The process by which they achieve this, Twitch monetization, offers a tangible road to success for the ambitious and the talented.
This road however is not easily walked on without preparation, you should not expect, for example, for your Twitch channel to all of a sudden make you money from day one. Understanding the various twitch monetization requirements needed for success is very important, as is being creative, originally, thinking laterally, and taking advantage of every opportunity you can. The first key subject for you to understand is perhaps the most simple, namely, what exactly is Twitch and how does it operate.
What is Twitch?
The origins of Twitch lie in an attempt to offer an alternative to YouTube, namely a website called Justin TV. This site was organized in the same way as the aforementioned Google platform and had a generalized appeal, designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, but it never really took off. Twitch began in 2011 as a subsidiary website that focused on video game streaming and by 2014, when Justin TV itself folded, Twitch already had 45 million unique users.
Twitch has come a long way since then and is now one of the leading social media platforms around, indeed the service was acquired by Amazon for $970 million the same month Justin TV ceased operation. By the end of 2020, Twitch had nearly 10 million active streamers and nearly ten times as many users. The figure of 45 million users in 2014 is now applicable to the United States alone and the platform has become a truly international success.
It is very easy to get started on Twitch and all you need to do is to log on and set up an account to start watching streamers. Becoming a streamer yourself follows the same process, you can just set up a streaming account and start your content creation career. However, if you want to make it big on the platform via Twitch monetization you need to meet certain requirements, which we’ll cover later on.
How do you become a streamer?
Before we go onto the specifics of the Twitch monetization requirements let’s first understand how you can become a successful streamer. You can’t expect to just open your account, log in, and instantly attract thousands of subscribers who will provide you with views and instant monetary success. Twitch and monetization do go hand in hand, but let’s be clear, the vast number of streamers on the platform make little to no money.
You need to have a unique selling point for your channel if you want to be successful, something that makes you stand out from the thousands of other streamers on Twitch. This involves a lot of research, and knowledge about your subject, and also the ability of yourself to be charismatic and engaging, someone strangers will want to tune in to watch every week. And don’t think that this is all just about raw natural talent, you need to analyze your streams, data about your viewers, experiment with new forms of content, and take a number of other factors into account.
These factors are the beginning of a solid Twitch streaming career, one that should help you attract the numbers required to reach the level where monetization can take place. It’s important to think laterally, to take risks, and to be dynamic, taking advantage of every opportunity that you can towards reaching your goal. If you’ve already reached then congratulations, you’re ready to begin the Twitch monetization process and the best place to start is the Twitch affiliation stage.
Twitch affiliate status
The first way you can begin your twitch monetization journey is via Twitch Affiliate status, which is how most people start earning money on the platform. However, you can’t just become an affiliate overnight, and you and your channel need to meet a series of requirements before you can join;
- Have at least 50 followers on our channel, which sounds easier than it actually is
- At least 500 minutes broadcast over the last 30 days, which works out at just over eight hours of broadcasting
- Seven unique broadcast days, which is pretty self-explanatory.
- An average of 3 or more concurrent viewers, which means at least three people need to be watching your streams at any given moment.
This is not a simple goal for you to meet as a movie streamer but it is achievable if you take our tips from the previous paragraph into account. The good news is that once you‘ve met all the requirements of affiliate status then Twitch will reach out to you directly and offer a program membership. All you’ll need to do is to provide some general information, accept the program agreement, provide tax information, set up a payment method and enable two-factor identification. This will allow you to earn monetization via the following methods:
- Twitch Subscriptions: 50% of revenue from the subscribers to your channel, based on the tier they’ve chosen.
- Twitch Bits: A payout of $1 for every 100 bits your channel gets.
- Video game sales: 5% of revenue from games (or in-game add-ons) where the purchase originates on your Twitch channel.
- Donations: 100% of any donation made by a Twitch user.
- Advertising revenue: Paid via $100 installments from month to month.
Twitch partner status
After becoming a Twitch affiliate the next stage you can move on in your monetization journey is becoming a Twitch Partner. To get to this point you need to meet all the requirements of being a Twitch affiliate, but also:
- Stream for 25 hours.
- Stream 12 different days.
- Average 75 concurrent viewers, all in a 30 day period.
If being an affiliate represents being a silver member of Twitch then securing a partnership as a streamer is akin to gold status. Not only will you receive the abilities outlined above, like being able to set up subscriptions and donations, but the platform will also give you a number of tools you can use to build your audience. Check them out;
- Custom chat badges
- Custom emotes and emoticons
- Verified user badge
- Custom bit badges and “cheermotes”
- Exclusive chat rooms
- Extended video-on-demand storage
- Priority support
- Free lifetime channel support for your chatbot
- Special partner-only promotional opportunities
- Broadcast delay to ensure fairness during competitive gameplay
- Up to three additional free lifetime channel subscriptions
The next level – monetization away from Twitch
After reaching both the affiliate and partners stages of your twitch monetization journey you may begin to start asking yourself the following question; What comes next? The best way you can continue to monetize your Twitch content is to actually go beyond the service and find monetization methods that you can control yourself. There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of ways to do this, and you need to choose the method that suits both your channel and your working practices the most.
For example, you may consider securing a sponsorship deal for your stream by a company of your choosing, and if you’re an active user of YouTube you will no doubt be familiar with this method, and a great way to achieve this is to find companies that are expanding themselves in a hi-tech field. For example, connected television is a rapidly expanding industry post-COVID-19 and companies like VlogBox actively seek out talented creators to work with. You could also set up direct donations with a third company like Buy Me a Coffee, and also set up direct links to your Venmo, PayPal, etc accounts. Also consider setting up a Patreon account and offering premium content to subscribers willing to pay you an extra fee each month.
Another way you can maximize your twitch tv monetization potential is to create your own merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, posters, etc, the list is only limited by your imagination. A lot of streamers are doing this now to create extra income and it’s remarkably easy to get set up, all you need to do is to create some original designs and then get your products made. The point is, twitch monetization is best supplemented when you can add content away from Twitch itself as it gives you even greater control of your professional life.
Twitch monetization case studies
Making money from Twitch monetization is not easy and only a few performers have actually made it all the way to the top, but for those that have, the financial rewards can be astounding. According to Credit Donkey, the average Twitch streamer that has adopted monetization can hope to make on average $500 a month. Now that’s hardly enough to make a living but it does represent a nice little bit of extra pocket money for something you enjoy doing.
If you are in the group of 1% of streamers that make the megabucks however then you’re in luck because you’re already likely to be a millionaire. The esports streamer for example Ninja, who is the highest-paid performer on Twitch, earns around $95,000 a month from his Twitch streaming alone, so his total monthly income is likely to be far higher. The Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie, who originally became famous on the aforementioned platform, also streams on twitch and has a total net worth of $15 million.
When you work on your Twitch monetization options you want to set a realistic aim for yourself, and starting out with a target of $500 a month is an excellent idea. After you’ve reached this goal, then consider incremental increases in your targets as you experiment with new content and ideas, and become more knowledgeable and authoritative on your subject. Expert streamers, who represent no more than 10% of the site’s performers, can earn between $3,000 – $5,000 per month, a nice income for anyone to aim for.
You can absolutely use monetization on Twitch to generate income for yourself, just don’t expect that it’s going to be an easy or instant process. You need to take time to plan your content, experiment, and interact with other creators, but with enough work and practice, you should be able to turn this into an income-earning opportunity. Just be sure to be creative, to perform for your viewers in an interesting and unique way, and your monetization process will be smooth.