It is no secret that there are many streamers in the world, for whom live streaming is not just a means of self-expression or an opportunity to dispel boredom, but a truly profitable business. Many beginner streamers are trying to turn their hobby into a full-time job and make it a stable, and often the only source of income.
For example, before signing the contract and moving to Mixer, the income of the most popular streamer Ninja was $10 million in 2018. This income is summed up from advertising, subscriptions, donations, and sponsorship deals (Samsung, Red Bull, etc.).
As you can see, the amounts are very attractive. That’s why a lot of young people are desperate to climb the top of Twitch or YouTube and start making money on streams.
This has become especially relevant during the quarantine and self-isolation regime imposed in many countries.
Statistics confirm that streaming platform users have significantly increased activity since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. And it's not surprising, because those who wanted to start streaming in earnest finally have more free time. Let's analyze what a streamer's income actually consists of.
There are several sources of monetization for a streaming channel:
· Donations from viewers
· Paid subscriptions to the channel
· Direct advertising
· Merchandise and merch store
· Embedded advertising of streaming services
Let's talk in detail about each point and give some tips on how to increase earnings from each source. And also calculate how much on average can earn a streamer who has an average of 1,000 viewers online at 30,000 followers.
Donations from viewers
The easiest way to earn, but also the most unstable. At first, when you have very few viewers, it is likely that you will have enough donates, at most, for public transportation, and not always. Donates - this is just a way for the viewer to express sympathy to the streamer or to support him. You should not be begging for donations from your viewers, but to encourage them to make this. Motivate your viewers with spectacular game play, challenges on different games (for example, pass Dark Souls without using friendly phantoms), entertain them, bring them pleasure and maybe they will support you with money.
You can accept donations either through special services - StreamElements, StreamLabs, and others, as well as directly through the platforms for streaming - Twitch and their virtual currency Bits (1 Bits equals $0.01), YouTube via Sponsorship (you can set additional subscriptions).
Tips for increasing income from donations
The easiest ways to increase the size of donations on the stream:
· Give the option to attach a video clip or music track of the viewer on the stream to the donation.
· Set the robot to automatically read out the viewer's message for a donation.
· Audio messages (but add them at your own risk, and if you are confident in the "adequacy" of your viewers).
Also, don't forget to add a donation scale with an end goal and a list of top donators. The goal doesn't have to be to buy something (like a new microphone), but also simple intangible "goals" such as "for good cheer" etc.
Paid subscriptions to the channel
The second way for viewers to support the channel is through paid subscriptions. With a paid subscription, the viewer not only supports the channel, but also get perks - for example, a subscription to Twitch get access to the emotes for a channel, an identifying badge in the chat, a special chat available only to subscribers, and exclusive broadcasts, which are held only among subscribers.
On YouTube, the set is similar: emojis, special badges, and access to private live streaming.
Mixer has a rather complicated situation with paid subscriptions. The service itself is not just a platform for streaming games, but it is an interactive game with a set of points, with which you become more popular. A paid subscription to Mixer doubles your number of "points" and speeds up your scoring.
Now let's move on to the subscription price:
- Twitch. A monthly subscription price is $4.99 and provides access to custom emotes and a special badge. There are also several subscription levels ($9.99 and $24.99) that provide additional custom emoticons for channels. Twitch takes ~50% of each subscription. Top streamers may have no commission at all.
- Mixer. A one-month subscription fee is $4.99 and gives access to a fast "experience" set and "points", a chat badge, and emotes. The platform also takes 50% of the subscription cost.
- YouTube. A subscription, called sponsorship, gives access to a sponsor badge in chat, custom emoji, as well as access to a special chat. There are also higher-level subscriptions, which can give early access to new content (customize individually). YouTube takes 30% of the sponsorship fees.
Tips for increasing paid subscriptions
To encourage their viewers to sign up for paid subscriptions, streamers are encouraged to hold regular events or special broadcasts that give a big advantage exactly to subscribers. For example:
· Give an ability to play together with a streamer, where the first in the queue will be exactly paid subscribers.
· Open early access to important content for subscribers and publish it with a delay of several days for others.
· You can also run Subscriber-only giveaways.
According to statistics, 1 of 500 followers pays a subscription. Therefore, with 30,000 followers, the average popular streamer will have about 60 paid subscribers.
But such statistics are only valid for those streamers who regularly hold events to encourage viewers to subscribe. If you don't do this, you won't even have a single paid subscriber out of 5,000 followers.
Once you have enough regular viewers, you can try to look for ads, or advertisers may pay attention to you and offer to place advertisements on your streams. Advertise products or services and get sponsor payments. You can search for advertisers by contacting the companies you are interested in via email or by using some search engines. Here are a few examples:
PowerSpike.tv is a platform for advertisers and streamers to place and search for advertising proposals. For example, you can find there an offer to advertise some peripheral equipment (e.g. a computer mouse) in the conditions of which it will be said, for example, that you should place a banner with a link on your streamer, make an unboxing and share your impressions with your viewers.
StreamElements.com is also a donation service, but also offers additional features for your stream. There are also sometimes different requests from advertisers, look, choose, maybe something will interest you.
If you are already a successful streamer, you can sign an agreement with some agency that deals with influence marketing, and they will already be looking for suitable advertising contracts for you. They could be famous pizza ads, betting companies, Head & Shoulders shampoo ads, and peripheral equipment ads from Logitech, Razer, and others (even medical product ads are possible).
Here, it's important to consider Twitch's policies on such advertising. You can't promote prohibited products or services that violate applicable laws, because you can get banned and lose your Affiliate. In 2019, Twitch amended its user agreement about the ads that can and cannot be shown on broadcasts. Is forbidden to include commercials on a stream that takes up a full screen and thus interrupt the streamer's main content, except for built-in Twitch ads.
Direct advertising is one of the most stable and large sources of income for a streamer. But its cost depends directly on the channel statistics. The more subscribers and average online live streaming, the more expensive you can to sell ads on your channel.
Tips for increasing direct advertising revenue
First of all, you have to at least make your price list for advertising services and place it in the description of the stream and on your social media. As a maximum, make and decorate a commercial offer for sending to advertisers. It should contain summary information of your channel and its statistics for the last 2-3 months (follower growth graph, average online on stream, a graph of the number of views, etc.).
Next, you can send this offer to agencies working with bloggers and streamers or directly to advertisers.
Secondly, you need to create positive and attractive statistics for advertisers for your Twitch channel in the shortest possible time. If you have enough followers on your channel and a good regular core of viewers, but not a very high average online and a number of views, you can increase it with external advertising.
For example, using our Twads.GG service, displaying 1,000-2,000 viewers on each stream to raise the cost of advertising space on your channel, because the more audience you reach, the more attractive you become in the eyes of a potential advertiser.
The cost of a banner on the stream can be very different with high statistics.
Also, some large advertisers buy ads only from streamers with an online no less than a certain value (usually 1,000-2,000 viewers).
Therefore, using our service, you will not only advertise your stream to attract subscribers but also improve your statistics for advertisers. At the same time, using Twads.GG, you can be sure that the advertiser will not be defrauded, and the audience will really see this banner on the stream, unlike those streamers that use tampering viewer stats, when in fact the stream is not shown to anyone.
Merchandise and merch store
If you can negotiate with an advertiser, such as Logitech, they can give you a certain amount of peripherals (mouse, keyboard, headset) that you can sell for a certain percentage of sales. In general partnership programs for streamers and bloggers already exist a lot. Choose the most suitable products for your channel and periodically mask their advertisements in the form of random phrases like "what a comfortable headrest this chair has, with it I can stream the whole day, and my neck will not get tired", etc.
There are also various themed websites, and recently StreamElements added a section called SE.Merch where you can create your own merch and sell it to your viewers (t-shirts, mugs, baseball caps, etc.).
Twitch itself sometimes gives large partners access to its own merch store, where streamers can sell their stuff, but more often they use third-party services.
Most streamers just put banners with promo codes on the channel and that's all they do. The benefits of such partnerships will be little more than zero dollars a year.
Embedded advertising of streaming services
Streaming platforms act as agencies and streamers as advertisers. Large companies and organizations buy huge amounts of advertising directly from Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer, and the platforms distribute advertising to streamers.
Advertisements range from upcoming game and movie trailers to third-party brand advertisements (e.g., Logitech, Sony, and others). The format of advertising can range from pre-rolls before or during the stream, to banners on the page. Also, streamer partners can manually run ads themselves when they go on a short break to generate revenue from the partnership program. Let's look at the numbers by the website:
· Twitch - pays $3.5 for every 1,000 ad views. Since recently, not only partners can earn from advertising, but also affiliates. Affiliate status is very easy to get - 3 regular viewers on the stream, 50 followers, the total time of streaming at least 8 hours, and 7 different days in a month.
· YouTube - is perfect conditions pay on average from $0.006 to $0.015 per view. That's very little because most of the advertising budget is spent not on ads during streams, but on the full platform - banners, pre-rolls in video content, etc. Plus YouTube takes an average of 45% of the ad revenue. In result is something like $4-4.5 per 1,000 views, under perfect conditions.
· Mixer - advertising on this platform was launched not so long ago and it is only available to partners and official channels. The exact figures for advertising revenue are unknown, and some partners reported that their channels do not run advertising at all.
How to increase revenue from Twitch affiliate program
Since earnings from 1000 ad views are very small, your task is to maximize the number of views. The main problem is ad blockers. A lot of users use them, so ads are not displayed there, and such views will not be counted in your affiliate program.
Some streamer partners encourage their regular users to disable blockers on their stream, explaining that advertising is one of the most important sources of revenue for the streamer.
By default, ads are displayed to the user the first time start watching the stream. But few streamers manually turn on ads on the stream to get extra views. The main thing is not to overdo the frequency of inclusion. It is enough to do it once an hour, for example, when the streamer takes a break between playing games. But remember, there always be toxic viewers who speak out negatively about the fact that the streamer is forcing them to watch ads. In such cases, remind viewers that a paid subscription will allow them to watch the stream without commercial breaks.
The second way to increase the number of ad views is to use Twads.GG service. It embeds a pre-roll or content roll of your stream to external websites and shows it to potential viewers. Since streaming ads are only shown to people without an ad blocker, they will also see Twitch ads on your stream, and Twitch will count this viewing as legitimate and will charge you the cost of viewing. In the settings of some bots, such as Moobot, there is a function for automatically enabling ads on the stream, you can program the auto-playing of ads when you reach a certain number of viewers, thereby increasing the number of ads views.
A streamer's income from viewing embedded advertising can be as much as $500 a month or more. It all depends on how many ads views the streamer can provide.
If you treat stream seriously, and if you have certain financial and time capabilities, a stream can bring income equal to the usual, office work, or even more. Here, as in any other business, it is important to competent advertises and sells your services, if you succeed, financial success is guaranteed. The main thing is that streaming brings you pleasure, rather than being a mundane job. Engaging in it for the sake of making money - a bad idea. It's better to make money from your favorite pastime and hobby.