Chapter 14: Making It!
If you asked the child version of yourself back then what they wanted to be when they grew up, most would respond with more traditional jobs, such as a doctor or a firefighter. Nowadays, it’s not so uncommon to hear about more and more people becoming full time content creators, specifically live streamers.
What Is Life Like as a Successful Streamer?
Firstly, it’s important to define what “success” means to you. For some, success means paying your bills and being passionate about what you do to earn a living wage. For others, success is an expensive car, home, glitz and glam. And for the rest, it’s somewhere in between those. Because there is such a wide spectrum, we will try our best to share some real numbers and different cases.
How Much Do Twitch Streamers Make?
Twitch streamers can earn money several different ways. Typically, it’s
Subscriptions typically start at 04.99, with the highest tier at 024.99. So for all intents and purposes, let’s say a streamer has 100,000 followers, and let’s say 1% of those are paying subscribers at the lowest subscription tier (04.99). That’s 04,999 per month! Not too shabby. This is just an example and these numbers can fluctuate, some will have more or less than 1% of their followers subscribe, and some will have higher or lower churn (the amount of subscribers that cancel their subscriptions).
Now, let’s talk about tips/donations. Using quick math, let’s say that same streamer in the example above with 100,000 followers receives 03 donations from 1% of their followers roughly each month. That’s an additional 03,000 per month in donations on top of the 04,999 subscription revenue. So, no we’re at roughly 07,999 per month!
Somebody with 100,000 followers will likely have some sponsors as well that want to get their brand in front of this audience through the streamer talking and posting about it. There’s a few way sponsors can pay you. One is directly through Twitch running ads during your stream, however it’s not exactly publicly clear on how Twitch calculates this. The other way is through more traditional sponsorships like perhaps an energy drink company wants you to have a banner on-stream, or a hardware company wants you to wear their headset on stream with an affiliate link in your chat. These all vary but in most cases range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands per month.
Misconceptions About Becoming a Successful Streamer
It is a myth that streaming is easy money, especially in the year 2021. The “free lunch” for streaming, according to those familiar with the field, has already passed, and competition becomes fiercer by the day. In order to succeed, all top streamers need to risk and sacrifice time, money, and effort in order to get to where they are today.
MYTH: You Can Immediately Earn Enough Money via Streaming
This has already been covered in the previous section, but it is still worth repeating, as many see streaming as an easy way to earn money. In truth, it takes just as much, if not more, effort than any other job to keep a stream ongoing and make it profitable.
More often than not, other streamers have a day job or two that they rely on while they build up their channel. It is not uncommon to see people streaming at certain hours of the day, since that is all the time they can spare for it. Besides this, top streamers usually rely on other means to create a cumulative income, rather than just relying solely on Twitch.
MYTH: The Viewers Will Come to You
In January 2021, Twitch had a total of almost 10 million active channels; its highest peak yet. How will you make sure that your one channel is clicked on by viewers amidst everyone else’s?
It is thus unfortunately common that for many channels out there, they would stream for hours on end, only for there to be no viewers, maybe one or two along the way. Even then, however, these viewers do not translate into followers, which are integral to a channel’s success.
In response to this, streamers are no stranger to advertising and promoting their own channel. Here are some of the common ways that they do this:
- Upload finished streams — One would notice that the majority of streamers would also have a YouTube channel. While Twitch allows its viewers to rewatch old streams, it still stands that YouTube is the more commonly visited website. Top streamers also tend to edit their videos to showcase only highlights, making it easier for others to watch without having to sit through hours of what could be considered as filler. There’s super easy tools to help with this like Crossclip.
- Create social media accounts — The top three would be Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Each platform has particular strengths and weaknesses, but top streamers would be present in either two or all three of these sites. Twitter is especially notable since it makes it easy for streamers to notify their fans when they would stream next.
- Provide a space for followers — So many streamers have dedicated servers on Discord to allow their fans to chat with one another. It also makes it possible for streamers to interact with their fans even if they are not on camera, allowing them to foster a stronger connection to followers.
Top streamers have shared that when they were starting their channels, they would often ask friends and family to join their live-streaming to have a viewer count. Even then, it might take months before a follower count breaks a hundred. Some others never reach that number.
As the video gaming world continues to expand, streaming will also only grow with it. Despite the difficulties of making it big, remember that for many of these streamers, they did not start this because they wanted to make money out of it. Streaming, for them, is a way to share their passion with others. It revolves around community building more than anything else.
For any streamer, the number one rule when trying this path is to have fun with it. Your enjoyment of what you are doing comes first, and everything else is just icing on the cake.