In 2020, playing video games can be a fun way to make a little extra money. It can even evolve into a well-paid full-time job. One of the best ways for gamers to start earning money from their passion is streaming on Twitch.
Twitch is the king of game streaming platforms – each month, approximately 4 million unique users stream here. So you can see that the competition is pretty hot. But so are the chances of attracting a huge audience quickly and starting to earn good money. Let’s see what options for gamers there are on Twitch and how exactly you can get paid to play video games there.
How to Get Started on Twitch
1. Sign up on Twitch.
2. Download a broadcasting app.
* We suggest trying our new updated Gecata game recorder. With the latest version, Gecata not only records your gameplay flawlessly but can also stream, which makes it perfect for beginner broadcasters! The software enables you to also record your voice and overlay images from a webcam (if you want your subscribers to see your face). You can get the program at a 30% discount. You can also try any of the Twitch recommendations.
3. Get a mic if you want your viewers to hear your voice.
4. Make sure you have a PayPal account to collect your income from streaming.
How to Get Paid Playing Video Games: Where the Money Come From
There are several ways to get paid for the content you create on Twitch, some of which are only available to members of the platform’s Affiliate or Partner programs. So let’s first figure out what’s what and how you can become a partner or affiliate.
Affiliates can earn revenue from subscriptions, ads, and Bits (Twitch currency). Members of this program also have access to 14-day VOD storage. VOD (video on demand) recordings are saved streams for viewers who want to watch the game after the broadcast has ended.
You can become an Affiliate when you have:
- 500 or more minutes of broadcasting in total and at least 7 unique broadcast days – both within the last 30 days
- An average of at least 3 concurrent viewers over the last 30 days
- At least 50 followers
Twitch Partners have all the benefits of affiliates, plus a couple of additional ones. One of the major benefits is that partners can broadcast to their subscribers and VIP viewers only. That enables them to make the subscription option more attractive for regular followers.
Partners’ viewers can also adjust the quality of their streams. Partners have access to 60-day VOD storage and get priority support from the platform.
To become a partner, you need to complete the Path to a Partner – three tasks you’ll find in your creator’s cabinet on Twitch:
- Stream for 25 hours within a month
- Broadcast on 12 different days within the same 30 days
- Have an average of 75 or more viewers.
After you’ve reached these milestones, you will be able to apply to become a partner on Twitch. Then the moderators will check that your content conforms to the platform’s Community Guidelines, Terms of Service, and DMCA Guidelines. If everything is okay, your status will change to verified Twitch partner!
Now that everything is clear, let’s see what options to earn money Twitch creators have.
On Twitch, subscriptions don’t work the same way as they do on other social platforms. Here, users can either follow an account or subscribe to it. Following is completely free – it’s how viewers make sure they don’t miss any of your new streams.
Subscriptions, on the other hand, are paid for. Users subscribe to creators to support them and get some nice little perks such as emotes (custom emojis unique to each channel), ad-free viewing, exclusive chatrooms, badges, and more. Twitch subscriptions are priced between $4.99 and $24.99 a month – the more you pay, the more perks you get. Subscription fees are split fifty-fifty between the streamer and the Twitch platform. That means that for every subscriber you have, you’ll get at least $2.50.
Affiliates can get 3 different emotes (one for each program tier), while partners can create more than 50 emotes for their subscribers.
On Twitch, you don’t need to have a specific number of followers to be able to collect donations. Any regular streamer – not an affiliate or a partner – can add a donation button to their channel. However, donations on Twitch are a one-time thing. Viewers cannot subscribe and transfer the same amount of money automatically every month like on Patreon, for example.
Donations can be anywhere from $1 to thousands of dollars. So make sure you remind your viewers about this option!
Twitch has its own online currency called Bits. Viewers can react to something they like in your stream by “cheering” Bits. It’s basically tipping.
Viewers get Bits by watching 30-second ads on Twitch, or they can simply purchase them. Transferring Bits to a streamer is easy: followers just type the word “cheer” and the amount into the group chat – for example, “cheer1000”. For the streamer, each Bit equals 1 US cent. So for 1000 Bits, the streamer will receive $10.
Affiliates and Partners on Twitch earn money by running short advertisement videos at the beginning or in the middle of their streams. The mechanism is pretty much the same as on YouTube: you get one US cent for every 1000 ad views. On Twitch, it’s $2 for every one thousand views of an ad.
Another simple option for streamers that are not Twitch affiliates or partners is Affiliate Links. You can join an affiliate program at any company that offers such opportunities and then share links to their products with your viewers. You’ll get a commission for every transaction they make. For example, you can share your recommendations on equipment on Amazon or AliExpress. By the way, Movavi also has its own affiliate program! And if you like Movavi software, you can make money by recommending our products to your audience – starting at 30% for every sale.
Share your affiliate links with your viewers from time to time. But make sure to recommend only things you really like and don’t be too annoying with it – that way, you won’t lose your viewers’ trust while making some extra money from your channel.
Gaming blogs, like any other blogs, have the opportunity to earn A LOT by becoming partners with brands and promoting products to their audience. And streamers on Twitch are no exception. Here you can promote equipment (including headsets or gaming chairs), games, software – anything that’s somehow connected to gaming. When you’ve acquired a large enough audience, you can start reaching out to those companies’ marketing departments by email or at tech expos.
While this option doesn’t require Twitch Partner or Affiliate status, by the time your audience is large enough to attract the marketers, you’ll probably already have one or the other.
How to Make it Work
As always on the internet, if you want to earn money, you need to keep your audience’s attention. Make sure you offer your viewers something more than just a good game. Anything that makes you stand out will help, whether it’s an unusual sense of humor or interesting insights you can share.
Be consistent with your streams, communicate with your audience, make plenty of jokes, and use all those perks you get from your Affiliate or Partner status!
Promote your Twitch channel on other platforms, too. Try setting up a YouTube account where more potential followers can find you. Post some cool short gaming videos there – just like trailers for movies. Don’t forget about Instagram and Facebook either. Promote your channel everywhere you can!
To make these videos, you can use the same Gecata software we mentioned above. You can use it to record the same game you’re streaming – and then quickly edit it into a nice short video for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform.