How to make money on Twitch

Guest post by: Aadam Wajid
Twitch and Youtube are at war, fighting it out over the live streamer's base. And while YouTube Gaming has given it some competition, Twitch still holds the crown for live streaming with a 90% market share of streamed hours.
So, what's the streaming giant's secret? Why are creators so loyal to the platform? And how the heck do they make money on Twitch?
Well, we're going to investigate the answers to these questions in this article. So let's get to it.
Twitch is the go-to platform for most live streamers mainly because it was created for them. By that, I mean Twitch caters to streamers' needs and helps them grow their personal brands. The platform is super interactive with a massive, dedicated fanbase and extensive monetization features.
Plus, not only is the platform mature, but Twitch users are also heavily invested in live streams. Twitch fans use the platform to watch live streams and connect with their favorite creators. In contrast, alternative streaming platforms like YouTube Gaming and Facebook cater to everyone, so creators might struggle to find their niche audience.
With Twitch, creators have an easier time building and nurturing an engaged fanbase.
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Requirements to make money on Twitch

Any streamer can, in theory, make money on Twitch. But in practice, you'll need a large following and qualify for Twitch's creator programs to start seeing real money.
You might have heard of the exclusive Twitch Partner program - which gives you access to Twitch's best monetization features. But before you can become a Twitch Partner, you'll need to achieve Twitch Affiliate status.
Here's a rundown of the requirements to make money on Twitch.

Can regular Twitch users make money?

In theory, yes. Regular users, i.e., non-affiliates and non-partners, can use off-platform features and agreements to make money. For example, you can land sponsorship deals, sell your own merch, and join external affiliate programs.
But there's a problem here which you've probably picked up on - who's going to buy from you? Unless you have a large, loyal audience, selling on Twitch is challenging.  So, you'll need to grow your Twitch audience before you can monetize successfully.

The Twitch Affiliate program - requirements and benefits

To become a Twitch affiliate, you'll need:
  • At least 50 followers over the past month
  • At least 500 cumulative broadcasting minutes
  • At least three concurrent viewers on average
  • A week's worth of unique broadcast days
If you meet the Twitch Affiliate program's requirements, the streaming platform will display a notice on your creator's dashboard. They'll also formally invite you to join the program via email.
Twitch Affiliates get access to the platform's basic monetization features, which includes:
  • Channel subscriptions
  • Bits
  • Earnings from video games sales.
To access the platform's more advanced monetization features, you'll need to qualify for the Twitch Partner program.

Becoming a Twitch Partner: requirements and advantages

Twitch Partners unlock new, better ways to make money on Twitch. Because of how exclusive the program is, the conditions are naturally stringent.
To become a Twitch Partner, you'll need to already be a Twitch Affiliate.  You also need to meet Twitch's Path to Partner criteria. This involves streaming for 25  and 12 unique days, and reaching an average of 75 viewers, all over the past month.
After meeting these requirements, an "Apply" button appears on your achievements dashboard, so you throw your lot in to join the program. But, Twitch won't necessarily make you a partner. The program is highly exclusive, and Twitch qualifies only the best streamers.
You can increase your chances of being accepted by streaming more frequently, engaging your users more, and gaining more concurrent viewers. So, you'll need a solid content strategy!
Twitch Partners get access to the following benefits:
  • Custom cheermotes (to help you incentivize users to subscribe)
  • Video-on-demand for 60 days (as opposed to the 14 days that affiliates get)
  • Up to 60 unlockable sub emotes
  • A dedicated support team
  • More promotion opportunities

How to make money on Twitch: your options

Your options for making money on Twitch include using the platform's monetization features, or establishing external revenue streams. Let's check both routes out.

How to earn through Twitch's monetization features

Twitch's monetization features are exclusively available to Twitch Affiliates and Twitch Partners, and the live streaming platform takes a cut of your earnings.

1. Channel subscriptions

Twitch subscriptions are one of the most popular revenue streams for Twitch creators. You can choose from charging fans $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 per month for a subscription.
Sounds promising, right? It is, but Twitch takes a steep 50% cut of your subscription earnings. However,  popular Twitch streamers have been known to negotiate better rates with the streaming giant. So after growing your platform, there's room for you to earn more.

2. Twitch bits and cheers

The simplest way to think of a Twitch bit is as a mini-donation. Your fans can purchase bits off Twitch and 'cheer' you on in the chat, adding the bits' value to your earnings.

3. Run ads on your channel

Running ads is a great way to pull in advertising revenue, but again, the option to run video ads is exclusive to the Twitch affiliate program and partner program.
Partners get more control over running inline ads - they can choose how long to run the ads for and run them during their streams. Twitch pays creators per 1000 views, but the amount isn't fixed. The payout depends on various factors, like the number of concurrent viewers, location, time of year, etc.
Naturally, Twitch also splits the ad revenue generated with creators. Many Twitch streamers have reported earning anywhere from $0.25-$2 per 1000 views, with the $1-$2 range being more common.

4. Custom emotes and subscriber benefits

Okay, so these options won't directly pay you. But you can use custom emotes and exclusive benefits to encourage Twitch users to subscribe.
More subscribers, more revenue. You can consider offering subscribers ad-free viewing, exclusive content, or access to one-on-one correspondence. Get creative!

How to monetize your Twitch following

Leveraging Twitch's monetization features isn't the only way to monetize your fanbase. After growing your Twitch channel, there are plenty of ways to increase your earnings.  Plus, if you generate revenue externally, you won't need to split your earnings with Twitch.
Here are some of the most popular external monetization strategies.

1. Sell your fans merch

Loyal subscribers are your fans. And what do fans love? Merch.
As a Twitch streamer, you're in a strategic position to offer merch that resonates with your fans. Marketers are always heavily researching their 'target audience' and coming up with 'buyer's personas', and all that technical stuff.
Creators? Creators already know what their fans want, and who they are, and what they like. So after building a loyal community, think over what products your fans will truly appreciate. And then start selling your own merchandise.

2. Negotiate brand sponsorship deals

Brand sponsorships are one of the most rewarding revenue streams, but landing sponsorship opportunities isn't easy. You'll not only need to establish a large following, but a loyal fanbase.
By 'loyal fanbase', I mean your fans should trust your personal brand and be invested in your channel. When brands seek out streamers for influencer marketing campaigns, they're looking for streamers that connect with their audience on a deeper level.
If you need help landing brand sponsorships, you might want to read this article on how to get more brand deals.

3. Become an affiliate marketer

One of the most significant advantages of affiliate marketing is the accompanying freedom. You're free to choose products that you love and truly believe in, and can earn by marketing them to your audience.
With affiliate marketing, your followers don't have to pay additional costs - they only pay for the items' asking price. This means there's less friction in the buying process, making it easier to sell products. Plus, creators can usually negotiate special deals and discounts for their followers, providing even more value to their fans.

4. Upload and sell your streams on-demand

Got an exclusive stream that provides tons of entertainment value? Maybe you covered a major tournament or event? Then consider uploading your stream and selling the video on demand to earn more money.

How Jemi helps you make money on Twitch

Whether you're a Twitch, TikTok, or Instagram creator, there's an unpleasant common denominator: your fans aren't on your turf. And neither are you.
This means you're at the mercy of the platform's revenue-sharing policies, content restrictions, and other limitations. Take the Twitch Partner program, for example - you have to consistently meet strict requirements to retain your status. Otherwise, you lose most of your revenue streams.
So as your audience grows, it's important to establish ways to earn money on your terms. And on your turf. That's why it's crucial to have your own website. And while there are many website builders out there, Jemi is purpose-built for creators.
Here's how to make money on Twitch with Jemi.
You've got plenty of excellent content, but how do you make it easy for users to find? By neatly organizing it in one place.
Jemi lets you create an online website in minutes to organize your most important content. Embed your favorite videos, share your playlist, and post updates, all in one place.

Sell branded merch right from your Jemi store

The old problem with selling your own merch is that it's simply easier said than done. There are many technicalities involved in setting up an online store, which most creators don't have the time or experience for.
Jemi solves this problem by letting you sell products directly from your Jemi store. No coding, downloads, or plugins needed. Just drag and drop your way to a fully monetized store.

Own your fanbase

Jemi gives you control over your own fanbase. Your Jemi website is your own turf, with no streaming requirements or 50-50 revenue splitting. You also have complete control over communicating with fans - collect their emails with Jemi's form feature, or set up your own exclusive website membership.

Closing thoughts

We're living in the age of creators, influencers, and hustlers, and platforms are quickly adapting to the modern landscape. Twitch previously locked its monetization features behind the exclusive Partner program, but the relatively newer Affiliate program made it easier for creators to start making money.
Ultimately, the most reliable way to secure long-term recurring income is to create your own platform, which is why websites are so important. If you're looking for a place to organize all your most important content, and monetize your following, try Jemi out.
Getting started with Jemi is free. And easy.

Frequently Asked Questions

On the road to growing their channels, creators have many questions about how to make money on Twitch. Here are some of the most common asks:

How much money do Twitch streamers make?

Twitch streamers make anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, with the most popular streamers making six figures.  1000 subs could get you around $2500, and 500 Twitch bits get you $5.

How many Twitch followers do you need to make money?

You need at least 50 followers to achieve Twitch Affiliate status, in addition to meeting other requirements. Becoming an affiliate or partner is necessary to access Twitch's monetization features and start making money.

How many viewers do you need to get paid on Twitch?

You only need three concurrent viewers on average to achieve Twitch affiliate status, but you'll need around 500 concurrent viewers or more to make serious money.

How much does Twitch pay per 1000 views?

It depends on many factors, including where your fans are located, your number of concurrent viewers, the current season, etc. But creators generally earn $1-$2 per 1000 views, although payouts can reportedly dip to $0.25 per 1000 views.