Making money or perhaps even making a living by selling custom merchandise on Twitch is not only possible, it’s probable if you know what you’re doing. Twitch seems to have reached its highest point yet. So, now’s the best time to start a business journey. But the question is: How to make money on Twitch?
There are a variety of different methods at your disposal, including affiliate links, merchandise to subscriptions, donations, and ad revenue as well. We’ll discuss Twitch and these various methods in-depth in this article.
What is Twitch
Twitch is the world’s leading website where users can stream live or pre-recorded videos. While the majority of videos are those of users navigating video games, other videos are simply used for chatting. Users can broadcast, watch, or both, depending on their preferences, and viewers have the ability to make comments in real-time. If you want to learn how to make money on Twitch, please keep reading.
Where did Twitch come from?
As long as there have been video games, there have been video game spectators as well. What started out as simple pong grew to incredibly life-like graphics in real-world and fantasy situations. These games have become increasingly more interesting and thrilling to watch, especially for those who lack the talent required to game well. Because of this, gaming is more and more widely becoming known as a sport as it requires dexterity, coordination, focus, and skill.
In 2011, founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear launched Twitch TV, now known as just Twitch. It was created to specifically showcase gameplay live-streams, and has taken off right from the start. As of March 2020, Twitch is already boasting 173 billion minutes watched with 3.8 million monthly streamers. Users love the interactive nature of the site because they get to communicate with like-minded individuals and learn new and interesting things about all kinds of games.
Note: March 2020 was record-breaking month by viewers and time watched
Who uses Twitch?
Anyone aged 13 and up can access content on it, although users from 13 to 18 are instructed per Twitch’s terms of service to only use the site under adult supervision. Anyone can view live gameplay or saved videos on Twitch, but if you would like to comment or broadcast yourself, you will need to sign up for a free account.
Making an account on Twitch
Making an account on Twitch is simple, and it is free to join. Once you make a free account, you are able to make comments, save favorites, or make your own broadcast. If you find a specific channel that you enjoy, you can purchase a subscription to that individual channel. You also have the option of purchasing a Twitch Turbo subscription for ad-free viewing and other perks.
The Top 10 Twitch streamers earn more than $20M per year.
How do you use it?
When you sign up for a free account on Twitch, you will get your own channel that will have your chosen username in the URL. Your page can then be edited by you, and a profile image and page title can be added to personalize your page. Once your page is created, you can use the menu bar at the top of the site to either discover top streamers, search or browse to find content that you like.
If you click on the “Discover” link at the top of the page, it will first show you live streaming videos that you may like based on your browsing and viewing history. If you scroll down further, it will show you categories that fit your interests, as well as “recommended” channels based on what you have viewed in the past. The more you view content and use the follow button, the more tailored this page will be for you.
The “Browse” button is a great place to start if you are new to the site and aren’t sure what you’re looking for. If you click on the “Browse” button at the top of the page, it will take you to a page full of categories. You can scroll and click through these categories to find content that interests you.
If you are specifically looking for live videos, you have the option of browsing them on this page as well. At the top of the page, under the word “Browse,” look for the link “Live Channels.” Clicking on this link will take you to every channel that is broadcasting live at that exact moment. You can pick one that looks interesting to you to get started and peruse from there.
If scanning through hundreds of live videos is overwhelming to you, you can always start with the “Recommended Channels” list. This list is located at the top left of your screen when you are in the browse tab. It shows you the most popular live streaming videos in real-time, so you can start with the popular ones to find what you like or dislike.
If you are interested in broadcasting on Twitch, the process is typically quite simple. Specific steps depend on what type of gaming platform you are using, whether it is a PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or even Android or iOS. No matter which gaming system you use, you will have to have the basics: a gaming device, webcam, headset or microphone, a fast internet connection, and a Twitch account.
Once you have all the basics, there are a few apps that need to be downloaded in order to get you up and running. For a basic stream that consists of your live video, in-game audio, and your audio/visual output, download an app like OBS (Open Broadcast Software). This will allow you to get up and running easily after being prompted to choose a few settings and preferences. If you are looking at how to make money on Twitch, there are more apps you could use( e.g. Streamlabs OBS, NVIDIA Shadowplay, Bebo). Once the app of your choice is downloaded and set-up, the steps to follow are different based on your content.
How to make money on Twitch? 💸
The dream of many middle schoolers today is to grow up to be a professional gamer or streamer. Making money on Twitch, however, is not as easy as it may seem. Professional gamers get their start on a site like Twitch. They gain a following and begin to make money in multiple different ways. If their skills are on-par and their following is large enough, they gain more and more attention and can get offers to professional gaming competitions. In this type of instance, a team or company will likely sponsor the gamer at large events, and the gamer will compete.
The focus on being a professional streamer is a little different. Streamers are interested in making money on Twitch and other live streaming sites. Professional streamers provide their viewers with live content. In return, viewers show their support with subscriptions, buying merch or donations. Streamers also make their money from affiliate marketing and ad revenue. There are five main ways to make money on Twitch. They are detailed below.
45% of Twitch users say they would buy a product or service simply for the experience of being part of the community built around it, 1.45 times the global average. – GlobalWebIndex
1. Make money on Twitch with your own merchandise
The last, and arguably most under-used, way of making money on Twitch is to sell merchandise. Many viewers who follow channels closely would love to represent their favorite streamer by wearing a hoodie or t-shirt with their logo on it. The most popular streamers make a ton of money selling merchandise with their face or logo or handle displayed on it. It’s just another great way for viewers to support their favorite streamers and show their pride.
To sell their merchandise, streamers typically post a link on their page that sends you directly to their merchandise. From there, viewers can peruse any merchandise you choose to sell and a portion of the proceeds goes directly to you. To post on your site, you first have to find a company to make and sell your merchandise. 👇
Fortunately, companies like Printify will print and ship your merchandise for you. All you have to do is design custom t-shirts, custom hoodie, custom phone cases, etc. and you will receive a portion of the profits from every sale.
TOP 6 successful merchandise examples on Twitch
Below is a compilation of some of the most popular streamers on Twitch at the moment, and examples of their custom merchandise.
Timthetatman has 4.4 million followers on Twitch, and his channel attracts thousands of viewers each day. He specializes in broadcasting himself playing games like Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, and Fortnite. He is sponsored by Monster Energy, among other big-name companies.
Timthetatman has a unique logo that he displays on his merchandise that is a “Bleagle.” A Bleagle is a combination of a bear, lion, and eagle artistically portrayed in a tattoo-style design. This logo is displayed on shirts and sweatshirts, and his handle is also depicted on sweatpants.
Pestily is an Australian ex-military member who specializes in the game Escape from Tarkov. He is quickly gaining in popularity and currently has about 487,000 followers, although this number is growing fast. Pestily designed his logo based on some of the popular interests that he talks about on his channel: “the Pestilian Army, toasters, and the word moist.”
While these seemingly unrelated things may be confusing to you, a die-hard follower recognizes and appreciates such a unique and personalized logo. Also, custom stickers of his infamous logo is one of the most popular selling items in his merchandise store because it is inexpensive and followers can post it anywhere to show their pride.
SypherPK is a professional Fortnite player who streams on both Twitch and Youtube. He is popular for showing other Fortnite players tips about how to play the game and tricks for succeeding. He currently has about 2.9 million followers and goes live almost every single day.
SypherPK, like other popular streamers, uses print on demand sites to manage his online merchandise. While he doesn’t provide a wide range of options for people to choose from, his basic logo t-shirts are popular enough to supply him with a steady stream of revenue.
Perhaps the most widely known professional gamer and streamer today is Ninja. Ninja has achieved a following of 14.7 million followers on his Twitch channel alone. While he got his start playing Halo 3, Ninja is now most known for his Fortnite play. Because many of his viewers are a younger audience, Ninja has made his live-streams more appropriate for all of his viewers.
Ninja’s merchandise store is much larger than some others because of his large fan base and quick rise in popularity. He is one of the only streamers that you will see that posts merchandise for youth. His Ninja Kids Tee comes in youth sizes and allows his younger followers to wear his logo proudly.
NickMercs is known for his Fortnite console play. He has almost 3.3 million followers and gains more and more every day. His live streams get thousands of viewers each time that interact, donate, and purchase subscriptions. His custom merchandise link takes you directly to a controller with his design on it.
Tfue has 7.8 million followers and lots of controversy surrounding him as well. He rose to fame quickly for his Fortnite play and utilizes both Twitch and YouTube to gain popularity. Tfue’s merchandise page on redbubble.com is extensive and unique. Not only does it feature clothing and accessories with his logo and name on them, but he also sells things with popular quotes that he says as well. He even sells a sticker of his face in his shop. This wide variety of products draw his viewers in and allows them all to find a product that speaks to them.
How much do streamers make?
Answering the question, “How much do streamers make?” is quite difficult. As you can see, from all the information detailed above, the answer is not simple and straightforward. The amount of money you make as a streamer can vary greatly, and it all depends on you. The more you take advantage of ad revenue, affiliate links, and merchandise, the more money you will make.
Some streamers make $100 a month and are happy. Others, like NickMercs, make an estimated $65,000 a month. This is a wide range of revenue, but you get out of it what you put into it. NickMercs live streams almost every single day and utilizes all types of revenue streams to make the money that he does. He also has worked hard to acquire a large fan base that pays donations and subscriptions.
While it may seem like a dream to play video games and make money, it is much, much more difficult than it sounds. No one wants to watch a semi-skilled gamer mutter under his breath at himself and swear at the screen every few minutes. The streamers that grow in popularity are not only highly skilled players, but they are great entertainers. They can captivate their audience and connect with them on a personal level without even meeting them in person. They can keep an audience engaged while simultaneously playing a challenging game and offering to be part of the community by selling merch. Those who can do all those things successfully grow in popularity and gain followers on a site like Twitch.
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2. Make money on Twitch with affiliate marketing
One of the most common ways for streamers to make money is through affiliate schemes. Businesses use the fact that streamers attract a specific demographic of people to their advantage. They use certain Twitch channels to promote affiliate products and attract the demographic they are targeting. It is common for popular streamers to put affiliate banners and links in the description of their channel as click-bait for their viewers.
Join the Printify affiliate program. Earn from every order for the following 12 months
This all makes sense, but how to make money on Twitch from this? When one of their viewers clicks on the specific link or banner on their page, it takes them to some type of product or page of products. If the viewer makes a purchase from that page, the business or company pays the streamer a percentage of the purchase. For most physical products, a streamer’s commission is anywhere from 3-10%, while digital products have a commission range of 10-50%.
Other options on how to make money on Twitch?
Another easy and low maintenance way for streamers to make money on Twitch is through ad revenue. Similar to an affiliate link, companies or businesses can pay streamers to promote their services or products on their stream. Big-name streamers are typically sought-after by companies. Streamers will post banners or links to the company, and can also verbally talk about the company live on-air. Each time links are clicked or their name is mentioned, the streamer is paid a small fee.
Another way to generate revenue from ads on Twitch is for the streamer to directly display an ad to their viewers as soon as they join. Most ads are 15-60 seconds long, and play before the viewer can view the live stream or archived video. Some popular streamers also play ads mid-stream to boost their ad revenue and give themselves a quick break without going off the air.
For each ad that plays for your viewers, you receive a specific price. This is typically arranged in cost per 1,000 views and can have a price range between $2 to $3. While this does not seem like a lot, streamers with lots of followers can quickly and easily make money this way.
For example, let’s say you have been streaming for aa few years and have gained a large following. If you have 15,000 viewers for one live stream, and each viewer is shown the same ad when they enter your channel, that has the potential to generate $30-$60 worth of revenue. Show the video one more time in the middle of your stream when you need a break, and that is another $30-$60. Over time, these amounts add up and require very little work on your part.
Subscriptions are another way how to monetize and make money on Twitch. The site itself gives users the option to support their favorite streamers by purchasing a subscription to their channels. A subscription is $4.99 and unlocks special features, such as new emoticons, subscription badges, and even a potential live shout-out from the streamer.
On the business end, streamers get 50% of the money earned from subscriptions, while Twitch gets the rest. A 50/50 split is a really great deal, so many streamers try hard to get subscriptions. There is a chance, if your channel becomes extremely popular down the line, that you can negotiate with Twitch to receive more than 50% of the profits. In order to really make money from subscriptions and gain a lot of followers, you have to stream live videos very frequently. Only one or two videos a week does not allow a channel to gain enough subscriptions for much revenue.
If you are really lucky, and develop a devoted fan base, you can also make money on Twitch by receiving donations from your viewers. Viewers have the option of giving donations to their favorite streamers in basically any amount. The largest one-time Twitch donation on record is $57,000. While receiving a donation that large is extremely rare, getting multiple smaller donations is much more common. Viewers can donate as little as one dollar to their favorite channels.
So what do you get for donating to your favorite channel? Absolutely nothing. Giving a donation means that you technically get nothing in return for your money. Just the good feeling of supporting someone that entertains you.
As with all things, these professional streamers did not start out as amazing gamers and entertainers. They practiced. They worked hard. They failed and failed again. But it’s totally possible, and this is the best time to do it!
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