How Gaming Streamers Make Money

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What do the best Fortnite, CS: GO and slot streamers have in common? They all stream multiple hours a week. Some professionals stream in excess of 10 hours per day. Others work in groups to broadcast their videos 24/7.

For many streamers, Twitch YouTube and Facebook are their money-making machines. It’s where their bread gets buttered. But how exactly do gaming streamers make money?

Twitch Affiliates

Twitch Affiliates is a program that aims to help budding and experienced streamers make money on the platform. To qualify, you need to fulfill these criteria.

• Attract a fanbase of 50 followers
• Stream for eight or more hours within a month
• Stream for seven or more days within a month
• Average three viewers per stream

Twitch invites you into the affiliates program automatically. So, all you need is to know what they need and fulfill the requirements. The platform doesn’t ask much—provide a way to get paid and your tax information.

The affiliates program lets you earn money through Bits, subscriptions and selling games and skins. Bits include things like badges and emoticons that help your fans identify with your show. A bit is worth $0.01, meaning you need to sell 1000 bits to earn $10.

On the flip side, you earn 5% of video game related purchases on Twitch. Let’s say you stream a game with a trending skin. If one of your fans purchases it, you earn 5% of the revenue collected.


Subscriptions are a huge source of revenue for video game streamers. You qualify for this feature after joining the Twitch Affiliates program. This also means the subscription button appears automatically on your channel once you reach the required threshold. 

Your fans can subscribe in one of three plans:

• $4.99
• $9.99
• $24.99

Sadly, Twitch takes half of subscription money. If your friend subscribes $5 to your channel, you receive $2.5. If they subscribe $24.99, you receive $12.50 That said, subscriptions can earn you decent money.

With 1000 subscribers on the starter package, you earn $2,500 per month. And this is just one of the ways to monetize your channel. What’s more, you can negotiate your deal with Twitch so that you earn 70% while they keep 30% of your subscriptions.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another way you can make money as a streamer. You don’t need to be a Twitch affiliate to market brands for commissions. But it helps to have a sizeable audience you can market products to.

The specific products you to choose to sell depends on the games you stream on Twitch or YouTube. Let’s say you’re a casino stream who predominantly play slots. It makes more sense to market new online casinos USA than to promote PC accessories on Amazon.

By comparison, a video gamer who reviews gaming equipment often can join Amazon affiliates to promote gaming accessories. That said, you can partner with multiple brands. This can, in turn, help to maximize your profits. 


Twitch was the first streaming network to support donations. But lately, both YouTube and Facebook also let you donate money to your favorite streamers. On Twitch, you have to provide a means for your fans to donate.

On YouTube, there’s a “join” feature that allows you to donate or to subscribe to a particular channel. On Facebook, this feature is in-built meaning all you need is to activate it.

With that in mind, donations aren’t a sure way of making money as a streamer. Although some people are consistent in donating, most people do it once and forget. Due to that, you need to remind your fans to donate to your channel constantly. 

Video Ads

Adverts are the primary way to make money on YouTube. A couple of years ago, you could monetize your channel on the same day you launched it. Nowadays, YouTube demands that you accumulate 4000 watch hours within one year for this privilege.

On average, YouTube streamers make $18 for every 1000 ad views. But since not everyone watches adverts, channel owners rake just $3 to $5 for 1000 video views. In other words, you need 100,000 viewers to make $500 on YouTube.

Twitch supports ads too. But many streamers prefer other monetization tactics over ads. Here’s why. Gamers hate disruptions, least of them being adverts. The Amazon-owned network also protects viewers’ experiences by requiring streamers to space ads between eight minutes.

Many streamers also give their fans a chance to avoid disruptions from ads by subscribing. However, some people still prefer to watch ads than to pay for a monthly subscription.

Twitch Partners

Most people tend to relate Twitch Partners with Twitch affiliates. However, the partnership program is for elite gamers.  As a result, Twitch has different standards for members of this program compared to Twitch Affiliates.

According to Twitch, the ideal Twitch Partner needs to produce the best content for his or he audience. What’s more, the streamer needs to grow their fanbase over time by streaming quality content frequently. 

What are the benefits of joining the Twitch Partnership program? For starters, you get all the benefits Twitch affiliates receive—subscriptions, bits, video ads and affiliate marketing. Additionally, you can personalize your viewers’ experiences through controlled video quality, customized emoticons and access to your archives.

Another advantage of joining Twitch Partnerships is that you can sell merchandise. Twitch has an exclusive platform for selling branded merchandise. However, you also have the freedom to sell whatever merchandise you want as long as the products are legal. 


Although subscriptions are the main way streamers make money, sponsorships hold the potential to bring a lot more money. Top streamers get paid up to $1 million to promote a new video game or brand for a month.

By comparison, you would need 25 million paying $2.5 million on your channel to earn $1 million. So, how can you attract sponsors as a streamer? Basically, all you need is a huge fanbase. 

And you build a fanbase by creating quality content. If you’re also a professional gamer, then you can get exposure and access to sponsors quicker. 


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