If you were to look at the Twitch TV tracker, you would notice a significant growth of viewers over the years. At the beginning of January 2013, the monthly average was around 140 thousand. In January 2022, the number jumped to almost 3 million.
One could argue that the pandemic had to do a lot with the rise of Twitch TV, and there is a lot of truth to it. But it is also hard to ignore the fact that the viewership numbers were going steadily up.
More viewers mean more streamers, and those who make it on the platform can expect to monetize their content.
As a rule of thumb, streamers use multiple methods to make money on Twitch TV. It would not make sense to limit yourself to just one option, right? If you are uncertain how to make the most income on your channel, the suggestions below should be quite useful.
Let’s start with custom merchandise. This idea is quite popular because it works both ways in the sense that viewers get something valuable in return while supporting their favorite streamer.
Streamers selling custom merchandise on Twitch usually collaborate with professional designers and high-quality manufacturers because they want to preserve their image in high regard. Low-quality merchandise is a good way to damage one’s reputation after a negative backlash from the community.
Some of the most popular merchandise ideas include:
- Face masks
As a streamer on Twitch TV, you can add a link in your bio that redirects viewers to the merchandise store and see the money roll in.
Donations from viewers are arguably the most straightforward method to make money on the platform.
However, there has to be a catch because you are unlikely to get money just like that. Many streamers implement various catches to bait donations, such as custom-made text-to-speech AI that reads a message out loud to the streamer and all the viewers.
Donating money together with a video or a song is also popular. Viewers who do this feel like they are affecting the way the stream is going, and that is one of the highs they can get by donating money to a streamer.
Subscribers already receive multiple perks, such as access to custom chat emotes or the option to participate in the chat when it is set to subscribers-only mode.
These parks are not always enough. You will see many streamers showcasing various subscriber goals, such as getting new computer hardware, playing a specific game, doing charity work, and so on.
Subathons have become a popular phenomenon on Twitch as well. With each subscriber, more time gets added to the total of how long the stream will last, and it results in streams lasting for days or even weeks without interruptions.
Even though Twitch TV gets a cut of money for every subscription, subscriber count is still one of the biggest metrics to determine how successful a streamer is and how much money they are making.
Stretching your content to other platforms is another worthwhile consideration. It is common for streamers to hire dedicated video editors who create videos from streams and post them as highlights on a YouTube channel.
YouTube has its own monetization methods, such as ads, and the viewers on Twitch TV are not necessarily the same as YouTube subscribers. However, if someone stumbles upon a streamer’s YouTube channel and likes the content, they might be interested in checking a stream on Twitch TV. And the higher the viewership numbers, the better it is for the streamer.
Sponsored streams are not that common because they often lead to a different type of content on a channel and result in fewer viewers. Long-term, a streamer is likely to damage their channel if they stick to sponsored streams for too long.
Let’s use Raid: Shadow Legends as an example. This game has become a big meme in the gaming community, but you still see some streamers with the #ad hashtag in their stream title playing Raid: Shadow Legends because they receive a hefty compensation. The average viewer numbers drop significantly, however.
Ultimately, a sponsored stream is okay now and then, but you should not depend on this monetization method too much.
The last suggestion is coaching. If you play video games and have viewers who would like to get better, you could take on a mentor role and provide one-on-one coaching sessions for a fee.
Some trainees might be okay with the whole process being streamed live, whereas others would like the session to be private, without viewers, so that should be something you need to consider as a streamer.