Twitch has grown in popularity by leaps and bounds and there are many streamers making a full-time income from this platform. “How much do Twitch streamers make?” is a question that often comes to your mind when you see top-of-the-line gamers and streamers boasting their income figures. In this article, I have tried to cover the scope of income as a Twitch streamer so that you can get a clear idea as to what you can expect to earn initially and later on when you become a Twitch pro!
Top Twitch streamers can make a healthy income from this platform by playing games and doing live streams.
Before I delve a bit deeper into what kind of money these Twitch Stars could be minting, it’s only prudent to have a look at some Twitch statistics.
- Twitch has grown tremendously in popularity and now sports more than 3.3 million broadcasters per month and the number seems to be growing with every passing day. (This obviously means that more and more gamers and streamers are not adopting Twitch as one of their income sources).
- Every month, 48 billion minutes’ worth of Twitch broadcasts are being watched every month.
- What is even more interesting is that at any moment in time, more than 1.1 million viewers watch Twitch and at busy times this number can swell up to as much as 4 million viewers!
Highest Paid Twitch Streamers 2021
We are not done with 2022 yet and the latest income figures that are available are for 2021. Here is the list of top Twitch earners for 2021:
|Top Earner||Earnings (In USD)|
|1. Ninja||$25 million|
|2. PewDiePie||$20 million|
|3. Shroud||$12 million|
|4. TimTheTatman||$8 million|
|5. Dr. Disrespect||$6 million|
|6. Nickmercs||$5-8 million|
|7. Summit1g||upto $7.5 million|
|8. Syndicate||$4.8 million|
|9. xQc||$1.5-4 million|
|10. Pokimane||$1-3 million|
Sources Of Income for Twitch Streamers
In ways to make money on Twitch, I have already discussed various ways that Twitch streamers can make money online in detail. Here I am listing some of the ways that you can build your income portfolio on Twitch:
- Affiliate Links
- Selling customized merchandise
- Tournament Winnings
I must mention here that even though these ways of making money are available to almost all Twitch streamers but you need to have a sizable audience before you can even think of making money through these methods.
In order to be able to start making money through the above-mentioned ways you need to have met the following criteria:
- Stream for at least 500 minutes in the last 30 days
- Steam on at least seven days in the last 30 days
- Receive an average of three concurrent viewers per stream
- Grow your audience to 50 followers
In case you are able to meet the above-mentioned criteria, Twitch will automatically invite you to their Affiliate program. Yep! You become a Twitch Affiliate and this opens up a lot more ways to make money on Twitch through:
- Twitch Bits
- Twitch Subscriptions
- Sell games, in-game items, and T-shirts from their Twitch page
But this is not where the buck stops!
Twitch also invites you to become a Twitch Partner.
Apart from all of the above-mentioned ways Twitch partners can make money through yet another way which is – VIDEO ADS
Even though that may not sound like a huge benefit, there are many non-moneymaking benefits that Twitch Partners are entitled to.
Top 10 Twitch Streamers Rake in More than $20M Per Year
It wouldn’t be wrong that the top streamers on twitch are making a moolah!
However, I cannot stress enough that these top streamers are also some of the most talented professional e-sport players which gives them an edge over others and makes them extremely powerful influencers.
It is estimated that the top 10 Twitch streamers make well over $20 million/year among themselves.
Now, it is worth noting that these streamers are not the stereotypical gaming bums who spend their entire day playing games and never find a job. These top Twitch streamers are shrewd business people who are able to maximize the potential of their gaming talents.
These Twitch streamers are not just gamers but are powerful entertainers too. What makes them a hit with their followers and subscribers is not just their gaming ability but also their commentaries and conversations which makes their fans return back to their channel every time they go live with a stream. Their fans come to their channels for entertainment and are even ready to pay for that!
Twitch affiliates and Partners earn a certain percentage of money that people pay when they subscribe to their channels. Affiliates can allow their subscribers a single Sub Emote that they can use in the chat room. However, Twitch Partners can allow up to 50 Sub Emotes to their subscribers as an incentive for subscribing at higher levels.
Viewers can choose from these different levels of subscriptions that come at a price of $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month. The interesting part is that these earnings are shared between Twitch and the Twitch Partner in an equal share, which obviously means that the Twitch Partner gets 50% of these earnings. What is even more interesting is that large broadcasters can receive an even higher percentage of this subscription revenue that can even go up to 100% in some cases.
Subscriptions are a great source of recurring income for streamers and they continue to get their share of earnings till the time the subscriber actively cancels his subscription.
It is estimated that successful streamers can earn within the range of $3-$5k per month from subscriptions alone while the top broadcasters can earn substantially more.
Bit and Cheers
Bits can be called the virtual currency of Twitch. Channel subscribers buy them and they can redeem them to Cheer in their favorite streamers’ chatrooms.
- Bit gems and Cheernotes are a range of animated emojis and their worth varies in amounts of bit. For instance, a small gray Bit gem is worth one bit and large red highly animated star Bit gems are worth 10,000 bits each.
- Cheernotes are different in the sense that the streamers customize them according to their own liking. However, they also work in the same manner.
Whenever a fan uses a Bit gem or Cheernote, Twitch pays subscribers one cent per Bit.
Twitch ads are yet another source of income for Twitch Partners. It is interesting to note that as per CNBC, advertising revenue averages about $250 per 100 subscribers. It is but natural that most streamers are interested in it.
Twitch allows pre-roll ads and they pay streamers as per the CPM model – for every 1000 views.
Ad blocking is something that seems to have reduced ad earnings of many streamers of late and this is why most streamers are now asking their fans to turn off Ad Blockers to help them.
CPM prices do not remain the same throughout the year and are supposed to be seasonal. They can vary from $2 to $10 per 10000 views and the best months when advertisers pay the highest include June, October, November, and December. As a result, ad earnings of Twitch Partners escalate during these months.
Advertising rates are different for different streamers. It is a common practice for Twitch to draft individualized contracts with each streamer listing their personal rates and rewards. Because of the nature of these contracts and the confidentiality clause within them, it is difficult to determine the exact amount that streamers earn from advertising.
Winning Price Money
As mentioned above, the top streamers are professional e-sports players. It’s worth noting that e-sports are huge and even enjoy dedicated TV channels.
Top broadcasters not only make a good amount of money from their Twitch streams but also from winnings from their championship games.
- Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi has a decent following on Twitch with 12,186 followers. Even though this is not as big as top streamers that have millions of followers, he is a Captain and support player at Team Liquid Data 2.
- He is known to perform exceptionally well in e-sports Championships and boasts of the highest overall earnings to the tune of $4,097,926.95 from e-Sports playing.
- Interestingly enough, more than half of these earnings ie., $2,172,536.60 can be attributed to winnings from The International (T17) in 2017!
- Interestingly enough, he has won 37 gaming tournaments and has been runner-up in 13 tournaments. He is considered one of the top 5 Dota players of all time.
Estimated Earnings of the Top Twitch Streamer
I don’t think this article can be complete without mentioning the estimated earnings of the top Twitch streamer or Ninja aka Richard “Tyler” Blevins who proudly boasts of close to 12 million followers. He is famous for playing Fortnite.
According to Mediakix, Ninja is supposed to be making $5,417,447 a year and this could include:
- Subscription – $3,955,571
- Ad – $509,521
- Bit Donations – $316,354.92
- Average Sponsorship – $600,000
- Average Estimated YouTube Compensation – $36,000
However, these earnings might be an overestimation. Twitch stats suggests that he made just $19,577.10 from Bit Donations in September 2020. Not just this, there were months when he made less than $10000.
Nonetheless, he is still making good money to live off gaming!
I am sure by reading this article, you have a clear idea as to how much money you can make as a streamer on Twitch if you get into the rank of Top streamers.