What are the chances of making a living on Twitch?

Last Updated on 08/26/2021 by Dean

Are you wondering if you could make it as a Twitch streamer? What are the chances of you making money on Twitch? How hard is it to make money on Twitch? What would it take to make a living from Twitch…?

By the time you finish this article, you’ll have an answer to all these questions.

💰 This article is part of our how to make money on Twitch series.

Let’s start by asking the big question…

What are my chances of making money on Twitch?

Anyone can make money on Twitch. Making some extra side money on Twitch isn’t all that hard as we’ve covered in our previous article: how much do Twitch streamers make. Once you reach affiliate status and maintain 5 average viewers per stream, you can expect to make anywhere from $50 to $200 per month.

Now this isn’t a lot of money, and definitely not enough to live off, but it is a nice source of side income. Especially if you consider that if you keep streaming consistently, and keep focussing on improving, you will grow bigger and bigger.

Now let’s move on to a bigger question…

What are my chances of making a LIVING on Twitch?

This question is a bit more difficult to answer as it will depend on the amount of money you need in order to live comfortably.

But generally, you will need to have around 100 – 200+ consistent viewers in order to make a living from Twitch. Once you reach this point, you stand to make around $1500 – $2000 from Twitch alone and an extra $500 – $1500 from other places such as YouTube, sponsorships, Merch, and more.

By reaching this number of consistent viewers, you would already have surpassed the requirements to become a Twitch partner.

Using this information, we can conclude that while you can make money as a Twitch affiliate, you need to be at least a Twitch partner in order to make a living from Twitch.

Let’s make some calculations here. There are currently 55,135 partners on Twitch and 1,859,083 affiliates on Twitch, according to CommanderRoot (tweet below).

This means that out of every streamer that makes money on Twitch, only 2.96% makes enough to make a living from Twitch.

If we take it a step further and use Twitch Trackers data which says there are 9,602,746 current active streamers, we conclude that out of every streamer on Twitch, only 0.57% makes enough to make a living on Twitch.

Clearly the odds are not in our favor, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to make a living on Twitch.

After all, not everyone who starts streaming on Twitch has a goal in mind. Many of these active streamers are simply casuals that stream once a month or new streamers that are just testing it out.

In the next chapter of this article, we’ll take a look at how you can make money on Twitch.

How to make money on Twitch

Twitch Affiliate and Partner requirements

Earlier I mentioned the two monetization programs within Twitch: affiliate and partner status. Each of these programs comes with individual requirements.

The first and easiest program, Twitch affiliate, has the following requirements:

  • Stream for at least 500 minutes in a 30 day period
  • Stream on at least 7 unique days in a 30 day period
  • Achieve at least 3 concurrent viewers in a 30 day period
  • Have at least 50 followers on Twitch

Once you reach each of these requirements, you will automatically become eligible for Affiliate status and once you sign the contract, you will be able to earn from Twitch through subscribers and advertisements.

Of course, as mentioned before, Twitch affiliates don’t make a ton of money. Depending on their average viewers, they could make anywhere from $50 – $500 per month. Twitch affiliates mostly rely on donations.

The next program, the Twitch partner program is where Twitch streamers really start making money. The Twitch Partner program has far higher requirements though:

  • Stream for at least 25 hours in a 30 day period
  • Stream on at least 12 unique days in a 30 day period
  • Achieve at least 75 concurrent viewers in a 30 day period

Once you reach all of these requirements, you become eligible for the Twitch partner program. Unlike the Affiliate program, the application process for partners is not automated. You will have to apply first and hope Twitch accepts your application.

Set goals for yourself

If you want to make a living from Twitch, you have to set goals for yourself. Without goals, you have nothing to aim for and you are likely to start slacking off rather quickly.

Think about it: how many times have you really wanted something at one point just to pursue it for a couple of days and then quit afterwards? That’s what happens when we don’t set goals, it’s natural.

By setting goals for yourself, you give yourself something to work towards and you are more likely to keep focussing on it.

Goals can be both big and small. By only setting big goals you might set yourself up for failure. You can set a small goal like become eligible for Twitch affiliate in the next 3 months for example.

This way, you focus on getting those 3 average viewers. If you don’t succeed within 3 months, you can re-think your strategy.

Be consistent

You cannot make money as a Twitch streamer by not streaming on Twitch. That’s just a fact, you need to be consistent.

On an OfflineTV podcast, I heard Scarra and Disguised Toast talk about their fear of viewers forgetting about them if they don’t stream for a while. These are streamers with millions of followers who stream to thousands of viewers every day. Even they are afraid of not being consistent enough and being forgotten about!

Imagine you have a viewer one day who likes your stream and winds up following you but then you stop streaming for a whole month, do you think that person will remember you?

Likely, they will have moved on already.

Also consider this: how many times have you seen a name pop up somewhere multiple times. At first, this name is a stranger to you. But you keep seeing it, and at some point you decide to watch this persons stream just because you’ve seen the name so often…

This has happened to you, right? This happens to all of us. When we regularly see something or someone, we might not be interested at first, but when we keep seeing the same thing over and over at some point we become too intrigued not to give it a shot.

By remaining consistent, you will inevitably expose yourself to people who someday might join your stream.

Don’t just stream, create content

The biggest mistake you see streamers make is that they believe they can just play a video game, stream it, and the crowd will follow.

This is not how it works, especially when you’re competing with over 9 million other streamers out there.

No one wants to watch you (a stranger) play video games. They want to watch a content creator. The video game you play shouldn’t be your primary piece of content, it should be you.

Make a list of streamers you look up to and think about what they do on stream. Here’s an example list:

Ludwig himself, one of the biggest streamers out there, revealed that he often spends more time PLANNING a stream than he does actually streaming.

Ludwig’s streams are always super entertaining, hence why there are always more than 30,000 people watching. But Ludwig’s streams are not about the games he plays, his streams are about him. He is the personality, the content creator behind his own channel.

Just like a teacher doesn’t just go into a classroom unprepared, Ludwig doesn’t start streaming without first planning what he’s going to do on that stream.

If Ludwig didn’t have his comedic talent and his extroverted personality and instead focussed on gameplay, he wouldn’t nearly be as big as he is today. Heck, he probably wouldn’t even be making a living from Twitch.

Create content. Don’t just stream video games, 9 million people are doing that every month, don’t join them.

Create content beyond Twitch

Twitch is one of the worst platforms to gain exposure on. There is no built-in algorithm like YouTube and other social media platforms. On Twitch, channels are shown chronologically. If you don’t have hundreds of viewers, you are buried on page 265 of Twitch where no one ever goes.

That’s why you should focus on creating content way beyond Twitch. Post your highlights on YouTube and TikTok, start a Twitter account and follow other small streamers out there.

By leveraging other platforms, you are increasing your own exposure and driving more viewers to your Twitch stream.

Final words

As we can conclude from this article, the chances of making money from Twitch are small and the chances of making a living from Twitch are even smaller.

But you shouldn’t let those numbers stop you from chasing your dreams. Most streamers out there aren’t shooting for goals.

Most of them are simply streaming video games and don’t focus on creating content. By creating an engaging Twitch stream, you are setting yourself apart from the 9 million other streamers.

By setting goals, you can become an affiliate and eventually work your way up to become a Twitch partner. The process might take months or years but as long as you keep it consistent, work towards your goals, focus on creating an engaging stream, you could one day make enough to make a living from Twitch.

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