How to Make Money On Twitch [Updated 2017]

how to make money on twitch

When it comes to making money, having many streams of income is smart. Getting paid from different sources offers the greatest return on time invested.

Think about if for just a moment. When you automate your income, you don’t have to do much to keep revenue coming in. Systems are set up that do the hard work for you.

You make money while you sleep, vacation, and work on other projects. More importantly, if an income stream isn’t making money, you have other streams to fall back on. That’s what I call smart thinking.

Among the most popular ideas for making side income these days is Twitch. Twitch is “the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers”.

With over 1.7 million broadcasters and 100 million community members, it makes sense to see it as a realistic source of income. After all, the average Twitch user watches 106 minutes of video streaming per day! Here’s how to make money on Twitch.

What is Twitch?

Founded in 2011, Twitch’s live and video on demand platform has gained popularity. It’s a leader in the industry and caters to “game developers, publishers, media outlets, events, casual content creators, and the entire esports scene.”

The dedicated gaming community allows members to broadcast live gameplay footage from their PC, Mac or gaming console as well as footage of their reactions. The live commentary helps clear up questions as well as make the experience fun, interesting, and interactive for everyone watching it.

What equipment do you need?

There are a few necessities you will have to have before getting started with Twitch.

  1. PC, Mac, or gaming system. You can either use your computer or a video game system to use Twitch. If using a computer, a PC or Mac should be fine, as long as it’s gaming-ready. You can also use a PS4 or Xbox One, but Twitch’s co-founder says they may be the last dedicated game systems to be supported.
  2. Capture device. A capture card such as the AVerMedia Live Gamer HD or a game capture device like the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 or Roxio Game Capture HD PRO is also essential.
  3. Software to broadcast your streams. Broadcast software such as FFSplit and Open Broadcaster Software are needed. Both options are free and necessary for broadcasting footage. Paid broadcasting software is available for anyone with the means to buy it.
  4. Webcam. A good webcam is necessary. With Twitch, you’ll be broadcasting not only your game footage, but also yourself. You’ll want to look for high resolution (at least 640 x 480) and a high frame rate (also called fps – frames per second). Shoot for at least 30 fps on a good webcam. Other things to look for in a webcam are a glass lens (instead of plastic) with auto-focusing and auto-light adjustment. A built-in mic is also a nice feature.
  5. Twitch account. You also need a Twitch account, which is available for free at The signup form consists of four fields (username, password, birthday, and email address) and requires members to agree to the website’s terms of service and privacy policy. Connecting a Twitch account with an existing Facebook account is also an option as it saves time.
  6. PayPal. A PayPal account is recommended as it allows you to create a donation button which helps generate income for you. It also gives you a second payment option as Twitch pays by check or PayPal account, whichever you prefer.

How do you get started?

First things first. You’re going to need to be a Twitch partner and prove that your viewership is big enough to financially benefit both parties. Then, you’re going to need to play three to four ad commercials per hour of broadcast to start generating ad revenue.

If people like what they see, they’ll subscribe to your channel for $4.99 a month which benefits both you and Twitch.

Knowing what type of ads to show them prevents them from using ad blocking software and thus, costing you revenue. That’s where knowing your target demographic comes into play.

You’re able to control what ads are broadcast through the dashboard on your account. Just customize the settings to show what content you want to share with viewers.

Twitch prefers partners with an average of 500 views per broadcast and a regular schedule of streamed content totaling three days a week.

By playing an ad every eight minutes of gameplay, you’re able to capitalize on ad revenue rather quickly. You also reap the benefit of paid subscriptions by receiving a payout every month from your long list of loyal viewers.

How much money can you make?

Ad revenue pay outs occur when a member has accumulated a balance of $100 or more. Money is issued as a check in US dollars or paid via PayPal. Twitch does not pay immediately because it must receive payment from advertisers and confirm analytics before issuing money due.

The amount of money you earn has everything to do with how much traffic your channel generates. On average, you make $2.50 per Twitch subscriber per month.

The amount you make also depends on how often you broadcast and the number of subscribers you have. You also make money from non-subscribers who watch the three-minute ads you’ve placed on your channel. The earnings you’ll see are $3 for every 1,000 non-subscribers who haven’t blocked the ad with a plug-in.

There are some people who make a living off of Twitch. But they spend a lot of time promoting their channels on social media and building their online presence, which helps them gain traffic and make ad revenue off their efforts.

You make money off subscribers, non-subscribers, and donations. If your channel is well received by the public, you can count on making a good sum of money.

The amount of effort you make promoting and advertising your channel impacts the amount of income you’re able to generate off of it. If you’re ambitious enough, Twitch could be your part-time or full-time job.

How will others watch me play?

Currently, there are two ways to watch Twitch. The first involves viewing the website on a PC or Mac. The second, and most popular option, is to download the app and watch it on an approved iOS or Android-enabled mobile device. This makes it easy for people to view their favorite channels and broadcasters while on the go.

Now that you know how to make money on Twitch, it’s time to get busy creating extra streams of income for you and your family. Your effort won’t be wasted because you’ll be doing something you enjoy and financially gaining from it. That’s a win-win situation if you ask me.

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Last update on 2017-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Chris Muller

Chris is the founder of Money Mozart, a blog about personal finance. He discusses frugality, minimalism, and achieving financial independence by living well below your means. He's also an avid craft beer lover and an aspiring minimalist.

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