September 12, 2022

7 Ways to Make Money Streaming Video Games on Twitch


All the best ways to monetize your Twitch channel and make money.
The Twitch service may have started as a basic service for streaming and watching video gameplay, but it's quickly becoming a legitimate source of income for many users with several of the more popular
Twitch users earning above the average household income each month.


There are a number of methods by which successful Twitch streamers monetize their channels, and all are relatively easy to implement. Some of the best ways to make money on Twitch include:

  • Twitch subscriptions
  • Bits (Twitch's bonus emoticons)
  • Donations
  • Video ads
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate Links
  • Selling merchandise


Some of Twitch's official options are limited to Twitch affiliates and partners (users who have reached a certain level of popularity and have been given more account features), but there are still options for newer users who may not have huge results yet.


Twitch subscriptions

Subscriptions are by far the most popular form of making money on Twitch because they allow you to create a recurring revenue stream that can snowball over time as more viewers decide to join.
Twitch subscriptions are essentially scheduled monthly donations of either $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 with the amount chosen split 50/50 between Twitch and the streamer. Some of Twitch's incredibly popular partners often earn more than 50 percent as a way to encourage them to stay on the platform.


The subscription option is only available to Twitch Partners and Affiliates, and it makes a lot of sense since streamers with less than 50 followers (the minimum requirement to become a Twitch Affiliate) probably won't have as many paid subscribers anyway. Once a channel is upgraded to Partner or Affiliate status, the subscribe option is enabled and the subscribe button automatically appears on the channel page on the Twitch website.


Some tips:

  • Set up alerts within your stream to notify new subscribers and take the time to create customized emotes for subscribers. Both will encourage more people to sign up for the monthly giveaway.
  • The subscribe option is only available on Twitch's website, so you can indicate in your stream that subscribing is an option so those watching via the Twitch console and mobile apps know how to support you.


Those without access to Twitch subscriptions can use third-party services to collect regular donors. Patreon is a very popular alternative used by many streamers .

  • A Patreon profile can be set up for free on the Patreon website and linked to your Twitch profile description or social media channels such as Twitter. You can also mention your Patreon username verbally during the stream.



Bits are a way to visualize support for streamers on Twitch from the stream chat. They're essentially animated gifs that users can post alongside chat messages, but they must be purchased with real money through Amazon Payments. Twitch partners and affiliates earn one cent per bit used in their channel's chat, so if someone uses 100 bits, they earn $1.


Streamers can place a limit on the minimum number of bits that can be used at a time to prevent people from spamming their chat with many individual bits. Special alerts (sound effects and graphics) can be associated with the use of bits to help encourage more viewers to buy and use them, and viewers are also rewarded with special chat badges that appear next to their name based on how many bits they donate.

  • Be sure to verbally thank all viewers who use bits during your streams. This will encourage them to use them more in the future.
  • Add the StreamLabs tip widget to your stream layout. This will create a visual representation of an empty glass that fills up with all the bits your viewers are using. Not only does this constantly remind the function of the bits, but it also encourages viewers to try to fill in more bits.


Get donations on Twitch

Accepting donations is a popular way for Twitch streamers to raise additional money, as viewers have the opportunity to support their streams with a one-time payment that can range from a dollar to several thousand dollars and even higher.


Twitch does not offer a natural way for streamers to accept donations, so third-party apps and services are often implemented, such as PayPal. While donations can be rewarded, there are many stories of streamers being scammed by scammers or internet trolls who donate a large amount of money only to complain about the dispute about a month later, and everything is refunded. Donations aren't protected by Twitch in the same way that bits and subscription payments are, and there's no way to prevent this from happening. Anyone can submit a PayPal repayment within 180 days of payment, and Twitch streamers are encouraged not to spend any of their donations until that time period is up.


Play video ads during a stream

Most people associate video ads with monetizing a Twitch channel, but the reality is that Twitch ads, both pre-roll (shown before the stream starts) and mid-roll (played during the stream) are the lowest earners of all available options .


On average, Twitch pays about $2 per 1000 views for an ad, and since even some of Twitch's biggest streamers average around 600 viewers while streaming, displaying ads doesn't really feel worth it for many, especially when they can get so much more with other methods like subscriptions and bits. Ads are only available to Twitch partners.


Streamer Sponsorships

Similar to how Instagram influencers make money from endorsing products and services on Instagram , many Twitch streamers also receive payments for doing the same during their streams. Examples of streamer sponsorships include fashion labels, food and beverage, video games, computer hardware and accessories, and websites.


Getting a sponsorship deal is something Twitch can do regardless of partner or affiliate status. Contracts are sometimes structured so that the streamer approaches the relevant company, but more often it is the company's marketing team that proposes to the streamer.

The amount of money raised through sponsorships varies depending on the length of the sponsorship campaign, how intense the promotion is (i.e., that a streamer is required to simply wear a t-shirt or verbally encourage viewers to buy a t-shirt), and the popularity of the viewer themselves.


Connect with industry contacts through social media and video games or technology wins and conventions. Create business cards using your Twitch channel, real name, and contact information to pass along to company employees. The more you seem, the more likely someone is thinking of you the next time they want to promote a product.


Affiliate links

Another good monetization option for all Twitch streamers is to implement affiliate links (not to be confused with Twitch Affiliate status). This basically means merging with a company's affiliate program and adding links to their products or services on the Twitch channel description page and in chat on a consistent basis using a chatbot like Nightbot.


A popular affiliate program to join is Amazon, due to the variety of products they offer and their trusted name that encourages users to buy from them instead of their competitors.

Many Twitch streamers and viewers already have an Amazon account due to being required to pay for bits and Twitch Prime, a premium subscription that links to Amazon Prime. Amazon rewards affiliates for a percentage of the sales they post. Play Asia also has an affiliate program that is popular with some streamers.


Set up a free Amazon Associates account.

Talk to viewers during your streams and in your chat to see what kind of products they're interested in, then start connecting with them in your chat or on social media. Don't spam your followers with too many links. Referrals need to be organic.


Familiarize yourself with the hardware and software you use in your Twitch channel profile description and link each product to its Amazon page using a unique Amazon Associate code. Personal recommendations are one of the best ways to drive affiliate sales.


Twitch Streamer Merchandise

Selling merchandise may not be as big of a deal for Twitch contenders as subscriptions and donations, but for those who have made enough progress, creating and selling your own uniquely designed products like t-shirts and mugs can be a nice additional source of income.


Twitch partners are invited to sell their own t-shirt designs on Twitch's main t-shirt store, which is powered by TeeSpring, but any streamer can use various similar services like SpreadShirt and Zazzle to create and sell their own products.


When designing a product, use a design that is unique to your channels, such as a larger version of an emote or an inside joke that is created organically in your channel's chat channel.

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