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How To Make Money on Twitch: The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to making money online, building an audience through Twitch streaming is a promising path to success. Twitch is a popular livestreaming platform where viewers can watch their favorite content creators play video games or create other forms of entertainment—from ASMR audio to “just chatting” videos. The more viewers your livestreams bring in, the more money you can earn—some streamers make thousands of dollars each month from monetizing their Twitch channels.

Throughout this article, we’ll dive deeper into what Twitch is, how streamers make money, how much they earn, and how to make money on Twitch.

What is Twitch?

Twitch is a livestreaming platform for content creators to play video games, esports, music, and more in real time, often simultaneously talking to an audience of onlookers. Video gaming is the most popular content category on the platform—at any given time of day, over 3,000 unique games are simultaneously streamed. 

Twitch shows viewers live channels they can watch and categories they might enjoy
Twitch shows viewers live channels they can watch and categories they might enjoy

Twitch viewers can scroll down the home feed, browse the Twitch directory, or search for specific types of videos they want to watch. They can also subscribe to their favorite Twitch streamers for a small monthly fee.

Many Twitch streams also exist purely for people to chat with one another, and users can browse through various chat rooms to find a topic they’re interested in. The use cases for this livestreaming platform are endless. But to bring in a solid income, you’ll need to find a popular niche for your channel. 

8 ways to make money on Twitch

  • Viewer subscriptions
  • Patreon subscribers
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Brand sponsorships
  • Viewer donations
  • Twitch Bits
  • Merchandise
  • Ad revenue

Twitch streamers can make money from their accounts in a few different ways, and different monetization strategies can be used in combination to increase the total income that a consistent streamer can bring in.

Once streamers start to bring in revenue, Twitch pays out to content creators every 15 days—as long as there is more than $100 in their account. Otherwise, Twitch streamers have to wait until they’ve earned $100 to receive a payout.

How much money can you make on Twitch?

The amount of money you can make on Twitch depends heavily on how many viewers consistently tune into your livestreams. The larger your audience, the larger your income.

To provide an estimate of how much streamers at various viewership levels can earn each month on Twitch, Streamer Facts recently put together this analysis:

# of viewers

Estimated income

5-10 average viewers per stream

$50-$200 per month

20 average viewers per stream

$200-$400 per month

50 average viewers per stream

$500-$750 per month

100 average viewers per stream

$1,000-$1,500 per month

1,000 average viewers per stream

$5,000 per month

5,000 average viewers per stream

$13,000 per month

10,000 average viewers per stream

$30,000 per month

50,000+ average viewers per stream

$100,000-$200,000+ per month

Popular Twitch streamers can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in recurring income each month. Making money streaming is possible—you’re just going to have to work at it.

Getting just five to 10 average viewers per stream isn’t going to happen overnight, so keep in mind that Twitch is not the best way to make money fast. However, if your goal is to earn monthly income as a professional gamer, getting started on Twitch should be your first step.

How to build an audience on Twitch

Now that we’ve covered 12 different ways you can make money on Twitch, let’s move on to an equally important topic: building an audience so that you have consistent viewership and potential subscribers.

1. Find your niche

Niching down helps you build an audience interested in the specific content you’re streaming. If your channel is all over the place, streaming a Fortnite game one day and sharing live music the next, it’ll be difficult to generate a dedicated audience interested in your content.

Instead, choose one main area to focus on. For example, you might dedicate your channel to Minecraft streaming. While you can still stream some other games from time to time, your main focus will be on Minecraft gaming, helping you to build up an audience of other gamers who love Minecraft.

2. Engage your viewers

While a popular streamer might look like they’re just playing a game or simply talking to their audience, becoming a must-watch Twitch streamer is an art. To start, watch other streamers to get an idea of how to effectively engage your audience.

No one wants to watch a stream where the host is hardly talking to them, bad at the game, and not providing a fun viewing experience. So practice a lot—both at streaming and at the game(s) you’re planning to focus on—in order to create an engaging stream that pulls your audience in and keeps them coming back for more content.

3. Build your network

A key aspect of becoming a Twitch streamer is watching and interacting with other streamers. This can help you connect with other content creators and build a community. Plus, if you become friends with other streamers, you can start streaming together as a way to share audiences and reach even more potential fans.

You’ll also want to make sure you're active in live chats whenever you’re watching a streamer. This is a great way to get your name and channel out there and in front of other viewers, increasing the chances that they click on your profile and start following you.

4. Hone your personal brand and online presence

Twitch can’t be the only place you promote your streams. Instead, consider creating a website (or at least a merch site), a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, and maybe even an Instagram and other social media accounts.

By building up a personal brand and being active on multiple platforms, you’ll increase your overall reach, helping even more viewers discover your Twitch channel.

12 best ways to make money on Twitch

Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve already joined the Twitch Affiliate or Partner Program, we’ve put together 12 great ways for streamers to make money on Twitch.

How to make money on Twitch as a beginner

If you’re just getting your start as a streamer on Twitch, keep in mind that it can take time for your channel to pick up. To kickstart your channel, consistently go live and stream popular games that viewers want to see.

Once you’ve started picking up a few viewers for each stream, here are a few ways to start making money.

1. Donations

As a beginner, you aren’t able to set up subscription tiers yet, but you can still receive donations from people watching your video streams. 

You can set up this option through a third-party company. Set up a donate button on your account through PayPal, or use a service like Streamlabs to set up a tip page and start getting extra money through tips and donations on your Twitch channel.

For example, take a look at how MuTeX has his profile set up. He’s created several panels with links to other social media, their subscription options, and a donate button for Twitch followers who want to support their channel.

Twitch streamers can setup their profiles to link viewers their social media profiles, websites, and donation page.
Twitch streamers can setup their profiles to link viewers their social media profiles, websites, and donation page.

2. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is an Amazon-specific affiliate program that newer streamers can use to bring in a bit of affiliate income. With this program, streamers can mention Amazon products and include affiliate links to them on their channel and while they’re streaming. Anytime a viewer goes to buy that product, the streamer will earn a percentage of the purchase.

3. Patreon subscriptions

Because new streamers on Twitch can’t immediately create Twitch-based subscription programs, Patreon is a great way to start making money directly from subscribers. With Patreon, streamers can set their subscription tiers and list what perks come with each level.

impulseSV, a popular streamer on the platform, has his Patreon linked from his Twitch profile. Although he also has three tiered Twitch subscription options set up, his Patreon gives him an additional avenue to monetize his Twitch channel.

Patreon can be an additional source of income for Twitch streamers and other creators.
Patreon can be an additional source of income for Twitch streamers and other creators.

impulseSV has six membership levels, ranging from $1 per month up to $50 per month, and each level comes with more incentives to subscribe. While the lowest tier just provides access to the Patron Activity Feed, with a $50 membership, subscribers can get a personalized thank you shoutout in one of the streamer’s videos.

Twitch Tip: Getting shoutouts (even if you pay for them as a Patron or subscriber) can be a great way to bring awareness to your own Twitch channel.

How to make money on Twitch as an affiliate

After you’ve been active on Twitch for a while, you may be prompted to join the Twitch Affiliate Program. The eligibility requirements for this are as follows:

  • At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the past 30 days
  • At least seven unique broadcast days in the past 30 days
  • An average of three concurrent viewers or more over the past 30 days
  • At least 50 followers

Once your channel becomes eligible for affiliate status, Twitch will alert you in your user dashboard and you’ll have the opportunity to get started with the additional affiliate features. Being a Twitch Affiliate unlocks additional monetization features, which we’ll explore in depth below.

1. Twitch subscriptions

Once you get accepted into the Twitch Affiliate Program, you can start offering your own subscription tiers right inside Twitch. The Subscribe button appears below the bottom right corner of your stream, and followers can click to learn more about the perks they’ll get by subscribing.

With Twitch, you can also set up three different subscription levels, for $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month.

Look at how top streamer Ninja has his tiers set up:

Twitch streamers can set up multiple subscription tiers for their viewers.
Twitch streamers can set up multiple subscription tiers for their viewers.

Some of the perks that can be offered with a Twitch subscription are custom emoticons to use in chat, subscriber badges that appear by a follower’s name in chat, ad-free viewing, subscriber-only streams, and more.

2. Twitch Bits

Another Twitch Affiliate perk is Twitch Bits, a form of virtual currency that viewers send streamers to “cheer” for them while they’re streaming live. Streamers receive 1¢ for each Bit they receive during a stream.

Streamers can set limits for the minimum number of Bits or cheers a follower can send them. For example, SypherPK, a popular streamer, has a cheer minimum of 100 Bits.

Twitch streamers can receive cheer motes from their viewers as a form of payment.
Twitch streamers can receive cheer motes from their viewers as a form of payment.

Followers can purchase Bits in bulk to send to their favorite streamers or gift them during gameplay or commentary they enjoy. Bits have different visual options, called “Cheermotes.” 

Stream chats show the Weekly Top Cheerers. For instance, this streamer received 41,700 Bits from their followers, equivalent to $417, just from their top 10 cheerers:

Weekly Top Cheerers are displayed in a streamer’s stream chats.
Weekly Top Cheerers are displayed in a streamer’s stream chats.

How to make money as a Twitch Partner

The Twitch Partner Program is a level up from being a Twitch Affiliate. While Twitch will automatically reach out to accounts that are eligible to become Affiliates, streamers have to manually sign up to be considered for the Twitch Partner Program.

1. Twitch Partner Program 

The eligibility guidelines aren’t quite as clear cut for this program, but you need to have an established and engaged audience, stream regularly, and be a role model in your community. 

In the Path to Partner achievement dashboard, you also need to complete these milestones:

  • Stream for 25 hours
  • Stream on 12 different days
  • Average of 75 viewers

Then, you’ll get access to one more way to make money on Twitch: advertising revenue.

2. Twitch ads

Once you become a Twitch Partner, you’re able to run ads during your streams. By doing this, you can bring in even more income. However, this monetization strategy is most effective if your viewership is high, as you’ll get paid from the number of impressions on each ad.

According to a Quora answer from a Twitch streamer, you’ll get paid $3.50 for every 1,000 ad viewers. So if you have less than 1,000 viewers on a stream, you’re making pennies per ad.

However, if you have a big stream with thousands of viewers, running a quick ad or two every 30 minutes to an hour can be a great way to bring in some additional revenue.

How to make money on Twitch with a large audience

Once you’ve built up a larger audience, there are several additional monetization strategies you can use to make money on Twitch. 

1. Brand sponsorships and partnerships

Brand sponsorships or partnerships with aligned companies is a powerful monetization strategy for large channels. While there can be perks for companies from partnering with micro-influencers (content creators with around 10,000 followers), brands still want to make sure that the streamers they sponsor have a large enough viewership for the partnership to be worthwhile.

Brand sponsorships and partnerships can take different forms. One way a streamer might promote a brand is by mentioning their product or service within a stream. These ads can feel organic—a content creator simply tells their audience about a product or service they love during a regular stream.

However, as a streamer, you need to alert viewers that you’ve been paid to promote that product or service. Additionally, according to Twitch’s Terms of Service, you also need to indicate that Twitch is not behind this promotion, with a disclaimer like, “This is a promotion by [Your Name]. Twitch does not sponsor or endorse this promotion and is not responsible for it.”

Another way to work with brands is to have them sponsor an entire stream. Streamer nikkijustine did a promotion like this with AT&T, dedicating her entire stream to the brand and including its name in the title of the stream.

Twitch streamers who partner with brands can display the name of their sponsors within their stream title.
Twitch streamers who partner with brands can display the name of their sponsors within their stream title.

This sponsored stream strategy gets even more eyes on the brand and its offerings, even if viewers miss the exact moment(s) you’re actually mentioning them (for example, on a stream that is several hours long).

2. Merchandise

Another way to generate income once you have a large enough audience is by offering your own merchandise, or merch. This could be items like t-shirts, blankets, hoodies, pens, and hats that have your logo or design on them.

Sites like Streamlabs give you the ability to create and promote your own Twitch store with your merchandise in it so that your viewers purchase it and further support you.

Streamer Couriway links to his merch store within his Twitch profile so that his followers can purchase t-shirts and hoodies, allowing him to earn money directly from merchandise sales. 

Twitch streamers can earn money by creating merchandise.
Twitch streamers can earn money by creating merchandise.


3. Affiliate marketing

Similarly to Amazon Associates, discussed earlier, affiliate marketing is a way of making money when people use your affiliate link to make a purchase—essentially, it’s a commission. You’ll first need to sign up for your favorite companies’ affiliate programs and get approved. Once you’ve done that, you can start leveraging your Twitch audience to increase your income.

For example, if you mention a product in your Twitch stream, you can put your affiliate link in the chat for viewers to go make a purchase. Then, you’ll receive a cut of that purchase.

You can also put some of your favorite products in your Twitch profile so anyone can browse around and buy the items that interest them. This is the method that streamer Alixxa used on her profile:

Earn money as a Twitch streamer through affiliate marketing by putting your favourite products in your Twitch profile.
Earn money as a Twitch streamer through affiliate marketing by putting your favourite products in your Twitch profile.

Each of the above images uses an affiliate link so Alixxa can get a percentage of any purchase her followers might make, further boosting her monthly revenue.

How to leverage your Twitch audience to make money off of Twitch

Once you’ve built up a Twitch audience and you’re making a steady income, you may consider branching out so you can bring in even more from your platform.

1. YouTube channel

Consider creating a YouTube channel so your audience can still consume your content, even when you’re not live on Twitch. Plus, you can monetize your YouTube channel, giving yourself an entirely new outlet for generating income.

Learn more: Free video editing software

2. Coaching

Another option for making money by leveraging your Twitch audience is to offer services for up-and-coming Twitch streamers. For instance, you can provide coaching services to share your expertise on building an audience on Twitch.

Other services you might consider offering are:

  • Profile customization
  • Graphic design for panels and banners
  • Merch design
  • Merch store setup

Anything you’ve learned how to do through your own Twitch channel can become a service offering you provide to newer Twitch streamers.

Create your own Twitch account and start making money

If you’ve always wanted to make money streaming, joining Twitch and starting your own channel is a great way to get started. By following this guide to making money on Twitch, you can begin building your audience and start monetizing your channel.

Looking for other ways to make money online? We’ve put together a guide with more than 30 different ideas. Check it out to find out what sorts of odd jobs you might be interested in to generate income.

How to make money on twitch FAQ

How do beginners make money on Twitch?

  • Donations
  • Amazon associates
  • Patreon subscriptions
  • Twitch subscriptions
  • Twitch Bits
  • Twitch Partner Program
  • Twitch ads
  • Brand sponsorships and partnerships
  • Merchandise
  • Affiliate marketing

How much money do Twitch streamers make?

In order to become a Twitch Affiliate, you need at least 50 followers and an average of three concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days. To become a Twitch Partner, you must average 75 concurrent viewers or more over 30 days. 

Keep in mind that the more regular viewers you have, the more you’ll get paid. View the Twitch eligibility criteria for more details. 

How many views do you need to get paid on Twitch?

In order to become a Twitch Affiliate, you need at least 50 followers and an average of three concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days. To become a Twitch Partner, you must average 75 concurrent viewers or more over 30 days. 

Keep in mind that the more regular viewers you have, the more you’ll get paid. View the Twitch eligibility criteria for more details.

What are some reasons why Twitch streamers don't make money?

Twitch streamers are less likely to make money if they don’t broadcast regularly, don’t have many followers, or don’t optimize Twitch revenue streams. 

How to get sponsored on Twitch?

  1. Broadcast regularly; having recurring, frequent broadcasts will make your stream look more valuable to potential partners.
  2. Build an audience; potential partners are more interested in streamers who have an established audience.
  3. Find companies that share your brand values and niche; companies want to partner with streamers whose audience is comprised of potential customers.
  4. Pitch potential sponsors; be specific about the sales goals of your potential partner and how you can help meet their needs.
  5. Nurture sponsor relationships; a company that’s run one successful campaign alongside you will be more likely to continue sponsoring you in the future.
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