The short answer is obviously ‘yes’, as most people already know that Ninja minimally makes $500,000 USD per month. However, a better question is ‘is it realistic to expect to make much money on Twitch?’
This is trickier to answer. Twitch is rapidly growing, with over 9,000 new channels being created between December 2018 and January 2019 alone. This means that there is a lot more competition than there used to be, even though there are is also a corresponding growing in viewership. While it is possible for new streamers to receive donations before being partnered, donations are more likely to happen when streamers have a significant number of viewers. One viewer occasionally tipping $5 isn’t going to pay the rent.
Additionally, gaining viewers isn’t enough, as streamers also need to gain a Twitch partnership to really begin making money, although an Affiliate status is also useful. But, both Twitch affiliate and partnership statuses are tied to fulfilling Twitch’s ‘Path to Partner’ achievement ladder, and it isn’t a guarantee.
Applying to Twitch’s Path to Partner Program
According to Twitch, some of the basic requirements of their ‘Path to Partner’ are to:
- Stream for 25 hours in the last 30 days,
- Stream for 12 unique days in the last 30 days,
- Reach 75 average viewers in the last 30 days, and
- Gain 200 followers.
However, this is not an automatic process, as streamers have to apply for it. The Twitch site says that this can take up to seven business days, but many redditors report it takes and average of four-seven weeks to receive a response but can take up to three months, which could be ‘no.’ This would require the streamer to reapply, with some reporting that they needed to apply three times before being accepted. Once they have become partnered, they will be able to monetize from advertisements and can unlock up to 50 emotes to offer their subscribers. They can also store their past videos for 60 days.
This means that even if a streamer does somehow luck out and gain significant viewership within a short time-frame, they will not be able to monetize their channels for at least the first couple of months after they have created their account.
Twitch’s Affiliate Program
In 2017, Twitch launched this solution for smaller streamers to earn extra money from their viewers. When streamers meet certain requirements, they automatically receive some extra benefits, including the ability to have subscribers and earn cheer bits. The requirements are much more lenient than with partnerships, but the benefits are also much less. For instance, with a Twitch Affiliate status, streamers will have three possible subscription tiers, but can only offer one extra custom emote per tier, meaning that they can only offer subscribers a maximum of three custom emotes. On the other hand, partners can offer up to fifty custom emotes once they have met certain subscriber requirements. This means that partnered streamers can offer better incentives to their subscribers than affiliates are able to. They can also start earning commission from any games or in-game content that is sold through their channel.
The minimum requirements to become an affiliate include: having broadcast for at lest 500 minutes within the last 30 days, having 50 followers and an average of a least 3 viewers per streams. Affiliates can only store their previous content for up to 14 days, so they need to ensure that they keep up their viewership, or this may be revoked.
Both affiliates and partners will only get paid out after 45 days, which means that streamers will not be receiving instant cash when they do generate any revenue.
Furthermore, gaining views isn’t so easy. You need to be consistent, even when it seems that no-one is interested, have something unique to offer your audience and know how to choose your stream-times wisely, among other factors. This means that streamers have to be willing to invest much of their free time towards streaming, which will be difficult to balance with their work and real-life obligations.
Therefore, like most things, streaming is a gamble. Don’t do it if you don’t love it, and don’t bank on it either. Keep it as a hobby to start with, and if it works out for you, then great. And if not, then it’s not a reflection on you or your gaming or entertainment skills.
For an in-depth breakdown of how much a streamer can make, see Disguised Toast‘s YoutTube video below: