Twitch isn’t just a live streaming service – it’s a community. Viewers rally around their favorite streamers and financially support them, allowing them to keep doing their thing. If you’ve ever wondered how to make money on Twitch, we've got you covered.
How to build an audience on Twitch
Once you’ve figured out how to become a Twitch streamer, you need to get people to watch your streams!
It can be tough building a following from scratch, and a little daunting! You can ask family and friends to follow you, and if anyone you know has a larger Twitch channel, you could always ask them to host some of your content.
In terms of do’s and don’ts, you can use tools like TwitchTracker to identify popular topics, games, and more for your content. You’d do well to avoid short-term follow tricks like follow-for-follow and giveaways; you want people who actually engage with your content and contribute to your community!
Remember to network by plugging your Twitch handle on your other social channels, getting stuck into other streamers’ chats and live sessions, and interacting with everyone when it comes to admin and upkeep.
Finally, stick to a schedule. Even if it’s once a week, having a specific time slot gives people a routine they can quickly sink into. Think of it like TV!
How long before you can make money on Twitch?
Now you’ve got a few followers under your belt, how do you start paying the bills? Even though you can’t directly monetize through Twitch straight away, you can receive donations from any viewers who’re kind enough to part with their cash – in theory, this can be done on day one. It’s super straightforward to set up, and people can give money with everyday methods like PayPal or credit card. Nothing shady!
You can also sell merch directly on Twitch, if that’s your thing. Both donations and merch can be easily added as buttons on your channel’s homepage.
People get caught out by the Twitch music rules, which can hinder their chances to make money on Twitch. Ensure any tunes you use are above-board, royalty-free, and guaranteed to make heads bob as you climb up the ladder.
But, to get into the serious side of making money on Twitch, you should set your sights on becoming a Twitch Affiliate.
How to get Affiliate status on Twitch
One of the most efficient ways to get the cash rolling into your Twitch channel is to achieve Affiliate status. To become a Twitch Affiliate, you need at least 50 followers, as well as the below within the last 30 days:
- At least 500 minutes broadcast
- At least seven days on which you’ve broadcast
- An average of three or more simultaneous viewers
- At least 50 followers
After you hit these targets, you’ll receive an invitation to join the Affiliate program. From here, you can monetize pretty simply; with a solid number of subscribers by your side, you’ll be well on the way to banking a decent wage and making money on Twitch.
The most obvious way to generate income is to offer subscription perks. These can include exclusive chat rooms and emoticons, right down to merch discounts and giveaways. Subscriptions are tiered, starting at $4.99, rising to $9.99, and capping off the top tier at $24.99. As a Twitch Affiliate, you keep 50% of the total subscription fee. So, if you have ten people subbing at $4.99 per month, that’s $24.95 in your pocket. Nice!
Once you’re an Affiliate, you can also make money on Twitch through Bits. Bits are Twitch’s own currency – catchy, right? – and viewers can buy 100 of them for $1.40. Twitch takes 40 cents of that, leaving the value at 1 cent per Bit. If someone ‘cheers’ in your chat with a Bit, you receive that Bit (i.e., 1 cent.) It doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you have generous fans and strong output, you can make a pretty penny.
Like most video streaming platforms, you can also enable ads on your Twitch channel once you become an Partner or Affiliate. As long as you run three minutes' worth of ads per hour, you'll receive 55% off the ad revenue. Twitch keeps the other 45%.
How to get Partner status on Twitch
Affiliate status is cool, sure. But if you become a Partner, there’s even more scope to make money on Twitch. So, how do you do that?
Unlike Affiliate status, you have to apply to become a Twitch Partner. There’s a bunch of variables to consider, which you can track in the ‘Path to Partner’ section. But here are the basics you have to nail in the last 30 days before your application:
- Stream for at least 25 hours
- Stream on twelve unique days
- Rack up an average of 75 or more simultaneous viewers
This doesn’t guarantee Partner status, but it’s the bedrock of the requirements. If you’re accepted as a Partner, you’re given the same perks as an Affiliate, but with way more freedom – for example, you can store Video on Demand for 60 days, rather than fourteen. Features like this make the Partner program a more robust, professional tool that helps you earn more. But it’s by no means the only option, and given only around 1% of Twitch streamers are Partners, it’s not the end of the world if you never get there!
How else can I make money on Twitch?
Aside from the options detailed above, there are other ways to earn money through Twitch. For example, you can get stuck into affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, brand sponsorships, and game sales. As long as it’s related to the content you’re creating, people understand that you’ve got to put food on the table.
You can also connect your Twitch account to your YouTube account, meaning you can export your Video on Demand content directly to YouTube and monetize that way. You can read a little more about how to monetize your YouTube channel here.
And remember: your streams should always follow Twitch's Community Guidelines. That means no gambling, no sexual content, no excessive violence or gore, and no sharing of content for which you don't own the correct license or rights. If you get caught, your streams and channel could be demonetized.
Now you know the basics, how about finding some restriction-free music to soundtrack your journey from Twitch n00b to pro?
Are you a Twitch streamer? Whether you’re a livestream master or just a beginner, discover what Epidemic Sound has to offer on our Epidemic Sound for Twitch page. Oh, and if you’re looking for some music for Twitch, we got your back!