The way of the future
If you’re a fan of video games, then you already know all about Twitch. Twitch is mainly a live streaming platform for gamers and other performers and content creators.
At its most basic level, Twitch allows people to watch creators play games live. They can even text chat with the performer in real-time.
But above all, what artists are producing by live-streaming is an intimate fan-artist relationship. It’s what social networks guaranteed but under-delivered.
It’s a powerful medium if you totally understand it, and without a doubt the most efficient tool I have actually seen for building your audience.
Top Twitch streamers can make thousands of dollars every month, but getting to that point can be a real challenge.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how to make money streaming on Twitch, as well as some other important considerations for content creators looking to make content creation their full-time job.
YouTube vs. Twitch
Before we dive into the systems that enable content developers to generate income through YouTube or Twitch, let’s take a look at a few crucial differences between those platforms.
So, which platform is better for your wallet?
YouTube started its own VoD (video-on-demand) service in 2005 and only broke into streaming back in 2013. When it comes to streaming, Twitch is still the top dog.
But for most content creators, especially within the realm of video games, both platforms will be required to maintain an audience and make money.
Simply put, YouTube is a lot more discoverable, which can help you to grow your channel even if you aren’t consistently uploading material.
This brings us perfectly to the next point. Growing your channel: if you want to earn real money you will need to have a decently sized audience.
A crucial factoid to keep in mind about YouTube is that it is owned by Google, the biggest search engine worldwide. It then follows that, with YouTube’s appeal, it is the second biggest online search engine in the world.
If you have actually just begun streaming, the possibilities of being found through Twitch’s search is basically impossible.
However, if you start to establish a channel on YouTube, it will be easier for new viewers to find your channel, thanks to YouTube’s sophisticated algorithms that recommend videos based on common interests.
So if you want to grow on Twitch, you need to be continuously linked to the platform, which can be very time-consuming.
Here, once again, YouTube has the edge. With strong discoverability and video archives (that are actually seen by audiences; not so on Twitch) you don’t have to be constantly streaming to grow your channel.
Now let’s move on to the next important topic: how content creators actually make money from these two platforms.
Ads vs. subscriptions
Well done for getting this far. Now that we have the background we can enter into the concern every streamer has asked at some time. ‘YouTube or Twitch? Which is the best platform for making cash?’
The most popular form of money-making is still showing ads on your videos. When you are a Twitch Affiliate or YouTube Partner you will be able to set this up so you can start to make cash on your material.
Both platforms require that you reach particular thresholds to be eligible for channel monetization via ad placements
You’ll need several thousand views on your content before the platforms will reach out to you to discuss the possibility of placing ads within and around your content.
But even if you do decide to allow ads on your videos, you will probably discover that you only make around $1 each day on ad revenue, or even less!
Once you’ve found a significant audience, there are even more lucrative ways to make cash!
The bottom line is, while advertisement revenue is a popular choice, it’s not a huge moneymaker on either YouTube or Twitch and should not be your sole source of income.
Whether we’re talking about YouTube or Twitch, the most solid source of making money is to gain subscriptions.
YouTube subscriptions are free, but they increase your standing on the site.
Twitch subscriptions cost money each month, meaning you can make lots of money if you can hold onto your subscribers.
Subscriptions are a game-changer for lots of streamers as they provide access to a stable earnings stream.
Successful streamers may also have the chance to sign up for an affiliate program with either platform, but until reaching that point, the focus should be on gaining a wide audience.
Other ways to make money from your channel
Beyond YouTube and Twitch, there are other membership-based assistance sites that take far less of a cut of the profits than the two main streaming platforms.
If you’ve watched any amount of YouTube or Twitch lately, then you’re probably already familiar with funding sites like Patreon.
Patreon has become massively popular with many online celebrities and channels. For one, the sole purpose of Patreon is not to distribute mainline content but instead to attract funds from fans and offer exclusive perks in exchange for financial support.
Patreon takes only a small percentage of each creator’s earnings, making it the main source of income for many content creators.
But if you are planning on setting up a Patreon page for your channel, you need to make sure that you’re offering valuable incentives for those who want to contribute.
One common offer is to allow Patrons to see your videos early, before they’ve been uploaded to public sites. You may also choose to archive past streams only on Patreon. If fans want to see an old stream they missed, they’ll have to donate a few dollars.
You can also try appealing to your fans on the basis that the majority of your content is available for free from the very start. No one has to pay to see your YouTube videos, meaning fans are getting all that content for free.
Simply communicate that it’s only thanks to Patrons and subscribers that you’re able to produce the content for your channel, whether it’s videos or streams.
Streaming can also help create a more personal relationship with fans, and when fans feel connected to you and your channel, it will be more difficult for them to watch your content without throwing some money your way.