How To Make Money On Twitch In 2023: 10 Proven Methods
Want to learn how to make money on Twitch?
Twitch is the largest streaming platform in the world. They receive over 100 billion watch minutes every year with most of their content consisting of creators playing video games.
As a streamer, you’re probably wondering about the best possible way for you to get paid. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions.
In this post, you’ll learn the best ways to make money streaming on Twitch.
Let’s get started:
A quick word on terminology of Twitch revenue streams
Before we get to our list on the best ways to make money on Twitch, let’s talk about a few of the terms you’ll see below.
In particular, let’s discuss “Twitch partner” and “Twitch affiliate” and how they differ.
Both allow Twitch streamers to generate an income from the platform through subscriptions, Twitch ads and bits (more on these later).
However, each program has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
For example, it’s much easier to join the Twitch affiliate program than it is to become a Twitch partner. However, Twitch partners have more benefits.
Here are the biggest differences between these two programs:
- Twitch covers payout fees for partners. Affiliates must cover these fees themselves.
- Partners can create up to 60 unlockable sub emotes*. Affiliates can only create 5.
- Partners have access to custom cheermotes** for Twitch bits.
- Twitch only stores VODs*** for up to 14 days for affiliates. VOD storage lasts up to 60 days for partners.
- Twitch partners have full transcoding options**** available. Transcoding options for affiliates are given as available based on the devices and locations of viewers during livestreams.
- Partners can increase their stream delay***** by up to 15 minutes.
- Twitch affiliates cannot create stream teams.
* Sub emotes are special emoticons Twitch viewers can use in the chat section during livestreams.
** Cheermotes are a different kind of custom emoticon. These are linked to bits, which Twitch users can pay for to “cheer on” their favorite streamers. Bits come in packages, such as 1 or 10,000. Like sub emotes, each package has its own emoticon (“cheermote”) created by the Twitch creator themselves.
*** VOD stands for “video on demand.” When a livestream ends, it gets uploaded as a “VOD” to a streamer’s Twitch channel. VODs do not air live, so viewers can watch them for as long as they’re available for.
**** Transcoding options are the resolutions viewers can switch to during livestreams, such as 480p, 720p, etc.
***** Stream delay is the amount of time that passes between when a streamer says or does something in real life and when viewers actually see it on stream.
How to make money on Twitch
- Twitch subscriptions
- Earn ad revenue
- Affiliate marketing
- Brand sponsorships
- Accept bits during livestreams
- Accept donations during streams
- Sell merchandise
- Upload clips to third-party platforms
- Create or join a stream team
- Join an esports team
1. Twitch subscriptions
Viewers on Twitch can either follow your channel for free, which will allow them to receive notifications when you go live, or support you by subscribing to your channel.
Subscriptions are one of the most common ways for streamers to make money on Twitch.
They come in three subscription tiers: Tier 1 for $4.99/month, Tier 2 for $9.99/month and Tier 3 for $24.99/month.
And because Amazon owns Twitch, Amazon Prime subscribers have access to 1 free Twitch subscription per month.
Viewers can also save by subscribing for longer than a month at a time. 3-month subscriptions are 10% off while 6-month subscriptions are 15%.
Twitch takes a 50/50 cut from subscriptions, and their minimum payout balance is $50.
This means you must receive 20 Tier 1 subscriptions in order to receive a payout from the platform.
All subscribers receive the following benefits regardless of which tier they subscribe to:
- Sub badges. These upgrade into different loyalty badges when subscribers remain subscribed for 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years straight.
- Ad-free viewing.
- Subscriber only streams.
- Access to sub-only chat mode.
- Sub-only emotes.
Sub emotes are custom. Twitch creators must create them themselves or hire graphic designers to create them for them.
Viewers only have access to sub emotes from creators they subscribe to, but they can use sub emotes they have access to in all livestreams across Twitch.
Tier 2 and 3 subscriptions have enhanced sub badges and come with exclusive sub emotes.
Tier 2 and 3 subscribers can also modify emotes by flipping them horizontally or placing sunglasses on them.
Lastly, subscriptions on Twitch offer a unique way to keep your audience engaged. You can do this by enabling subscription goals and “Twitch alerts.”
Sub goals help you and your audience keep track of how many new subs you receive. You can display progress in chat and on screen.
Some creators even tie in benefits for each milestone, such as promising a karaoke stream for reaching 100 subs, participating in a social media challenge at 200 subs, revealing your face at 500 subs if you don’t use a camera, etc.
Twitch alerts are on-screen animations that display when you get a new follower, subscription or bits.
You can enable them with a tool like Streamlabs.
How to become a Twitch partner or affiliate
To earn Twitch subscribers, you must either be an affiliate or partner.
To become a Twitch affiliate, you must meet the following requirements:
- Stream for at least 500 minutes in the last 30 days.
- Stream on 7 different days in the last 30 days.
- Receive an average of 3 concurrent viewers during livestreams over the last 30 days.
- Have at least 30 followers.
The Twitch partner program does not have a set number of requirements. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Generally, you need to upgrade your Twitch affiliate status by completing the Path to Partnership achievement in order to unlock the application button in your dashboard.
This requires you to have streamed for at least 25 hours, stream on 12 different days and maintain an average number of 75 concurrent viewers per stream.
Acceptance into the program depends on a number of different factors, though.
They include average number of concurrent viewers, the type of content you create, your stream frequency and even how big of a following you have on other platforms.
Twitch wants to see channels that receive 80 viewers per stream or more, create great content and stream at least three days a week.
Once you feel confident about your numbers, you can put in an application to join the partner program.
Twitch recommends waiting at least 30 days before applying again if you’re not accepted.
2. Earn ad revenue
As Twitch struggles to remain profitable amid competition from other streaming platforms, its approach to revenue sharing changes quite a bit.
That includes the amount of money streamers are able to make from ads.
Here are the current policies: you must be a Twitch affiliate or partner in order to generate revenue through ads.
You’ll earn 30% of ad revenue generated for every ad view your content receives.
However, if you go into the Ads Manager dashboard and adjust your settings so that 3 minutes or more of ads play during every hour that you stream, you’ll earn a 55% revenue cut.
Adjust the settings until the “Your Ad Density” setting says “3 minutes / hour” or more.
Some partners can earn more ad revenue through the Ads Incentive Program.
As Twitch says…
“The Ads Incentive Program gives Creators the option to earn reliable, fixed, monthly ads revenue. This program is built on top of the Ads Manager feature, utilizing the preset ad timing and automation aimed at easing the management load of running ads.”
This program is only available to partners and is invite only.
You’ll receive a different offer every month if you’re eligible. It displays as a banner at the top of the Ads Manager dashboard.
The offers you receive are fixed payouts you can acquire by completing your chosen offer’s requirements, such as earning at least $500 in ad revenue in a month by running 4 minutes of ads per hour and streaming for at least 40 hours that month.
The exact amount of the offers you receive depend on the size of your Twitch audience from recent streams, where you’re located and the number of hours you’ve streamed for lately.
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the ways to generate an income online, but it’s especially an effective monetization strategy for many Twitch streamers.
This is due to the excessive cuts Twitch takes from its creators.
On Twitch, you get a 30-55% cut of ad revenue and a 50% cut of subscriptions. YouTube, in comparison, pays a flat 55% share of everything so long as you’re part of the YouTube Partner Program.
With affiliate marketing, you can start earning money even if you aren’t a Twitch affiliate or partner.
This is because affiliate marketing lets you generate an income through affiliate links: special URLs assigned to you by a company.
By promoting that company’s product or service with a call to action linked to your special affiliate URL, you can generate an affiliate commission every time one of your viewers clicks that link and makes a purchase.
Twitch streamers promote affiliate products on stream, on their channel page, in the chat section of livestreams (through the use of automated Twitch bots like Nightbot and Moobot) and through third-party platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
Many streamers place banner ads in their About sections for affiliate products, including products or brands that power their streams (Intel, ASUS, Alienware, etc.).
Most affiliate programs offer commission rates between 5 and 30%, though some pay outside of this range.
Try to join affiliate programs that match your audience and Twitch’s audience as a whole. This allows you to increase your earning potential from affiliate marketing.
The fashion industry has the highest number of affiliate programs, but common affiliate programs for Twitch streamers include GameStop, Go2Games, Green Man Gaming, Amazon, Nerd or Die, Newegg, Razer and XSplit.
4. Brand sponsorships
When you look up how to make money on Twitch, sponsorships are mentioned quite often, and for good reason, too.
Paid sponsorships from brands are one of the best ways to receive bigger payouts through your streaming efforts.
It works like this: you negotiate a deal with a brand. They pay you a fixed, one-time lump sum of money in exchange for you mentioning or using their product on stream.
One of the biggest examples of this is Twitch streamer Ninja reportedly being paid $1 million by Electronic Arts (EA) to stream Apex Legends and tweet about it when it first launched.
Ninja had 13 million Twitch followers and received hundreds of thousands of concurrent views at the time, which is a major point we want to make about sponsorships.
Your ability to get sponsored is dependent on a number of factors.
Yes, the number of followers and concurrent views you receive are important, but so are the content you create, the community you’ve built and the engagement rates your channel generates.
Sponsors will consider your following on other platforms as well.
Fortunately, another key factor that determines your likelihood in getting sponsored is how well you’re able to sell yourself.
This means you can get sponsored as soon as you’re able to prove your worth to a potential sponsor, a feat even the smallest of streamers is able to accomplish.
To strengthen your negotiation efforts, include a media kit in the form of a PDF file in your initial message to a potential sponsor.
This kit should include:
- Handles to all social media accounts you’re active on.
- Analytics for your Twitch channel, including the number of followers you have and how many views you get per stream.
- An overview of your streaming schedule.
- A breakdown of your channel demographics to prove whether or not your audience is a suitable match for their product.
Keep in mind that a media kit is not a resume. Include images, graphics and captivating fonts to make it more vibrant.
5. Accept bits during livestreams
Bits are Twitch’s in-house donation system. They allow viewers to donate to their favorite streamers while they’re live.
Bit messages are highlighted in chat, and they can even appear as Twitch alerts. They encourage viewers to engage because of this.
Streamers receive $0.01 per bit.
Viewers can purchase bits in packages ranging from 100 bits for $1.40 to 25,000 bits for $308.
6. Accept donations during streams
You can also set up donations through a third-party application, such as Streamlabs or PayPal.me.
Once your donation link is set up, you can add a Donate button to the About section of your Twitch page.
When you use an application like Streamlabs, you can set up Twitch alerts that trigger an on-screen animation whenever someone donates to your stream.
Streamlabs, in particular, lets you receive donations via credit card instead. This reduces the amount of fees you’re required to pay per donation as Twitch’s built-in donation system and PayPal itself take much larger cuts.
Either way, like bits, the on-screen alerts encourage viewers to take the plunge and donate.
Their name displays, and audio of their very own custom message read by a computer-generated voice plays.
7. Sell merchandise
One strategy you should learn when it comes to how to make money on Twitch is selling branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs and more.
It’s another strategy anyone can use regardless of the number of followers they have or how many concurrent views they receive.
The easiest way for small creators to sell merch is by dropshipping through a print-on-demand service.
You upload your designs and choose which products you want to sell. You only pay for products when customers place orders.
Each product has a price, and you profit by charging your customer more than what your chosen print-on-demand service charges you.
The service handles everything from fulfilling orders to processing returns. All you need to do is set up and manage an online store to sell everything on.
Sellfy, Printful and Printify are all great examples of this type of service. Streamlabs also offers this service for Twitch streamers.
Once everything is set up, you can advertise your merch during livestreams and leave calls to action in your About section as well as in chat via Twitch bots.
8. Upload clips to third-party video platforms
While you may not be ready to create dedicated content for platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, you can at least upload clips from past Twitch streams to these platforms.
Many streamers upload short clips as TikToks, YouTube shorts, and reels on Instagram and Facebook.
Some upload stream highlights as YouTube videos. These are compilation videos of past streams. Others upload past streams in full to YouTube.
While it’s not unique content, this approach does allow you to grow your following on other platforms and even earn additional revenue on the side.
Start by creating clips on Twitch with the platform’s built-in editor. You can also have followers and subscribers create clips.
The easiest platform to upload videos to is YouTube. This is because Twitch enables you to connect your account to accounts from other platforms, including YouTube.
While logged into Twitch, click on your profile icon, then go Settings → Connections, and click the Connect button for YouTube.
Once you choose your YouTube account and allow the connection, you’ll be able to export any Twitch clip or VOD to YouTube without having to download it.
Use a tool like StreamLadder to convert Twitch clips into downloadable videos, which you can then upload to TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
All you need is the clip’s URL or video file.
Once you upload it to StreamLadder, you can resize and drag a small window to choose which part of the video you want to convert into an optimized clip for third-party platforms.
You can even choose a split-screen option that adds your facecam on top of your gameplay clip.
The conversion itself only takes a few seconds. You can then download your converted clip and upload it to any platform you want.
9. Create or join a stream team
A stream team is a united group of streamers who are connected by a common interest.
Some stream teams are large, such as G Fuel, an energy drink company that operates a stream team consisting of the hundreds of popular Twitch streamers they sponsor.
Other teams are much smaller, such as a group of two to five streamers who’ve banded together in the name of collaboration.
In fact, collaboration is the primary benefit of joining a stream team. Members often stream together and promote each other’s channels.
If your partners have larger followings than you, you’ll be able to get your name in front of a larger audience, which will, in turn, create more revenue for you.
Only Twitch partners can create stream teams. If you want to join one, search the web or view a database like Sully Gnome.
Unfortunately, Twitch doesn’t have a “looking for” forum or a directory of stream teams.
10. Join an Esports Team
Are you good at any of the competitive games you play? Like really good?
If so, you may be able to level up your Twitch monetization strategy by joining an esports team and entering tournaments.
Esports is competitive gaming with a high leniency toward spectatorship.
Like traditional sports, esports has leagues, organizations and teams. By joining a team, you can earn a base salary between $50 and $75,000 as well as prize many when you win tournaments.
Prize money is dependent on tournaments, your team and the game you play.
According to Esports Earnings, the most profitable game is Dota 2 with over $310 million earned from over 1,700 tournaments.
Other profitable games include Fortnite, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.
Even if you never win a tournament, getting in the esports scene under your Twitch channel name can really do a lot to expand your personal brand.
Final thoughts on how to make money on Twitch
These are all fantastic monetization strategies, but if you’re truly curious about how to make money on Twitch, you probably want to know the most effective monetization strategies.
Your best bet for succeeding as a Twitch streamer is to acquire brand sponsorships and become a partner so you can start earning subscriptions.
Sure, third-party subscription services like Patreon exist, but the majority of Twitch viewers are used to subscribing to their favorite creators through Twitch.
Therefore, it’s best to keep them on the platform.
You should also join suitable affiliate programs and start selling branded merchandise.
As for growing your following, make sure you have good audio quality, and be charismatic while you stream.
Talk with viewers as they write messages in chat, and keep the conversation going even when chat goes quiet.
Above all, try to have fun, and let your excitement show. Viewers will match your energy with like-minded enthusiasm.