Twitch: home of video game lovers young and old, near and far. Twitch first appeared in 2011; nearly a decade later, it’s a platform with over two million broadcasters - called streamers - who live stream themselves doing everything from making music to normal household jobs. Mostly, though, they play video games. A lot of video games - there are over 5.5 million Twitch broadcasts per month.
The top Twitch streamers don’t make quite as much as the top YouTubers - but they’re not far off. A handful of Twitch streamers make several million dollars per year. That’s still a rarity, so how much do normal Twitch streamers make?
We’ll look at some of the numbers behind Twitch streamer income, and what impact the Brave browser could have on that income.
How Much Money Do Twitch Streamers Earn?
Twitch brought in an estimated $1.54 billion in revenue in 2019. Of course, not all of that goes to the individual streamers, but successful streamers can make between $3,000 and $5,000 per month through subscriptions alone. There are people who make a lot more than that - and many others who make a good deal less.
Small Twitch streamers may only make a few hundred dollars per month. People just starting out on Twitch usually don’t make anything until they reach Twitch Affiliate status. You can learn more about how to become a Twitch Affiliate here.
In 2018, Twitch streamer Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang made a YouTube video about his income from Twitch. He stated that he made around $20,000 per month in what he refers to as his “base salary”. On top of that is anything he makes from sponsorships or brand deals.
Like most other social media platforms, Twitch streamers can make money in a variety of ways.
- Customized Merchandise
- Affiliate Links (like the Brave Referral Program)
- Tournament Winnings
- Twitch Affiliate
Many Twitch streamers also upload their videos onto YouTube and make a profit on there as well.
Twitch, Brave, and the New Internet Economy
With the Brave browser, Twitch streamers gain a new revenue stream. Using their Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) earned by viewing opt-in ads, Brave users can tip streamers on Twitch directly and securely.
Brave lets users support streamers without going through Twitch, PayPal, or any other third-party platform. Users can even set up recurring monthly donations, “subscribing” directly to their favorite streamers.
Brave uses BAT as part of a new, privacy-based internet economy. No more trading away browser info to third-party data brokers. Keep tighter control of your info, and reward content creators on Twitch, YouTube, and more directly.
How Much do Twitch Streamers Make Per Sub?
One of the biggest sources of revenue for Twitch streamers is money from subscriptions. Anyone on Twitch can follow a streamer, but if you really enjoy their content and want to support them financially you can subscribe directly to that streamer.
Subscription levels vary: you can subscribe for $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 per month. Twitch takes 50% of the subscription fee, meaning an individual streamer makes $2.50, $5.00, or $12.50 per subscription. These are billed monthly, so it’s easy to see how Twitch subscriptions are the primary source of income for many streamers.
Elite streamers are often allowed to keep even more of the subscription fee; some are reportedly able to keep up to 70%.
How Much do Twitch Streamers Make Per Ad?
While ads provide much of the revenue for YouTube, Twitch operates a little differently. Because the content is live, most streamers are unwilling to put ads in the middle of their live streams. It makes more sense for the streamer to promote content directly via sponsorships or affiliate links, rather than insert ads and break up the flow.
However, some streamers do show ads, which typically pay anywhere between one cent and one dollar depending on the ad and the streamer.
Top Twitch Streamers in 2019
Twitch offers a monthly “Top Twitch Streamers” page which allows anyone to see who is in the top on the site. Some of the top channels are corporate ones - big video game publishers like Electronic Arts (EA) or Blizzard.
For individual streamers in 2019, the top channels by follower account on Twitch were:
- Tfue — 7.01 million followers.
- shroud — 6.45 million followers
- TSM| Myth — 5.1 million followers
- dakotaz — 4.08 million followers
- Riot Games — 4.07 million followers
- Tim the Tatman — 4.04 million followers
- Summit1g — 3.97 million followers
- Dr. Disrespect — 3.71 million followers
- TSM Daequan — 3.71 million followers
- Dr. Lupo — 3.58 million followers
This list is missing a notable name. If you’ve followed Twitch streamers before, you might be wondering - “How much does Ninja make? Where is he on the list?” Ninja was one of the top earners on Twitch; his stream ranks in the top ten for most views all-time on the channel, even though he hasn’t been active on Twitch for months.
Ninja moved from Twitch to Mixer, a streaming site owned by Microsoft. His earnings topped $18 million in 2018 - in 2019, he switched platforms. It’s hard to tell how much he makes now on the new platform, but some estimates say that in his first week on Mixer, he made roughly $500,000, due largely to sponsorships and brand endorsements.
Other than subscriptions, Twitch doesn’t pay streamers directly. Instead, Twitch streamers earn money from affiliate links, some advertising, and a variety of other methods. The Brave browser and its revolutionary BAT system offer yet another way for Twitch streamers to support themselves.