By Enric Llonch, on 12 July 2023
Twitch, owned by Amazon, has become one of the best platforms for streaming with millions of daily active users, leading companies to use it when designing marketing strategies. However, despite its growing success, this platform still generates many questions, such as whether or not you can really make money on it. Understanding the algorithm, encouraging subscribers, becoming an Amazon and/or Twitch affiliate, enabling Bits, including ads in your streams, and getting sponsorships are just some of the ways we'll be looking at to help you monetize your streaming on Twitch.
13 Tips to Monetize Your Twitch Channel
Twitch is a streaming platform that is mainly used to broadcast live video games. Its growth, however, has led to a variety of users adopting the platform, which has increased the interest in monetizing content. But, how can you monetize Twitch?
1. Understanding the Twitch Algorithm
The Twitch algorithm is a mystery to many, but understanding its nuances can greatly enhance your channel's visibility and reach. The Twitch algorithm primarily works by recommending streams to users based on various factors such as the games they frequently play, the channels they actively engage with, and their viewing history. Therefore, it's crucial to keep your channel active and ensure that your content aligns with the interests of your target audience.
2. Enable Bits
Bits is one of the most popular ways to monetize a Twitch channel. It is a type of currency used within the platform that people can use to get and send Cheers, Cheermotes or custom Cheermotes in content creator chats. These could be emoticons, animated emoticons and custom emoticons. For each emoticon sent, the creator of the emoticon receives an economic compensation, specifically $0.01.
Bits can also be used inside some extensions, so every time a person uses it inside any of them, its creator will receive 80% of that $0.01 and 20% will be for the extension developer.
The best thing about this monetization method is that it is fully managed by Twitch, so it is very convenient and safe, especially for channels with millions of subscribers.
3. Encourage Subscribers on Your Channel
For a content creator, it is essential to get subscribers, as they are the biggest source of support for a channel. Of course, you have to understand that the subscription has a monthly cost for the viewer. So, subscribers should receive a number of exclusive benefits, such as viewing content without ads or getting access to personalized Cheermotes.
There are also gift subscriptions, which are subscriptions that a viewer gives to another viewer to have exclusive access to the channel. Offering this type of subscription is a way to thank your followers for their support and, at the same time, to grow your channel.
4. Audience Engagement and Its Role in Monetization
On Twitch, engaging with your audience goes beyond just responding to comments. It's about creating a sense of community that compels viewers to support your channel. Activities like Q&A sessions, viewer participation events, and shout-outs can significantly enhance engagement levels. A loyal and engaged audience is more likely to contribute through subscriptions, donations, and Bit sales, enhancing your Twitch monetization efforts.
5. Best Practices for Gaining More Subscribers
Gaining more subscribers on Twitch requires a mix of consistency, creativity, and cross-platform promotion. Regular streaming is a must as it helps retain your current audience and attract new viewers. Besides, creating unique and high-quality content that resonates with your audience will encourage them to subscribe. You can also leverage other social media platforms to promote your Twitch channel and collaborate with fellow streamers to tap into their audience base.
6. Become an Amazon Affiliate
Twitch is a platform owned by Amazon, so one of the best ways to monetize a channel is by recommending Amazon products.
If you take advantage of a broadcast to recommend and link to Amazon items that are related to the channel’s theme, Twitch can become a very good source of income, especially if you have a high number of subscribers and viewers. You don't have to meet any kind of requirement to become an Amazon affiliate, you just need to talk about the product on your live stream and provide the corresponding link.
7. The Impact of Donations on Twitch
While bits and subscriptions form a significant chunk of a Twitch streamer's income, donations are also crucial. To receive donations, you'll need to set up a system, usually through third-party services, and share the link with your viewers. Encouraging donations can be as simple as thanking each donor on a stream or as complex as running donation-driven events or competitions. However, it's important to never pressure viewers to donate; instead, offer them an avenue to support you financially if they choose to.
8. Dealing with Chargebacks on Twitch
Chargebacks—where viewers donate money and then request a refund from their bank—can be a challenging aspect of Twitch donations. To protect yourself, be transparent about your donation policy and use a trusted payment processor. Some third-party services offer protection against chargebacks, so consider those for your donation system. Lastly, be wary of unusually large donations from new viewers, as these can often be red flags.
9. Put Ads in Your Streams
Another way to monetize a Twitch channel is through ads. In this case, your income will depend on the number of viewers who see the advertisement.
The idea is to start with one minute of advertising per hour of transmission since this is a very short pause that won’t bother viewers too much. Depending on how they react, this time can be increased to up to three minutes. Of course, the audience must know when or how often there will be a pause, so we recommend letting them know upfront.
The most important thing is to consider advertising as a short pause in the broadcast, so the duration and frequency of your live stream should be carefully considered. We don’t recommend putting on a stream for less than 15 minutes. Additionally, try not to concentrate the ads at the beginning or at the end, since this is when they tend to have less of an audience.
10. Get Sponsorships
There are brands looking for content creators to talk about their products or services and even test them live. The idea is to find a sponsorship that fits with the theme and values of the channel.
Remember that when it comes to sponsorships, it is not about accepting them for the sake of accepting them. Assess whether you can talk about that product or service in a natural way. You should also assess if the conditions offered by the company are fair.
11. Be Part of the Twitch Affiliate Program
Twitch has a very interesting affiliate program, which is usually the previous step to becoming a partner. To become an affiliate on Twitch and earn money through this platform, it is necessary to meet a series of requirements:
To have streamed a minimum of 8 hours on 7 different days over the last 30 days.
Have at least 50 followers.
Have an average of 3 viewers per transmission.
These requirements are not very demanding or difficult to meet, so almost any content creator who regularly uses the platform can meet them. As an affiliate, it is already possible to earn money through subscriptions and Bit sales and you can promote products. What you can't do is earn income through advertising because, for that, you need to be a partner.
12. The Twitch Partners Program
To enter the Twitch Partner program, you must meet more demanding requirements compared to affiliates, but this is the best way to monetize a channel on this platform. These requirements are:
Have streamed a minimum of 25 hours in the last 30 days.
The live streams must be on at least 12 different days.
Have an average of 75 viewers per stream.
If these requirements are met, a partner application can be submitted and will be reviewed carefully. This means that meeting the requirements does not guarantee entry into the program. The program has numerous advantages for the streamer, including the ability to earn revenue through advertisements, channel customization, and exclusive access to special promotions. In addition, subscribers can choose between three different payment methods.
13. Use External Platforms
Finally, another way to make money streaming on Twitch is by linking this platform to an external one, such as Streamloots and Streamion.
Streamloots: With Streamloots, you can create interactive decks of cards, which can make a live stream much more dynamic. These types of cards are used to get the creator to do a certain action. The cards are sold in chests and anyone can use them within a live show. Special cards can also be created for specific dates, such as Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine's Day.
Streamion: This allows you to earn money through advertisements without being a partner. It introduces automated ads to the platform. In addition, the streamer can choose the frequency with which the ads appear, as well as their duration.
Twitch: Advantages and Disadvantages of Monetizing Your Channel
One of the main advantages of Twitch is that monetizing content is relatively simple, especially compared to other platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook. In addition, all users on Twitch are on it to watch live streams. This typically does not happen on other social networks where content is much more varied.
Another advantage of being on Twitch is that this platform was initially born to broadcast live video games, but gradually other topics have emerged on it. There are topics where there might not be too much competition, so standing out can be easier.
However, Twitch also has its disadvantages. One of them is the obligation to stream a minimum number of monthly hours to make an income. Additionally, these hours must be spread over a minimum number of days. It is also necessary to offer different content from the rest, especially for topics with a lot of competition. Without doing this, getting subscribers and making money becomes very difficult.
To conclude, Twitch is a platform that can be monetized in many different ways. However, it requires regular live streams and content that is good enough to make viewers pay for it.