How Do Streamers Make Money?

Streamers are no longer exclusively defined as the long, narrow strips of decorative material used in celebrations and other special events. In the era of the internet, streamers are individuals who spend their time creating content for a community of engaged and passionate fans. Many streamers broadcast themselves playing video games to live audiences, while others hold virtual cooking demonstrations or simply chat with others. The video live streaming industry is worth approximately $70 billion and is projected to grow to $224 billion in the next seven years


Advertising is a common way to make money as a streamer, particularly for those who have an established presence.

Advertising may appear before, during, and after a live stream, with most streamers making around 10 to 30 cents per ad view on YouTube.

On the Twitch platform, advertising fees vary according to the season and demand. However, advertising revenue is typically between $2 and $10 per 1,000 views.

Partnership programs

Some streaming platforms also run exclusive partnership programs for their very best streamers. 

The Twitch Partner Program is an invite-only scheme designed for streamers who built their community from scratch. Streamers get access to additional revenue streams such as a three-tiered monthly subscription model and the ability to run video commercials.

They also get access to custom subscriber badges and emotes, which we will talk about in more detail below.

It is estimated that the top ten Twitch partners gross an estimated $20 million.

Fan donations

Streamers also make money via fan donations.

Twitch users can cheer on their favorite streamers by purchasing a virtual good called a bit – equivalent to $0.01.

In return, streamers can customize their channel and reward their most supportive subscribers with a range of emotes, which are Twitch-specific symbols used to express a range of in-chat feelings and emotions.

These two acts work to reinforce each other, increasing fan engagement and increasing revenue across multiple channels.

YouTube does not have an in-built donation system, but many streamers there take donations via Patreon or Streamlabs instead.

Paid subscriptions

For Twitch users, subscription income is a significant source of revenue. They earn 50% of all subscription fees which are offered in increments of $4.99, $9.99, and $24.99 per month.

YouTube gamers can also offer paid subscriptions, though the streamer must have at least 30,000 subscribers and be a YouTube Partner.

Creators decide how much they will charge subscribers and what perks subscribers will receive across the various tier options.


Live streamers are also sponsored by brands that operate in a similar niche or industry. These sponsorships can take the form of a single campaign or evolve into a longer-term brand ambassadorship.

As you may have guessed, video game sponsorships are the most common. These brands may send the streamer products to use or promote to their audiences.

Alternatively, some brands will pay for the travel expenses and sign-up fees associated with the streamer participating in a tournament or competition.

Affiliate marketing

Provided they meet certain criteria, streamers can sign up for an affiliate program and promote Amazon products through their channels.

Betting is another source of affiliate income that is starting to become more popular.

Professional players and esports athletes are partnering with betting providers to allow bets to be placed on in-game outcomes during live streams.

In exchange for sending users to the betting site, the streamer takes a cut of the revenue.


YouTube streamers can choose up to 12 items to display on a merchandise shelf provided they source their products from a list of partnering suppliers.

Many Twitch users also sell a range of branded and highly personalized merchandise, though the process there is a little more involved.

Streamers will be required to design their goods through a service like Canva and then sell them through an eCommerce platform such as Shopify or Redbubble. 

Key takeaways:

  • The video live streaming industry is worth approximately $70 billion and is projected to grow to $224 billion in the next seven years. The ways streamers make money today are as interesting as they are varied.
  • Streamers utilize video advertising, which is shown before, during, and after live streaming events. For larger audiences, fan donations and paid subscriptions are effective ways to make money.
  • Streamers are also sponsored in short and long-term arrangements by industry or niche-related brands. Others prefer to earn revenue by engaging in affiliate marketing. Merchandise is also a worthwhile income stream, despite it being the most labor intensive.

Related Business Concepts

YouTube Business Model

YouTube was acquired for almost $1.7 billion in 2006 by Google. It makes money through advertising and subscription revenues. YouTube advertising network is part of Google Ads, and it generated more than $28B in revenue by 2021. YouTube also makes money with its paid memberships and premium content.

How do Bloggers Make Money

Blogging is a prevalent and well-established practice, with popular blogging platform WordPress powering many websites on the internet. While a few successful bloggers really make money, those who do usually monetize through affiliate marketing, Google AdSense (or other advertising platforms), sponsorships, memberships, or selling their own digital and physical products.

How do TikTokers Make Money

TikTok, owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance turned as among the most successful native micro-video platforms, and it became the go-to platform for millions of young users. Thus, the “TikToker” has already become the evolution of the “influencer” from platforms like Instagram. Those TikTokers make money in a few ways, such as monetary gifts, sponsorships, advertising agreements, affiliations, and more.

How Do YouTubers Make Money

Online influencer marketing is a relatively new creation, but it has fundamentally changed how brands communicate with consumers. People with targeted audiences are now the focus of advertising efforts. Influencers can tap from small to larger audiences thus, giving companies another way to promote their products. Indeed, influencers make money by selling digital products via sponsorships and affiliations, brand ambassadors programs, and physical products.

How To Make Money From A Podcast

Podcasts make money in several ways. The primary sources of revenues from podcasting come from affiliate marketing, advertisements (in the form of pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll), sponsorships, selling your own products, or by using podcasting to sell consulting services. Podcasting is an effective marketing and distribution channel, and it can be integrated within a business model.

What Is Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves the marketing of products or services that leverages the popularity, expertise, or reputation of an individual. Influencer marketing is often associated with those who have large social media followings, but popularity should not be confused with influence. Influence has the power to change consumer perceptions or get their audience to do something different.

How Does Instagram Make Money

Instagram makes money via visual advertising. As part of Facebook products, the company generates revenues for Facebook Inc. overall business model. Acquired by Facebook for a billion dollar in 2012, today Instagram is integrated into the overall Facebook business strategy. In 2018, Instagram founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, left the company, as Facebook pushed toward tighter integration of the two platforms.

How Does TikTok Make Money

TikTok makes money through advertising. It is estimated that ByteDance, its owner, made over $17 billion in revenues, for 2019. While we don’t know the exact figure for TikTok ads revenues, given it counted over 800 million users by 2020, it is a multi-billion company, worth anywhere between $50-100 billion and among the most valuable social media platforms of the latest years.

How Does Discord Make Money

Discord makes money in several ways. From its Discord Store, where users can buy premium games, to the seller shops, that primarily works with a 90/10 revenue share for developers and game sellers. And the ability for sellers to get more visibility on the platform by adding features to the game visibility.

Read Next: What Is Influencer MarketingHow To Become An Influencer

Main Free Guides:

About The Author

Scroll to Top