Can you make money by streaming?

You can make money by streaming, through tips and channel memberships, advertisements, sponsorships, affiliate programs, and merchandise.

Streaming platforms are increasing in popularity and creators with large fan-bases have been able to make a lot of money from their live streams.

As a result of this growing audience, it is possible to make money in various ways when hosting live streams.

Is streaming worth the time and effort?

With the evolution of content over the last few years, live streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook have grown tremendously in popularity.

Live streaming differs from traditional content formats in that it gives viewers an unedited and direct means of interacting with content creators, but it also requires that content creators spend a lot of their time actively and consistently creating content.

Even though creating streaming content does require that the creator be present and consistent, there are a few notable creators who have managed to make a lot of money from their streaming content, like the creator known as “Ninja,” who earned $10 million in just a few hours of streaming content in 2018.

Can you make money by streaming?

Although content creators who focus on streaming and attain this level of income from their content on various platforms are few and far between, with about half of the views on Twitch only being from a thousand channels on the platform, there is also an indication that these streaming platforms have not reached the peak of their popularity yet.

That being said, there may be increased opportunities for newcomers or smaller channels to make money by creating streaming content to build their audience.

There are various ways that you can make money on these platforms when you have established a loyal audience for your live streams, including:

  • In-stream tips and channel memberships on various streaming sites
  • Advertisements
  • Sponsorships, merchandise sales, and affiliate marketing

These are the main established ways that streamers make the bulk of their money from streaming content.

With these streaming sites becoming more popular and evolving rapidly, new ways of making money are emerging, like the hosting of live seminars where you can sell your expertise to a select group of people from your audience, as well as selling tickets for larger streaming events.

However, these methods require a large audience and are usually not attainable for smaller channels that are just starting out on streaming platforms.

Making money through tips and channel memberships on streams

Many of the popular streaming sites allow viewers to send you in-platform currency “tips” if they enjoy your streams.

Over time, these loyal viewers can even pay a monthly fee for a membership to your channel, which also requires that you create exclusive content that is only available to members.

You can also earn from these tips and memberships on platforms such as:

Streaming platform Tips Channel memberships
YouTube Super Chat allows viewers to tip content creators money to have their comments pinned on the chat section of a live stream for a certain amount of time. In order to open channel memberships, you need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program, then viewers can pay a monthly fee to be a channel member.
Facebook In order to be sent Stars on Facebook, you need to be part of the Level Up program. If you are a Level Up gaming member, there is a fan subscription feature in some locations.
Twitch Your viewers can send you Cheers for a certain amount of bits to have their messages reflected during the live stream. If you are an affiliate or partner, your viewers can pay for a subscription to your channel.

Making money through advertisements while streaming

Since platforms like Google and Facebook run a large number of advertisements for revenue on their platforms, many of these streaming sites have started compensating creators who generate a lot of views on their live streams.

You can thus earn revenue from the various advertisements displayed during your streams on these platforms if you belong to programs like YouTube’s Partner Program or Level Up.

Making money through sponsorships, merchandise, and affiliate marketing while streaming

Even before streamers with a large fan-base get invited to join these exclusive programs, they can make money by endorsing brands that have approached them or sharing these brands with their audience through affiliate links and deals.

You can also sell your own merchandise to your viewers while you are streaming, which can help you to make more money.