How to make +$100K a year streaming on Twitch

July 18, 2016

Twitch streamers can make + $100,000 yearly to play video games. It seems crazy, but remember playing Mario Kart with your friends? There was always one player that would take control of the wheel while everyone else sat back and watched in awe of their epic skills. It was incredibly entertaining to become a backseat driver (literally) and watch as that player left everyone in the dust. Twitch has done an amazing job of bringing this experience to the web and now streamers that provide amazing content can build up a very significant following.

In 2016 with 8.5 Million daily active users on Twitch, Twitch influencers have continued to grow and provide amazing content. The amazing thing about this is that the success of Twitch has been built on the backbone of having incredible influencer channels to follow. Influencers on Twitch have built up thousands of followers and they are at the heart of what makes the video content so amazing to watch. It’s a mixture of their mutual interests with their followers and their outgoing nature that keeps their viewers entertained.

So how does streaming a video game online lead to someone making 6 figures a year and ultimately gaming for a living? The answer is, it takes a lot of hard work, charisma and a longer than average work day. Twitch streamers make money through subscriptions which they split with Twitch $3/ $2, donations from fans, a share of channel revenue from Twitch if they’re declared as a partner and they can also sell stickers. Broadcasters can also talk to brands outside of the Twitch platform for promotion just like influencers from any other social media website. This is the best way for Twitch influencers to make money and really turn gaming into a full time job.

When talking with influencers at TwitchCon, 9/10 said that working with brands can be tough and it’s difficult to communicate with them remotely. They also said that they had no idea how or where to start. At the end of the day, the people who build big audiences on social media channels really do care about their audience. They don’t want to ruin the experience that originally brought them to their page by selling out and posting obvious advertisements that distract their followers.

As it exists right now, the process for creating branded content with influencers is broken. Brands reach out to influencers wherever they can find their contact information and there’s a lot of empty space that exists when brands and influencers communicate. Rising streamers on Twitch are always looking to make more money and turn gaming into their full time job. Branded content/ sponsored content could be a key to making that possible for them, but it has to be done properly.

Social media influencers lack the tools they need to work with brands and this is especially true for Twitch influencers. Having a place where content can be created, managed and monitored is the key to running successful campaigns that are targeted. Influencers want to promote content that they already love and find brands to partner with who support what they are doing with their channel. This is the relationship aspect between brands and influencers that’s created through the collaborative process. Using this process, brand dollars can be stretched further and focused on more targeted audiences. It also allows the influencers to continue streaming amazing content that their fans love.

Twitch recognizes the power that their influencers hold and the value they have to offer. They also understand the sentiment and accountability that comes with running branded content through the platform. Twitch cares about their power users and they go out of their way to help streamers in any way they can. Twitch helps streamers with advertising safety, implementing policy on their channels to remove abusive users and any other protective policy for channels. Twitch recognizes that brands will “benefit from the trust afforded by completely transparent sponsorship campaigns, while engaging with the Twitch community in an entirely organic way.” They outline this clearly in their blog because they want their influencers to succeed and they want to promote expansion of branded content throughout Twitch.

There’s a right way to do branded content and many wrong ways. Even the best and most popular influencers struggle sometimes to meet the requirements necessary for branded content. Although their intentions are honest, there are regulations in place to make sure users know when content is sponsored and when it’s not. PewDiePie is the most recent victim in headline news for failing to meet the regulations of the FTC (at the time of this posting). This is a direct result of a lack of communication between the influencer and the brand.

With an average of ~12,000 minutes of stream time being watched on broadcaster channels every month, brands can achieve a lot of exposure through targeted influencer channels on Twitch. However, having influencers expose brands on live video requires more than just pasting product logo’s on a stream, playing games you don’t like in front of thousands of viewers or sponsoring tournaments. It takes planning, experimentation and a lot of relationship building between brands and influencers to deliver a truly authentic experience. The best way to do this is to set the foundation for a long lasting relationship between brands and influencers.

Working with Twitch influencers in the past has been difficult. There needs to be a shift in the way that brands are working with people that have built a following on their channels. Additionally, advertising on top tier channels isn’t nearly as effective as advertising on mid tier and smaller channels. Twitch’s blog sums it up perfectly: “Mid tier broadcasters convert views into purchases 13 times more effectively than top tier broadcasters, and small broadcasters convert views into purchases 1000 times more effectively than top tier broadcasters.” This was more than proven for the release of Tom Clancy’s The Division. Twitch advertisement accounted for almost 20% of their total game sales and 46% of those sales were from advertisements in mid tier broadcasts.

So if the content streaming on Twitch by influencers is producing such massive exposure and converting to real sales in a big way, why does branded content on Twitch streams feel like it’s so rare? The answer is simple: brands and influencers lack the proper management and creation tools that are essential to start, mold and strengthen the relationships needed for effective ad campaigns.

Check out Dovetale to learn more about how we’re providing the easiest and most efficient way for brands and influencers to build relationships and work together.