If you keep up with pro-gaming news, it’s no secret that professional gamers make a ton of money. Gamers make money throughout a variety of ways, but today we’re going to focus on one of their primary sources of income; streaming. Video game streaming has become one of the largest entertainment markets in the world. Reports show that video game streaming content now has a larger audience (over 665 million people) than HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu’s audiences combined. It’s easy to see why so many people tune in to watch their favorite video games; it’s both interactive and entertaining. By now, you’re probably wondering “how much money do these pro streamers actually make?”. Gamercraft is here to answer that question and more!
Money from Subscriptions
If you’ve ever watched someone stream on Twitch, you’ve probably heard of subscribing. Twitch offers three different tiers of subscriptions ranging from $4.99 a month to $24.99 a month. Twitch also partnered with Amazon Prime to allow people who have the Amazon service to redeem a free “Twitch Prime” subscription, which is the equivalent of the $4.99 option. Subscribing to your favorite streamer can unlock emotes, special chatrooms, ability to talk during chat “sub-mode”, and other special offers from the streamer. Twitch takes 50% of a streamers subscription unless you are a top tier Twitch partner in which case Twitch will only take a 30% cut of the subscription. That means streamers potentially earn $3.50-$17.50 per subscription. For example, at the height of his career, prominent streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins had a reported 269,000 monthly subscribers. Even assuming that all of the subscribers had the lowest tier of $4.99, Ninja would’ve been making anywhere from $900,000 to $1,000,000 a month from subscribers alone.
Aside from a small credit card or PayPal fee, streamers take almost all of the money made from viewer donations. Donations can include the streaming platform’s currency (think Twitch’s “bits”) or cold hard virtual cash through PayPal or another money transfer app. Some streamers even take bitcoin and other virtual currencies! There’s no telling how much money a streamer can make from donations as they are usually random. However, donations vary from $1 to the hundred thousand range.
Up and coming games will sometimes pay big-name streamers to play their titles on the screen and talk about it for their audience. Some streamers are wary of this as they believe it will diminish their authenticity as a creator. However, other gamers see these as great opportunities as their viewership may sometimes increase during these sponsored events. Regardless of streamer opinion on the subject, the fact is that there is real money to be made from sponsored streams. The rate is anywhere from 1 cent to 1 dollar per viewer, per hour. So, if someone had 10 thousand viewers, and their hourly rate was at 1 dollar per viewer, the streamer would be earning a total of $10,000 per hour!
Google AdSense (YouTube ads) pays out 68% of its revenue. The average rate of pay per ad view is .18 cents. So, for every 1,000 views your video gets, you’d make approximately $18. Keep in mind this is all based on averages, and actual earnings could be higher or lower. While .18 cents per view doesn’t seem like a lot, if your Youtube streaming channel were to get its fanbase of 1 million people to watch two videos per week, you would be raking in $36,000 per week! Twitch ads also generate revenue for the streamer. Specifically, with Twitch ads, the streamer can control the number of advertisements that their viewers see. So, if they’re willing to annoy their viewers with ads, their earnings can potentially skyrocket.
Brand Sponsorship on Stream
Some of the most notable sponsors of streamers include Redbull, Monster, Ubereats, Grubhub, and Chipotle, to name a few. Sponsorships are implemented in different ways from the streamer/creator talking about the service to the merchandise is shown on the screen to even promo codes for the streamer’s audience. You’ll most likely see branded minifridges in the background of your favorite streamers screen or even the streamer themselves sporting sponsored merch.
How much do pro-gamers earn by streaming?
Now that we know the top ways that streamers earn money, how much do they actually earn? Well, that depends on a few factors, including popularity, brand deals, and stream viewership. If they check those boxes and manage their brand, top streamers can earn anywhere from 10k-500k per month! However, those are ballpark numbers. With so many avenues of making money, it is nearly impossible to know precisely how much money streamers make. What we do know is that streaming is a lucrative market! So, how much does your favorite streamer make? Ready to better your game and become the next big streamer? Gamercraft’s memberships can help get you started!
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