With the recent rise in the number of successful streamers, it will plague anyone’s mind whether it is a worthy venture.
If you are interested in pursuing the streaming path, there are two popular avenues to follow.
Twitch and YouTube
Twitch recognises streamers’ dedication to making content and hosts an Affiliate Program.
This is designed to put streamers one step closer towards making a living.
New streamers need to get an audience of at least 50 viewers before Twitch will invite them to join the Affiliate Program. They also must have “at least 500 total minutes broadcast, 7 unique broadcast days, and an average of 3 or more concurrent viewers” to be invited.
Streamers then start earning an income from their content through subscriptions, Bits to Cheer, and game sales.
Bits to Cheer lets viewers offer support without leaving the channel or Twitch, and Bits either take the form of animated gem emotes or Cheermotes, which are virtual goods that viewers buy and use to Cheer for streamers in chat.
Streamers get a share of the revenue that Twitch receives from selling the Bits based on how many Cheers they receive. Affiliates get US 1c per Bit used to Cheer for them.
When Affiliates play and stream any game that is available for sale or has in-game items for sale on Twitch, an offer to purchase the game will appear below the video window.
Affiliates can then earn revenue through the sale of games or in-game items. This is in addition to subscription options.
Twitch Partners then have an extra avenue for income compared to Affiliates, which is through the monetisation of ads that are played on their channel.
On YouTube, streamers follow a similar path.
In 2016, Google South Africa country director Luke Mckend stated that adverts on YouTube channels earn streamers around R1,000 per million views.
Can you make good money?
To find out more about streaming as a career, we spoke to Grant Hinds – one of the top streamers in South Africa.
He state that South Africans can make a living off streaming, but it is about more than just streaming and hoping to make money through ads.
To become successful as a streamer, especially locally, requires the building a good business model.
“It doesn’t actually matter how many followers or subscribers you have – you just need to have a really good business model,” Hinds said.
“There is no set amount of followers, necessarily – if your content is good and you can sell that to a small audience, then you can make a living out of it.”
He added further that ad revenue was a less important aspect of being a streamer, as brand deals were more likely to bring in livable revenue.
This was regardless of the size of your viewership. On top of this, sponsorships are a lucrative way to bring in revenue.
MyBroadband also spoke to Lumin – a local streamer who can be found on Twitch and YouTube – about how lucrative the streaming space can be.
When asked how much revenue a streamer can make in South Africa, his response was “the sky’s the limit”.
“South Africa isn’t really at a disadvantage anymore and making it as a streamer, and making a living off of it, is entirely in your own hands,” he said.
He said that Twitch Affiliates only get around half of their subscriber revenue, which comes to $2.49 per normal subscriber. That means that if you could get a thousand subscribers per month, you would get around $2,500 per month.
He also added that there are several other avenues to make money – such as merchandise sales and tips from the community you create.