Advances in technology make it easier than ever to earn a living doing what we love. Nowhere is that more apparent than in gaming, where millions of aspiring streamers work tirelessly to make an online income playing their favorite games.
Twitch, the streaming platform owned by Amazon, is a top choice for many would-be professional gamers. The platform boasts millions of weekly users and entices new streamers with low monetization thresholds.
Twitch allows anyone to set up an account and stream their favorite games. The platform is one of the easiest to monetize, allowing affiliates to make money with as few as fifty followers, a massive difference from Youtube’s 1000 subscriber threshold.
Twitch offers numerous perks, like seamless integration with streaming software, space for multiple custom emojis, moderation roles, and bot integration.
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Making Money on Twitch Not As Easy As It Seems
Despite the lower requirements to monetize on Twitch, making a living streaming isn’t easy. Many people struggle to meet even these low requirements to become a Twitch affiliate, and those who earn the title rarely make enough money streaming to cover even minor expenses.
Attracting viewers is crucial to monetizing Twitch. Viewers pay streamers by cheering with bits and subscribing to their favorite creators. They’re the backbone of every successful streamer.
Game Choice Vital for Attracting Viewers
Choosing the right game is vital for attracting viewers to your channel. Fortunately, Japan 101 did the legwork for you, studying which games and categories attract the most viewers on the popular platform.
The study used sources like SullyGnome, TwitchMetrics, and Streamer Facts to determine the top games based on peak viewership, watch time, and average viewership per streamer.
According to the study, viewers flock to these top categories, so consider adding one to your Twitch schedule.
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League of Legends
League of Legends scored highest in peak viewership and second highest in average viewership. The top five League of Legends streamers achieved a combined average audience of 170,000 over thirty days.
The multiplayer online battle arena game is a fan favorite and a streamer favorite, with an average of 450 concurrent live channels at any given time in the last thirty days.
“Just chatting” isn’t a game, but it’s one of the most popular categories on Twitch. The feature accounts for nearly every non-gaming activity you can imagine, so it’s unsurprising to find it ranking as one of the most viewed.
Streamers select “just chatting” to showcase their artistic talents, engineering skills, and culinary masterpieces. Some keep it simple, using the category to engage with their viewers and share their lives.
The category typically attracts more users than any single game. However, its broad nature likely accounts for much of that. Consider whether you want to create the type of content that’s popular on “just chatting” streams before diving in.
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Aspiring streamers should consider Dota 2, as it pulls in tons of viewers but has fewer people streaming it than the top two channels.
The top Dota 2 streamer drew in more than 100,000 viewers over the 30 days showcased in the study, and the game has over 50 million watch hours. Less than a quarter of a million streamers play the game, which seems like a lot, but pales compared to the number of creators playing League of Legends.
Overwatch has the highest peak viewership per streamer, showcasing that the game is widely popular with viewers, who may watch more for the game than the streamer’s personality.
The game attracts nearly 25,000 average viewers between the 200 channels that are live at any given time. The low number of channels and high average viewer count suggest there’s room for new players to stand out.
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Counter-Strike: Global offensive
The fourth installment of the first-person shooter series achieved a peak viewership of over 1.5 million last year, with the average viewership at a healthy 80,00.
The top streamer pulls in most of these views, earning an average of 60,000 views per stream, indicating that many people may watch for the personality rather than the game.
Don’t Rely Solely on Stats
Aspiring streamers often drool over the average viewers of the top games, hoping to get a hefty piece of the pie. However, it’s important to note that game choice isn’t the only metric that matters, and sometimes the stats can be misleading.
Many of these games are popular because of their personality behind them. Viewers watch because of the streamer rather than the game, making it a poor choice for newcomers. Some games, like League of Legends, are oversaturated, making it hard for new streamers to stand out.
Additionally, game choice significantly affects a streamer’s attitude, and fans can tell. Play something you enjoy, even if it doesn’t have the largest viewer count. Your love of the game will shine through and help you attract the right audience.
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Making a Living on Twitch Isn’t Easy, But It’s Achievable
Making money playing video games seems like a dream, but hundreds of people achieve it. With the right attitude, game, and marketing, you can turn your dream into a reality. You may not become the next Ninja, but you can make enough to earn a living on the platform.
That’s more than enough for most of us.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.