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The happiest people in the world are those who can find ways to turn their passions into lucrative careers. If your passion is filmmaking, then Twitch is a good platform to use to monetize your craft. But how do you do that?
In this article, we’ll explain what Twitch is and how it works and then give you ten wonderful ways to make money on Twitch as a filmmaker.
What Is Twitch?
Twitch, or twitch.com, is a streaming service that allows users to both watch and upload videos. Many of these videos are video game live streams, which is how Twitch became popular. However, it is also suitable for creative content and other videos, including IRL (in real life) streams.
The very first step to making serious money on Twitch is to build an audience of followers. Doing so takes time and a lot of work. You must figure out your niche; create relevant, engaging, and unique content within it; and figure out how to reach your target audience.
That said, there are things that you can do all along the way to help finance your endeavor. Let’s look at some of those next.
Even if you haven’t amassed the following that you want yet, there are still ways to monetize your Twitch account. Of course, with all of these ideas, it helps to have a moderate following built-in. If you have a strong audience on another platform, try directing them to your Twitch page.
1. The Best Way to Make Money as a Filmmaker on Twitch: Become a Partner
Becoming a partner is the ultimate way to monetize your Twitch account because you can finally get some of the ad revenue. However, it’s hard to do. After you receive affiliate status, continue working on building your page and becoming more and more popular.
The minimum requirements to become a partner include the following, which all must be true for the last 30 days:
- 25 hours of streaming, which must be across 12 separate days
- An average of 75 unique viewers
Interestingly, there is no minimum number of subscribers. Twitch assumes that anyone who meets the content above, especially the unique views, probably has a sizeable following anyway.
Twitch does not invite people to become partners; you must apply on their website. If your application is accepted, you have to maintain a strong presence with a lot of content on Twitch. If not, they can remove it at any time. It’s important to consider that this will be a pretty major time investment on your part.
In addition to the methods discussed above, there are a few other ways to make money as a Twitch partner.
2. Solicit Donations
Unlike many other streaming or social media platforms, Twitch users frequently and openly solicit and receive donations from other users. Add a Donate button to your page, and push donations on it and in your content. Don’t forget to pay it forward by supporting pages that you like as well.
3. Sell Merchandise
While this method isn’t directly making money from your Twitch account, it can be a great way to build a brand. All you need to do is establish a store (Etsy works well, as does TeePublic) and market your merch on your Twitch page. Be sure to make items at various price points, from small stickers to hoodies and more.
4. Use the Combination of YouTube and Twitch to your Advantage
No, this isn’t technically making money on Twitch, but it’s still worth mentioning. You can upload shorter clips of your content on YouTube and make money from the ad revenue there. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, you may be able to direct traffic from your YouTube channel to Twitch and move to affiliate status faster.
5. Brand Affiliations or Partnerships
As with affiliate links or finding advertising partners on a blog, you can do something similar on Twitch. If you don’t have many followers, you’ll receive mere pennies, but that can be an essential time to learn how these relationships work and how best to make money off of them. As your number of followers and streams grows, you’ll become more appealing to better and better brands.
Become a Twitch Affiliate
Becoming a Twitch affiliate is distinctly different from using affiliate links to make money on Twitch. In this scenario, you’re working directly with Twitch itself, and becoming an affiliate can open up many more opportunities.
To become a Twitch affiliate, you and your page must meet minimum requirements:
- Minimum of 50 followers
- A minimum average of three or more simultaneous viewers
- At least 500 total broadcast minutes, which must be across at least seven days
If you meet the above criteria, Twitch should automatically invite you. (Contact customer service if they don’t.) Next, we’ll look at the perks of becoming an affiliate.
6. Game and Game Add-on Sales
If you’re using Twitch to stream video games, this is a really great perk of being a Twitch affiliate. Essentially, while you’re streaming and playing, you can display a “Buy Now” button. Viewers can use this button not only for the game itself but also for add-ons within the game.
It’s a good idea to call attention to the add-ons you’re using or could be using while you play and encourage viewers to check them out. You’ll get 5% of all sales from the button on your page, which can add up quickly.
7. Leverage Subscriptions
This is one of the best ways to earn money as a filmmaker using Twitch. First of all, subscriptions cost money: either $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 monthly, depending on the tier. You get 50% of that money and Twitch keeps the rest, but that’s a generous portion and a great way to earn.
In order to do this effectively, you have to make your subscription worth it by offering subscribers something that they want that is not available to the general public. The trick is finding out what that is for your particular brand. Some examples include exclusive content for subscribers, merchandise only available to subscribers or special discounts, chats with you, and many more.
8. Twitch Bits
Twitch Bits are sort of similar to “likes” or “loves” on other social media platforms except that users have to buy them. They purchase 100 bits at a time for $1.40 and can hand them out however they choose. Those people get $.01. That’s not a lot of money, but it adds up over time and you don’t have to do anything additional to earn it.
9. Ad Revenue
As we mentioned above, Twitch pays out a portion of the ad revenue generated on your page once you become a partner. The cut isn’t a huge percentage of the total but the more popular your page, the more revenue you generate, the better ads will run on your page and the more money in your pocket.
10. Sponsorships and Endorsements
How do you know when you’ve really made it on Twitch? When the brands come to you.
Very popular streamers get sponsored by relevant brands. This works much the same way as influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms. Advertisers and companies want access to your followers, and they want your vote of confidence. Make them pay for it.
What was once only in the hands of major companies and broadcasters are now available to everyone; anyone with a smartphone can record, edit, and publish a video. And everyone can live-stream directly to Twitch or similar platforms – it’s not just for gamers!
And that’s the thing: filmmaking and videography have evolved beyond the normal process of creating a video or film and moved in to live broadcasting for vloggers, YouTubers, and other content creators.
So you might as well start incorporating live streaming into your business model if you haven’t done so already.
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.