While subscriptions and donations earn popular Twitch streamers a sizable income, those same streamers can also earn upwards of $50,000 per hour playing the latest games.
Since its creation in June of 2011, Twitch has quickly become one of the most profitable platforms for streamers the world over. It has given the gaming community instant access to some of their favorite steamers and, as a result, some of the world's leading brands have invested heavily in advertising on popular channels. By doing this, advertisers can target the right demographic for a given product and also ensure a higher consumer engagement at a much lower cost.
While this isn't too surprising given that Twitch has instituted many features to increase viewer engagement, the amount of money paid to certain streamers does seem a bit excessive. As shocking as it may seem, the influx of advertisers onto Twitch will only serve to increase streamer income and give Twitch the ability to offer even more free services to subscribers. This will not only force other streaming platforms to improve, but it will also help to change how gaming companies interact with their consumers in the future.
An investigative report done by the Wall Street Journal uncovered information that seems to indicate that top Twitch streamers who maintain more than 15,000 viewers can earn anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000 per hour by playing new games. The report goes on to say that major publishers like EA, Activision, and Ubisoft see streamers as a necessary component to their game's success in the current market. This belief is so strong that Ninja was paid one million dollars to play Apex Legends when it was first released.
This recent news doesn't bode well for cable television by any means, especially when you consider the fact that a thirty-second commercial can cost publishers anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 on average. While it is true that Twitch streamers individually don't reach the average numbers produced by major networks, publishers are able to show their games in full using this method. Even if they were to reach the right demographics using a tradition television commercial, they wouldn't have time to really showcase their games.
While this new development is certainly good for the steaming community as a whole, it could lead to certain individuals being over-promoted. Though advertisers are free to choose who they want to promote their brand, it is important that Twitch maintains its status as a platform for everyone, regardless of viewership or channel size. Twitch will need to work with the community to ensure that every individual on its platform continues to have the ability to succeed.