What Does It Mean To Be A Twitch Streamer

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What is Live Streaming?

Live streaming: the social media wave of the last couple of years. Companies, such as Twitch, Mixer, Facebook, and Instagram, have become a platform for people to publicly share their daily lives.  While most of the streaming community consists of people playing video games, there are still plenty of people that do live IRL (In Real Life) streams. Most Twitch Streamers in 2018 can make a decent earning while streaming, as companies allow users to monetize through sponsors, donations, and even partnerships.

 

How does streaming work?

Anyone can be a live streamer now-a-days. All you need is a phone, laptop, or computer. There are so many platforms out there that allow live streaming. Whether it be for fun, or for business, big companies have streamlined live streaming, allowing it to be accessible to anybody.

 

You can stream mobile, with apps such as Facebook and Instagram having integrated live streaming to feeds. It is a fun way to document your every day life, or even special events, and let other people in on the action. Users viewing the live streams can also interact by posting comments, to which the streamer can respond. StreamLabs is also an app that allows IRL streams to Twitch.

 

The most common way people stream is through playing video games. I know, it sounds funny. Who would want to watch somebody play video games for hours? But to some, this is their livelihood. And it’s a way to channel their personality and even make their living. All you need is a decent computer, and you’re able to stream yourself playing video games. You can even add a facecam, so that users can put a face to your commentary.

 

 

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How much does a live streamer make, and can you become one?

But would you be able to monetize yourself? I know it seems easy, but it really is a grind. You see numbers thrown around all the time, and it is very tempting to want to become a streamer. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the prime example.  Twitch streamers can make profit through different means. The most basic way for streamers to make money is through subscribers. People can subscribe monthly to a Twitch user for $4.99 a month. As a verified Twitch partner, that $4.99 is split between Twitch and the streamer.

 

Let’s put that into perspective: As the “face” of Fortnite, Ninja currently has over 9.5 MILLION followers, and over 78,000 monthly subscribers.That means, from subscribers alone, he averages about $195,000 a month. That doesn’t include all the donations, ad revenues, and sponsorship deals he receives. Ninja has also recently streamed Fortnite with celebrities, playing alongside musicians, such as Marshmello, Drake, Lil’ Yachty, and Travis Scott. He has also played with/against NBA players, such as Paul George, Josh Hart, and Karl Anthony Towns. According to an article at Forbes, at one point, Ninja reached up to 140,000 subscribers, with a minimum of $350,000 in a month. That’s insane!

 

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Ninja’s Fortnite Overlay (via Twitch)

Sounds easy, right?

Wrong.

Becoming a profitable live streamer is a grind. You don’t simply buy a computer and become rich overnight. It takes patience, and hundreds/thousands of hours, just to begin to make profit. But no one is saying that it’s not worth it. If you really want to make a living off of streaming, you really have to put in the effort and work.

And you don’t have to have to play video games. You can do IRL streams–streaming your every day life. Twitch Streamers, like JakenbakeLIVE and Andy Milonakis, do streams walking around in different countries, and have many viewers watching. Jakenbakelive is from Los Angeles, but moved to live abroad in Japan. He is constantly streaming, meeting and connective with new people, since he is fluent in Chinese and Japanese.

According to Twitch, these are the requirements to become an Affiliate:

For an invite to our Affiliate Program, you must meet 4 requirements:

  • Stream for 8 hours in the last 30 days
  • Stream on 7 days in the last 30 days
  • Reach an average of 3 viewers per stream
  • Grow your audience to 50 followers

While it doesn’t sound like much of a task, becoming a Twitch Affiliate or Partner isn’t as easy as one thinks.

There are other requirements in order to maintain an audience:

  • Having a nice, funny personality definitely helps.
  • Interacting with your chat.
  • Playing games that don’t have the biggest viewer counts.
    • Games like Fortnite average 225K viewers, with 70-80% of those viewers watching the Top Twitch Streamers.

 

Interviews with Twitch Streamers

 

@kevypooTV

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  1. What got you into Gaming?
    • My gaming roots date back to the 90’s. Growing up my parent’s were both working 12 hour days so my cousins would babysit me. My cousin Jo had a SNES which he hardly used and I fell in love. Everyday after school I would go to their house and play Super Street Fighter II. Because of all this, Street Fighter holds a special place in my heart.
  2. When did you start streaming?
    • I had originally started streaming late 2010 back when Twitch was known as “Justin.TV” (I was known under the name of kevypoo69). During that time I was playing Smite and I was seeing crazy amounts of popularity because of how new livestreaming was at the time. One of my streams I actually got botted and harassed which ultimately lead to me getting banned. Shortly after that event I went through some life issues that caused me to step away from streaming. I started streaming once again in October 2017 on Twitch.
  3. Do you stream part-time, or full-time?
    • Part time, and I still try to stream around 25 hours a week.
  4. What is your favorite game to stream?
    • For me, I don’t have a favorite game to stream because I consider myself a variety streamer. However if I have to choose I would say currently I have been on a Path of Exile and Paladins binge. Two very under the radar games that are polar opposites from each other.
  5. What do you enjoy most about streaming?
    • The thing I enjoy most about streaming has to be the creative control over my content. Previously when I first started streaming in 2010 I felt the pressure from the sponsors, organizations, and my community to play Smite at a very high level. Coming back to Twitch in 2017 I decided to make some major changes and my now I am more of a personality than an esports pro. I can literally stream any game whether it be something mainstream such as Fortnite, IRL/Mobile streams, or even Social Eating; my community will support me 100%. I always tell new viewers to the stream, the game I am playing is just background noise. Essentially its less important, what is more important is our interaction and connection we build.
  6. How long did it take you to become a Twitch Affiliate/Partner?
    • Currently, I’m not the biggest streamer on Twitch. However, there is honestly enough viewership for all content creators to build a community. When I returned to Twitch in October 2017 it took me about 3-weeks to reach affiliate. Right now I’m building up for being a Twitch partner (concurrent viewership of 15).
  7. What advice do you have for somebody trying to start their own stream?
    • Advice for people who want to start livestreaming? I could write an entire novel on this LOL. Some great tips I have personally learned since I started being a content creator:
      • Play games that you love, simply don’t play a game because it is popular (unless of course you absolutely love that game).
      • Have a consistent schedule, think of yourself as a professional televised show. There are scheduled dates and times when fans can expect everything to go live!
      • Remember that every content creator, big and small. We all started with 0 viewers, 0 subscribers, 0 fans. Build your kingdom.

 

@Tatted

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  1. What got you into Gaming?
    • I got into gaming at a young age. I use to play on Game Boys and so fourth. My dad eventually bought my sister, and I our first gaming consoles including the first Xbox which is where I got into games like Rainbow Six, Halo, Splinter Cell and so on. All of which are still to this day games I absolutely love, and find myself drawn to.
  2. When did you start streaming?
    • I started streaming in June of 2015. I had a friend tell me about the site so I started watching some streams, and eventually wanted to try it out myself.
  3. Do you stream part-time, or full-time?
    • I currently stream full time and have been for some time now. I am extremely grateful to be able to do so. It’s mind blowing still to be able to do something I love and be surrounded by so many amazing people in the process.
  4. What is your favorite game to stream?
    • My favorite game to stream is Rainbow Six Siege. I have been streaming the game since beta. As a Rainbow Six fan since a young age it was something I found myself heavily interested in.
  5. What do you enjoy most about streaming?
    • I love being able to meet new people, appeal to them as a broadcaster and being able to connect with one another. Nothing beats meeting amazing people who you find yourself so close with.
  6. How long did it take you to become a Twitch Affiliate/Partner?
    • It took me a year and 2 months to achieve partnership on Twitch.
  7. What advice do you have for somebody trying to start their own stream?
    • I talk about this often, and I absolutely love this question. It can be a grind, and doesn’t come easy but it is very rewarding. It is something that needs to have a lot of time put into in order to build an audience. This could take a while, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Do not compare other’s progress to yours because everyone grows differently. You also do not need the best of the best equipment in order to get started and a lot of people feel they do. Of course, everyone wants to upgrade and have that better quality and by all means do so when you see the growth happening and you are able to do so! Pick a game you love and can find yourself being capable to grow an audience (some games are more flooded with streams and can be more difficult to get noticed), have fun with it, and see where it takes you!

 

My Personal Experience

Being interested in video games since I was young, I have been playing them for as long as I could remember. I never really thought of playing them for other people to watch, especially since I don’t think I’m very good at playing, but I recently got into watching Twitch Streamers. I have just transitioned from console to PC, and have finally started my own Twitch Channel. It took me a while to set everything up, as I prefer to do everything myself, but I had fun learning through YouTube, and getting advice from fellow streamers. I am currently streaming Fortnite, and I don’t have a big following, but I’m hoping that will start to pick up when I can become more consistent with streaming. I’m also trying to do a live DJ set every/every other week, so that I can target different audiences, and bring content that isn’t really being done. If I can do it, you sure can!

 

Are you up for it?

So, do you have what it takes to become a live streamer? Whether for fun, or for profit, the world is out there. Will you ride the wave?

 

Follow me on Twitch!

 

Thanks to Kevin and Raquel for helping me start my channel. Make sure to give them a follow!

Kevin

Raquel

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