The digital revolution pushes remote jobs as a new standard. It brings new possibilities for the whole industry, erasing physical limits. Some social groups, like disabled people, particularly benefit from remote job options. Now, besides disability grants, they can rely on their own work. One of the jobs available to almost all social groups, including disabled people, is online video streaming. It has minimum requirements and is limited only by one’s creativity. Let’s take a quick look at ways to self-realise through popular streaming platforms.
What is streaming?
Streaming is a recent phenomenon that emerged about seven years ago. At that time, it was all about gaming. People most often followed funny or charismatic streamers and adopted their manner of communication and style of play. It has recently gained immense popularity in various areas of life, like music, cooking, and sports.
There are also simple conversational streams called ‘talk shows and podcasts’, discussing topics ranging from politics to watching videos with the audience. The main thing that attracts viewers here is the streamer’s charisma and sense of humour.
Streaming is now a separate industry, so the number of platforms for streaming has also increased many times over.
In addition to numerous streaming platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, and Youtube, there are also streaming giants like Amazon, Netflix, Apple TV, Disney, and others. The total audience of streaming services is hundreds of millions of people.
Streamers used to get their main income from the “affiliate program” of a platform. The most popular streaming platforms, Twitch and YouTube, allow users to earn income by displaying real-time ads. But such a system brings good earnings only if you have a large audience that can watch the commercial. Usually, viewers skip ads using various tools, such as ad blockers.
At the moment, the industry is flooded with direct advertisers. The essence of direct sponsorship earnings is that streamers sell advertising space under the stream. Sometimes sponsors want you to display a brand/product directly on a screen.
Nevertheless, donations are the most widespread way to earn money from streaming.
Donations are voluntary support of a streamer by their audience. People often send donations to have their message displayed on the stream, so the streamer reads and answers a question. It’s worth mentioning that such messages sometimes are pretty toxic, so the streamer has to choose whether to accept the donation and show the message.
On most streaming services, donations are in the form of a special currency. For example, on the Twitch live-streaming platform, people donate with “bits.” A streamer can convert this currency into real money and withdraw it to their account.
Donations form almost 80% of the streamer’s income. In this case, a streamer’s earnings don’t depend on the number of subscribers but on their solvency and desire to support a streamer financially. Therefore, it’s impossible to give an exact number.
For example, the most popular streamer in the world is Ninja. The streamer earns up to $600,000 per month. Perhaps, for this reason, the streamers world is kind of a private club. Top streamers are picky about offers of cooperation from companies and don’t like to talk about their earnings.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the streamer’s career might crumble if a piece of bad news about them makes their audience leave their streaming, so the streamers have to steer clear of defamation since it may lead to a huge loss in income.
Some platforms offer advanced programs apart from ad placement. The most popular one is Twitch Affiliate Program. You have to meet the following requirements to be accepted into the programme:
- Have 50 unique followers
- Stream at least 8 hours in the last 30 days
- Stream on 7 different days
- Have an average of 3 unique viewers on streams
Once all conditions are met, you will receive an invitation to the Twitch Affiliate Program by email. After filling in all the data (and there is quite a lot to provide, get ready to spend an hour or two), you will gain access to the extended capabilities.
The most desired one allows you to offer paid subscriptions to your channel. A paid subscription expresses viewers’ commitment to your streams, costing a few dollars per month. Paid subscribers get access to unique features. For example, a separate chat and special emoji. However, you have to configure these features by yourself first.
Additionally, Twitch Affiliates can set up Channel Points to give viewers different gifts and opportunities. The program includes commercial breaks for an additional source of income and unlocking Bits currency. You can even get a percentage of the sale of games and your merchandise if you take care of this possibility.
Twitch affiliates share all the money with the platform in a 50/50 format. Withdrawal is possible starting from 100 dollars. However, a SWIFT transfer is deducted from your money earned on the platform.
How to succeed?
Previously, when streams were a niche phenomenon and represented only gaming content, the key to success was: a powerful PC, good headphones and a microphone, fast Internet, and charisma. If you treat streaming professionally, these costs will easily pay off.
Fortunately, now, everyone without substantial investments can earn and get popular. Live streams on Instagram and Twitch require a user only to have a smartphone with a camera and access to the Internet. The threshold for entry into the streamer craft has been greatly reduced over the years.
As such, streamers don’t have an average income because it depends on many factors. For example, it depends on the target audience of your streams. If your main fanbase is insolvent teenagers, it’s unlikely that you will be able to earn a lot. However, if your audience includes at least a couple of wealthy people, the flow of donations won’t be long in coming.
To sum up: anyone can start streaming. But you need to catch people’s attention and keep improving the quality of your content to turn streams into your main source of income.
Simona LeVey did her degree in psychology at Tel Aviv University. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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