How Much Twitch Streamers Really Make

In recent years, as people grow tired of mounting economical pressure, people are turning to new outlets for money and jobs. Enter streaming platform Twitch, which has launched countless streaming careers since its inception in 2011.

Streaming services like Twitch allow users to stream themselves playing video games, though these landscapes have shifted to also encompass general entertainment and lifestyle content, per Wired, though its the gaming streams that dominate these live streaming services.

Twitch streamers make their money a few ways. According to CreditDonkey, a large portion of their revenue comes from donations. Typically, their donation numbers climb higher and higher as their platform grows. The more people watching, the higher the donation count. However, they also earn money from ads, as Twitch streamers can become Twitch Partners once they reach certain thresholds. There's also the possibility for Twitch streamers to take on-brand work, just like YouTubers. In any case, Twitch streamers can make quite the paycheck — but just how much do they earn?

Twitch streaming isn't as glamorous as some believe

Because of its pay setup, Twitch streamers don't experience regular income streams (pun intended). Instead, their pay is different every time they cash in, depending on how many people donated during their recent streams, how much they donated, how often they streamed, and how many ads were viewed. This means some Twitch streamers have become millionaires, while others don't make a full living from Twitch and instead do it on the side.

According to, the most well-known Twitch streamer, Ninja — who has 17 million subscribers — earns an estimated $25 million from the platform. But other payouts for comparatively smaller streamers, such as Pokimane (with 10,000 subscribers), make about $50,000 per month. Still, this amount of money is hard to reach, with Twitch streamers needing a compelling personality, an open schedule, and strong networking skills to reach these heights. In fact, PC Gamer reports that streamers must be in the top .01% of streamers to make a solid living on the platform.

In addition to subscriptions, ad revenue, and donations, Twitch streamers make money through merchandise sales and affiliate links, though these also mostly benefit larger streamers who have more followers that will purchase items from their links or their merch shops. 

While streamers can spend years building their following and still not earn a full living, this doesn't mean their efforts are for naught — it's ultimately about community.