How do streamers make money? Partnerships, donations & more

Alice Sjöberg
How do streamers make money?

Becoming a streamer is the goal of many young gamers. But how much can you actually make as a streamer? And how do streamers make money? Here’s everything you need to know.

Streamers earn money in various ways, but the most popular income sources include the platform they’re streaming from, as well as donations, merchandise sales, and brand deals.

When they later grow a following, other options like using websites such as StreamLabs can be used for fans to make a monthly recurring donation on streamers’ donation pages. Creating their own merchandise is also a popular way to both appeal to fans but also earning extra money.

But how much money can you make as a streamer? Here’s everything you need to know.


How much money do streamers make?

How much money a streamer makes depends on several different factors, including what platform they stream on, how popular they are, and if they sell merch or do brand deals – but the numbers can add up quickly.

In 2021, a Twitch revenue leak showed how much Twitch had paid to their biggest streamers between 2019 and then, with the amounts being six to seven figures for each streamer.

Critical Role topped the list with earnings of $9,626,712.16. This was closely followed by xQc at $8,454,427.17 and Summit1g at $5,847,541.17.

How do streamers make money on Twitch?

Twitch streamers earn money in various ways, but the most popular income sources include donations, merchandise sales, brand deals, subscriptions, and Twitch bits.

However, if you want to start making money on Twitch, you have to hit the goals provided by the platform to become ‘Affiliate’ and then ‘Partner.’ Here are the requirements for each level of monetization:


  • 500 total minutes streamed
  • Seven unique days
  • Three concurrent viewers


  • 25 total hours streamed
  • 12 unique days
  • 75 concurrent viewers

The goals on both levels are the minimum requirements to achieve them so that you can surpass all options without worry.

As an Affiliate or Partner, you can earn money with Twitch Bits and subscriptions, with the added perk of ad revenue for Partners.

How do streamers make money on Kick?

Similarly to Twitch, if you want to start making money from your Kick streams, you need to qualify for their Creator Incentive Program.

To qualify, you need to have at least 75 followers and have streamed for at least 5 hours. Once you’re a Kick Creator, you’ll receive a 95% share of the revenue from your channel’s subscriptions.

You can also offer memberships to your viewers. This gives them access to exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes videos or early access to new streams.

How do streamers make money on YouTube Gaming?

The first step to start earning money from YouTube Gaming is to reach the partnership status. This means you need to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers, have at least 4,000 hours of total watch time within the last year, be at least 18 years old, have no community guideline strikes, and have an AdSense account (AdSense is run by Google and sells ad spaces to advertisers).

After you receive partnership status, you have several options for streams of income available to you. These include:

  • YouTube Super Chat – This feature of YouTube Gaming allows viewers to pay a fee (anywhere between $1 to $500) to have their message displayed at the top of the chat feed for a time, for up to five hours. YouTube takes 30% of this fee, leaving 70% to the streamer.
  • YouTube Gaming Memberships – Gamers on YouTube have the opportunity to decide what memberships they will offer and what perks will be given to members of each tier (extra videos, YouTube emotes, etc.). The price can range from $0.99 to $99.99, and like the income from the Super Chat, YouTube takes 30% of this fee. It’s important to note that for this feature, you must have 30,000 subscribers or more. 
  • Ads – Like any other YouTube video, ads are also an option to make a profit with live streaming on YouTube Gaming. Ad revenue will vary from channel, depending on its content and popularity, and you must have at least 10,000 video views. 
  • Channel Merchandise – Gamers on YouTube with at least 10,000 subscribers have the option to showcase their merchandise on their channel page.

Several creators from other platforms also choose to repurpose their streams by uploading them for content on YouTube, which is one of the best-paying platforms for creators. This can be done by uploading highlights of your streams to YouTube or by creating longer, edited videos.

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About The Author

Alice is an Entertainment Writer at Dexerto, whose expertise include social media, internet culture, and Reality TV. She is a NCTJ qualified journalist that previously worked in local news before moving on to entertainment news with OK! Magazine and a wide variety of other publications. You can contact Alice at