YouTube is a king of live streaming content. However, when it comes to the gaming niche, Twitch has been gaining some massive popularity in the community. Both allow live streamers to earn money in their own typical way, but there are alterations too. This is what that makes the two platforms dissimilar as both possess different monetization rules and ways to get paid to live stream gaming content. Moreover, there are differences in the features and functionalities too. 

Let’s take a close look on the two platforms and understand how to make money live streaming gaming content on one or either of the two platforms.

Live streaming on Twitch be like-

The platform has been broadcasting live streams from the very beginning. Unlike YouTube, it is popular for live content, specially gaming content only. It was taken over by the ecommerce giant Amazon in 2014.

Twitch by numbers

There are

  • More than 140 million users on Twitch platform
  • More than 15 million daily active users
  • A total of 2.2 million active broadcasters on Twitch
  • 241 billion minutes of gaming content broadcasted so far
  • 27,000 active twitch partner accounts
  • 220,000 active Twitch affiliates account


  • 35% of Twitch users browse the live streams on mobile phones
  • Nearly 50% of Twitch users watch at least 20 hours of content in a week
  • An average Twitch user spends 95 minute on the platform
  • On average, there at least 622,000 viewers online at a time

What can you do on Twitch?

Many niches such as talk shows and live interactions are also getting popular on the platform.  However, gaming is the primary content that one can easily find on Twitch. As a professional Twitch streamer you can broadcast your live gameplays. You can stream up to 48 continuous hours in one sitting.  People love gaming and gameplays. With Twitch you get a number of ways to make money live streaming content from the gaming genre.

Basic requirements to begin with live games streaming Twitch and YouTube

With an identical set up, you can start streaming on both Twitch and YouTube live. Here is a list of some basic equipment required for the same-

  1. A Twitch account
  2. A broadcaster software (ex OBS)
  3. Games
  4. Two High specs PCs: if streaming and playing on two different PCs.
  5. Capture device: If using two different PCs
  6. Gaming console: if streaming a console gameplay
  7. Web cam for Face cam
  8. Microphone

Some advanced equipment

To offer a more enhanced viewing experience and get recognized as a brand, you can upgrade your live streaming capabilities using the following advanced tools on both the platforms-

  1. Stream Screen Overlays
  2. Custom logo/branding
  3. Set push alerts
  4. Copyrights-free music repository
  5. Stream replay tools: to play a scene from the stream again in a pop-up window
  6. Chatbots: for example Nightbot on YouTube
  7. Discord for live audio chatting with other gamers

How to make money live streaming on Twitch?

Once the setup is up and ready, and you start streaming live content, Twitch offer an array of ways to make money live streaming video games or other content.

There are two type of live streamers on the Twitch platform- Twitch Partners and Affiliates. Partners are consider as the superior and are offered with some exclusive benefits and monetization opportunities. You can start as an affiliate and later upgrade to Partner level by completing the path to partner criteria. As soon as you unlock the achievement, you can apply for a partner account upfront. 

Direct ways of Twitch monetization

1.     Ads monetization

Twitch embeds Ads on the live stream content, which get viewed by the live users in between the streams. Live streamers get a share from the revenue generated though Ads played on their live streams.

2.     Membership subscriptions

As Ads revenue is not that big to encourage a streamer to adopt Twitch, the platform entices streamers with the special subscription based revenue generation model. Twitch partners can make money streaming live content by asking users to subscribe to the membership plan and get exclusive benefits like Ads-free viewing, Highlighted live chats, exclusive emotes, badges, and much more. Partners can always choose to decide which benefits to offer to the subscribed premium members.

3.     Game sale affiliations

Streamers can refer users to the official Twitch Store to buy games and other stuff and earn commission on the each sale made. This is a popular way to make money live streaming gaming content as many a times subscribers want to buy the stuff they see on the stream. For example, they might want to buy the game the streamer is playing.

4.     Donation through bits

Bits is the digital currency used on the Twitch platform. Viewer can buy the currency or can earn by performing different tasks on the platform. Moreover, they can choose to donate the bits to their favorite streamer, which can be later cashed by the streamer after deducting the commission. One bits is equal to $0.01. Depending on you fan following and stream engagement, you can accumulate a decent amount of bits through donations.

How YouTube live streaming goes on?

Unlike Twitch, Live streaming was not introduced to the YouTube platform until 2013. The Google owned platform, offers more than just live streaming. It is a great repository of millions of VOD content as well. In fact, it also lets you save your live streams as VOD so that you can keep on earning.

On a numeric angle, there are-

  • 1.8 billion monthly YouTube users
  • 180 million users in the US alone
  • Users from approx. 90 countries in the world
  • More than 5 billion installs of its official Android mobile app
  • More than 1,500 YouTube channels with at least 1 million subscribers

Official ways to make money on YouTube Live streaming platform

Similar to Twitch, YouTube too offers many ways to let live streamers earn and be encouraged of using this platform. The official ways are almost similar to that of Twitch, however, some are known with different names-

1.     Ad Revenue

Same as Twitch, YouTube embeds both pre-roll and mid-roll ad videos in the streams. Pre-roll Ads can be seen by users before joining the session. However, mid roll-ads are majority a matter of preference by the streamer. For example, a streamer can choose to take an Ad break in during the mid-stream session and play Ads. The Ad revenue is mainly control by Google AdSense. 

2.     Premium Membership

YouTube users too can choose to subscribe to the premium membership of the particular streamer and gain access to ad-free live streaming plus other benefits. However, there is a difference from Twitch in YouTube premium membership plans. In Twitch the streamer can choose to make his/her stream exclusively for the premium members only, where on YouTube, both premium members and free users can see the stream.

3.     Superchat/ Donations

Superchats are nothing but a way to send highlighted live chats to the streamers with some cost. These chats stand out from the rest of general live chat messages. Only they are displayed on the overlays on the screen too. Once you accumulate a certain amount of funds from the Superchat, YouTube would allow you the payout after deducting a certain amount as commission.

Indirect ways to earn from YouTube and Twitch

In addition to the official ways to make money from Twitch and YouTube live streaming there are some other sources of income too. These sources are however not accessible to every YouTube of twitch streamer, it is indeed a major source of income for the medium to biggest live streamers-

1.     Affiliate marketing

You can sign up for affiliate marketing of different brands and get an affiliate links, which you can share with your viewers through links in description. Like every affiliate program, you would get commissions on the sales made through your unique link. If you are a gaming streamer, you can sign up for the affiliate programs of gaming brands in which your viewers would be interested. You can share the links of products and accessories like Gaming PCs, Gaming accessories, and merchandises too.

2.     Brands sponsorship

If your fan following increases and you getting a decent fellowship, brands might approach you for offering apaid sponsorship in lieu of promoting their products. They can offer the sponsorship as a direct money or in kinds too. It is the biggest source of revenue generation for most of the big live streamers but a difficult one too. You would need acquiring considerable following first to get the brands to sponsor you.

Be cautious

  • Do not go beyond your niche. Promote only the brands relevant to your niche.
  • Do not endanger your repute. Promote only the brands and products, which are good and honest.

3.     Sale of merchandise

Once you have acquired a huge base of followers, you might be able to establish you own brand. Your fans would be interested in buying your merchandise. Wearables and accessories branded with your identity might help you establish a good business setup too. However, this level of following is achieved only after a prolonged period of streaming and maintaining a good connection with the viewers. You might want to keep up the hard work to ultimately achieve this success.

4.     Offsitedonations

In addition to the official ways of donating to the favorite streamers, people also donate through off-site mediums. Though I do not support this method, it is purely depended on your connection with your audience. I have seen gaming streamers receiving economic support from their viewers through bank transfers and PayPal transfers too.   

cosplayshotDigital Marketing
YouTube is a king of live streaming content. However, when it comes to the gaming niche, Twitch has been gaining some massive popularity in the community. Both allow live streamers to earn money in their own typical way, but there are alterations too. This is what that makes the two platforms dissimilar as...