Many Twitch viewers choose to support their favorite streamers with subscriptions, though it doesn’t pay the creators as much as they might think. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Behind a Twitch subscription
Twitch is a live-streaming platform where content creators from around the world can share their creativity with an online audience. Often, viewers choose to support their favorite streamers by donating money or subscribing to their channels.
A Twitch subscription allows viewers to pay $4.99 per month to support a channel of their choice. This subscription can be either a one-time purchase or recurring. Content creators can offer other bonuses for subscribers, such as personalized emotes and ad-free viewing.
Most Twitch streamers don’t make enough money on subscriptions alone
Many Twitch viewers believe that most of that $4.99 goes directly to the creator. However, that’s far from the truth, and most Twitch streamers don’t make enough money on subscriptions alone to support their channels.
Previously, most streamers on Twitch received 50% of their revenue from subscriptions, while the other half went to Twitch. The streaming platform also allows for a 70/30 revenue split with bigger names, meaning creators could take home up to 70% of their earnings.
in 2020, a petition for all streamers to receive a 70/30 split received over 22,000 votes, which Twitch president Dan Clancy denied. Instead, Twitch has decided to alter its current agreements.
streamers with the 70/30 split will only receive a 70% cut for the first $100,000 earned
Starting June 1, 2023, Twitch will change the way this premium 70/30 split is given, much to the distress of many streamers. Under the new policy, streamers with the 70/30 split will only receive a 70% cut for the first $100,000 earned. After reaching the $100,000 mark, their split goes back down to 50/50.
Eric Pointcrow, a streamer with more than 500,000 followers, took to Twitter to criticize this plan last year:
This $100,000 threshold begins with the “streamer’s annual agreement renewal date” and is calculated over 12 months.
Twitch has stated that the reason for denying the 70/30 split is that it’s costly to run the site. Clancy said, “delivering high definition, low latency, always available live video to nearly every corner of the world is expensive:”
There are a considerable amount of small streamers on Twitch, requiring more firepower from the platform. Though most people are familiar with big names who garner hundreds of thousands of views each stream, in 2023, there’s an average of only 26 viewers per channel.
For a $4.99 subscription, creators only take home half, not accounting for taxes. Because of this, many streamers rely on other ways to make money. For example, viewers can donate money through Twitch by sending Bits, where one Bit is the equivalent of one cent.
Streamers often link their PayPal account to their channel
However, many streamers receive a significant portion of their donation revenue outside of Twitch. Streamers often link their PayPal account to their channel, where viewers can donate money without having to go through Twitch. This allows streamers to take home 100% of the cash.