STREAM INTO THE BIG TIME

Maximum PC - - STREAMING -

There are a lucky few out there who man­age to make money from stream­ing. Only a few, though, so we don’t rec­om­mend quit­ting your job just yet. It’s hard to say what the pre­vail­ing source of in­come is for the av­er­age streamer; some make the bulk of their cash from tips and do­na­tions, which are of­ten tied to shoutouts and on-screen recog­ni­tion. This can work well, par­tic­u­larly for stream­ers with a grow­ing au­di­ence, al­though those on the lower rungs of­ten find this isn’t enough to con­sti­tute a wage. A few also push Pa­treon sub­scrip­tions, al­though that’s a sys­tem more as­so­ci­ated with episodic con­tent.

The key to mak­ing a liv­ing from stream­ing re­ally seems to be the Twitch part­ner pro­gram, a mildly ex­clu­sive club re­served for reg­u­lar stream­ers with a grow­ing au­di­ence. You need to ap­ply to join, and you ab­so­lutely must be­have in terms of copy­right, but when you’re on the train, you share half of each $4.99 monthly sub­scrip­tion to your chan­nel. Ama­zon’s own­er­ship of Twitch also helps; Ama­zon Prime sub­scribers get one sub­scrip­tion in­cluded with their ac­count, so ded­i­cated view­ers may even be able to chip in (vir­tu­ally) for free.

Get­ting to the peak, though? Aside from luck, there are a few key things to con­sider no mat­ter what you’re stream­ing. Be con­sis­tent with your sched­ule and qual­ity. Be pleas­ant, ap­proach­able, and civil. In­ter­act with your chat with­out scar­ing peo­ple away. Make sure your con­tent is ac­ces­si­ble— break it into man­age­able chunks on YouTube, and ar­chive your broad­casts. Keep your im­age and au­dio qual­ity high. Make friends with other stream­ers; they may host your chan­nel when they are off­line, which can drive at­trac­tive traf­fic your way. And, if you can stand it, pick a pop­u­lar topic. Cer­tain games do bet­ter than oth­ers—check Twitch for specifics. And, well, it also helps if you’re highly at­trac­tive.

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