People love video games, be it playing them or watching others play. With the boom of online streaming sites like YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook (Meta) and popular video game content creators like PewDiePie and Markiplier, streaming has become the next big thing in the video game industry.
So if you love gaming and enjoy interacting with and entertaining people on the internet, video game streaming might just be the right thing for you.
However, entering this field can take a lot of time, especially if you don’t know where to start. You may have questions like, how can I start streaming, what do I stream, where do I stream, what do I need to start streaming, and how do I monetise it?
This guide will answer all these questions and guide you on how to start earning by streaming video games.
How Can You Start Streaming?
The first question that comes to mind when you think of streaming is how do you do it? What is the process behind it? Is any preparation required, or do we just do whatever we want?
Even though you can stream anything you want, if you are serious about monetising your streams, there are specific steps you have to follow.
- Decide your content niche: Before starting a stream, the first thing you need to answer is; what will the topic of your live stream be? It could be E-sports games, RPGs, speedrunning, funny challenges, let’s plays, and more. Narrow your content to appeal to cater to a specific audience. This way, you will start gaining more viewers quickly.
- Know your audience: It might be challenging for you if you don’t know what to stream for your audience. After deciding the content area, determine what the audience expects from a stream.
- Plan your content: Live streaming does not mean you can just start streaming without any set plan or strategy for your content. You’d be shocked to know many streams are planned and not improvised. It is essential to plan your content ahead and know what you are doing.
- Set a schedule: Set a live streaming schedule and stick to it. Being a consistent streamer is essential to gathering more audience. One suggestion for beginning streamers is to go live at regular intervals to maintain stream frequency.
- Promote: Promote your streams via different social media. You can even pay other streamers to showcase your channel to get more viewers.
So, whether you want to make live streaming a regular pleasure or a revenue-generating endeavour, you must adequately prepare your content.
Which Software To Use For Streaming?
Beginners should use software encoders while streaming on Twitch or YouTube from a desktop PC, according to the agreement.
Software encoders are an essential part of any live stream and have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few of the most well-known solutions:
- OBS Studio: A free, open-source streaming software with cross-platform interoperability that is popular among new Live streamers. However, you might have to adjust to the learning curve if you’ve never utilised live streaming software before.
- Streamlabs OBS: The Streamlabs variant of OBS contains several useful features that might help you monetise your channel. It is, however, only available for Windows.
- XSplit: A standard solution for broadcasters looking to experiment with premium software, it shines only if you’re ready to spend on the paid version.
What Is The Hardware Required For Streaming?
The basic setup for a live stream is a decent camera, a microphone, streaming software, and a stable internet connection. You may also add accessories to make your streams easier and better.
You can use any camera that you have, even a base webcam can work when you are starting out. However, if you have the budget, you can use a professional camera setup. The Logitech C922 Pro is a recommended webcam that provides good quality videos for a good budget.
Now that we have fixed your video, you’ll need high-quality audio. For that, you will need a good microphone. The Audio-Technica AT2020 is the most excellent bargain, while the Shure SM7B provides high-quality audio.
Stable Internet Connection
You’ll need high bandwidth and a stable internet connection if you want to stream video and audio in real-time. Look at the upload and download speeds necessary to check if your connection is fast enough for streaming.
Accessories such as studio lights, green screens, gaming chairs, stream deck, etc., can significantly boost the quality of your stream and make your work easier and more comfortable.
What Are The Different Platforms To Stream On?
You’ve planned your stream and set up your gear. Now can you go live? Sure! You just need to choose a platform first.
Because gaming and e-sports are the most popular genres in live streaming, multiple sites specialise in gaming.
- Twitch: By far, the most popular gaming platform is Twitch. For a newbie, its size might be frightening.
- YouTube Gaming: While not as well-known as Twitch, YouTube Gaming has a sizable gaming community with devoted followers.
- As a player, your third choice is Facebook Gaming, which allows you to connect to the network you’ve already formed on Facebook.
How Can You Monetise Your Streaming Channel?
Once you start streaming, you have to become an affiliate to your chosen streaming platform to start earning. Different platforms have different eligibility criteria. Let’s take a look at them:
Twitch Affiliate Program
The Twitch affiliate program provides a way for you to make money from your channel by enabling viewers to purchase “bits. Bits are Twitch’s currency, and they’re worth $0.01 each. When a viewer buys bits, they can then use them in your chat to show their support.
To become a Twitch affiliate, you must have:
- 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
- 7 unique broadcast days in the previous 30 days
- An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
- Minimum of 50 Followers
Youtube Partner Program
The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) allows creators to monetize their content on YouTube. Once you become a YouTube partner, you can connect your channel to an AdSense account to earn money from ads that run on your videos.
To be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, you must have:
- A minimum of 1,000 subscribers.
- 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- YouTube Partner Program should be available in your country of residence.
- AdSense account should be linked to your YouTube channel.
- No active Community Guidelines strike against your channel.
- Follow all the YouTube channel monetisation policies.
- Your Youtube channel should have a 2-Step Verification for an extra layer of security.
Facebook Gaming Creator Level Up Program
The Level Up Program is Facebook’s initiative to support and grow the gaming community on its platform. The program provides resources, best practices, and access to exclusive events for eligible members.
Moreover, you get access to monetisation features such as Stars and in-stream ads once you are a part of the program.
To be a part of this program, you need to:
- Have a “Gaming Video Creator” page.
- Have broadcast for more than 4 hours in the last 14 days.
- Broadcast a minimum of 2 days in the previous 14 days.
- Have a minimum of 100 followers on your page.
How To Make Money By Video Game Streaming?
Unlike what most people think, you can make money playing video games and streaming the same. The most common are donations, subscriptions, and advertisements.
Donations are probably the most common form of income for video game streamers. Viewers can donate money to their favourite streamers through platforms such as PayPal, Streamlabs, or even pay directly using cryptocurrencies.
The best part? The streaming platforms have no claim over the donations and you get to keep 100% of what is donated to you.
As you start gaining more regular viewers, you have the option to run advertisements for different brands in your streams, usually during stream breaks. These ads can be in the form of text, images, or even videos and pay either using the CPC model or CPM model.
You will usually get paid per view for running these ads, and the amount can vary greatly depending on the brand, your viewer count, and other factors.
Almost all the streaming platforms have some form of advertisement system in place, so if you’re interested in this option, be sure to check out the requirements and guidelines of your chosen platform.
However, be aware that this can be a double-edged sword as you can earn a good amount of money, but many viewers may dislike seeing ads and leave the stream.
Platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming allow your viewers to subscribe to your channel for a monthly fee, and in return, your subscribers usually get some exclusive content or perks, such as ad-free viewing, exclusive videos, and custom emotes.
Even if the streaming platform doesn’t have an official subscription system, you can still set up something similar using Patreon.
This is a great way to guarantee yourself a more steady income, but it can be hard to convince people to subscribe when there are so many free options out there.
With enough viewers, you can start to attract sponsors, which is another great way to monetise your channel.
Sponsorships can take many forms, but usually, a sponsor will pay you a certain amount of money for every 1000 views you get on your sponsored videos.
They may also pay you a lump sum to put their logo on your channel, use their products in your stream, or mention them during your stream.
This is a great way to monetise your channel if you have a large audience, but it can be hard to find sponsors if you don’t.
Some companies that may be interested in sponsoring you are game companies, energy drink companies, or gaming peripheral companies.
If you succeed in building up a large enough audience, you may be able to sell merchandise to them.
This could be things like t-shirts, mousepads, or even your own designed line of energy drinks.
It can be a great way to make some extra money, and it also helps to promote your brand.
Affiliate marketing is a strategy where you promote other people’s products and receive a commission on every sale that you generate.
Influencers and other people with large audiences often participate in affiliate marketing programs.
If you have a large enough audience, you may be able to participate in programs relating to video games, streaming equipment, or gaming peripherals on websites like –
It works like this –
- You apply for a program and are given a special link to share.
- When people click on your link, a cookie is placed on their computer which tracks any purchases they make.
- If they purchase an item within a certain timeframe, you earn a commission on the sale.
The great thing about this is that your viewers already consider you an expert on video games, so they’re more likely to take your recommendations seriously.
Making a Game Store
You can also set up third-party platforms to promote games and earn a charge for purchases made using those links. Nexus.GG is a fantastic service that allows players to create their own page with suggested games and earn commissions when someone buys from it.
Like other subscription services, streamers can also use other platforms such as Patreon to tempt viewers with bonus content and other features. It’s an excellent strategy to augment your income.
Video game streaming can be an exciting and rewarding way to make money playing video games. It’s a fantastic way to interact with others who share your passion for gaming, and it can also be a great source of income.
Just remember that it takes hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck to make it big in the world of video game streaming. So if you’re up for the challenge, go for it! Who knows, you could be the next big thing.
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A lawyer dealing with corporate laws, a voracious reader and a keen writer. Satyaroop has a broad experience in the legal and startup industries and has worked with more than 15 companies, startups and legal publications on research-oriented projects. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction, biking and playing video games.