Getting paid to live stream takes time, energy, and content that makes people want to watch you. The people who are getting rich by streaming are an incredibly small minority. On Twitch, for example, the top 1,000 channels get 53% of all viewing time. Twitch has more than two million channels, but if you’re ready to put in the work — a lot of it — you can make money by streaming too.
This list highlights nine methods to generate income from live streaming — from the most common and easiest to implement to the more complex and unorthodox.
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Live shopping, also known as live stream shopping or shoppable live streaming, combines the best of e-commerce, social media, and live video. Live shopping videos are live streams that promote and sell products or services to viewers. They’re just like regular streams, but with added features that allow viewers to purchase the products or services they see in-stream.
Live stream shopping has been big in Chinese and other East Asian markets for several years now, but it hasn’t caught on in the same way in Europe and North America. But with the introduction of live shopping features on popular social networking sites like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, as well as some Chinese live shopping platforms like Shopshops rolling out in the U.S., live stream shopping is becoming bigger outside of East Asia.
You can make shoppable live streams whether you’re a brand with products to sell or a content creator who curates products from multiple brands. When it comes to where you stream your shopping videos, you have three options:
- Social media apps with live shopping features: YouTube and TikTok have announced plans for live shopping features on their platforms by the end of 2022, and Instagram has made shoppable live streaming available since 2020.
- Dedicated live shopping platforms: Platforms like TalkShopLive, Shopshops, Amazon Live, Buywith and Popshop offer apps or web-based live streaming with shopping features. Their primary function is live stream shopping and they all have features that let streamers list specific products or services.
- Your own e-commerce store: If you have an Amazon or Shopify store, you can instantly connect it to a live shopping service like Restream Live Shopping. You have complete control over the products or services you feature on your live stream. It makes bringing your products to your viewers easier than ever, no matter where they are.
2. Donations or tips from fans
If you want a sign that your live hobby/side gig/career streaming is moving in the right direction, wait until you receive your first donation or tip. It feels so gratifying when you realize that someone, somewhere, is appreciating what you do enough to send you a couple of dollars.
Most live streaming platforms and websites allow you to make money by letting viewers send you donations or tips. They usually have integrated services or even their own virtual “goods” or “currencies” viewers can use for the transaction.
Here’s a breakdown of the donation/tip systems on the major platforms:
- YouTube’s main tipping service is Super Chat. Viewers can use tips to pin messages in your channel’s chat window, making them more noticeable. YouTube also lets users buy chat animations called Super Stickers, and you get a cut of each purchase.
- Twitch allows viewers to “cheer” using Bits, the platform’s virtual currency. If you’re a Twitch affiliate or partner, you get around $0.01 for every Bit viewers use when cheering. The viewers get to write a message that appears together with a special kind of emote Twitch calls a Cheemote.
- Facebook’s tipping service revolves around Stars, a type of virtual good viewers can buy and send to you, giving you $0.01 per Star. You need to be a part of Facebook’s Level Up program to enable Stars. Facebook also supports fundraising charitable donations for U.S.–based 501(c)(3) organizations.
When you receive a tip, remember to give a shoutout to the person who gave it. If the tip comes with a message or a question during a live AMA (Ask Me Anything), it’s a good idea to prioritize it over other questions.
3. Regular payments from viewers on streaming platforms
Getting an occasional tip from your viewers is great, but regular payments are better. These payments will usually net you a couple of dollars each, but if you can get enough of them, they add up. You’ll need to meet certain requirements to enable this kind of support, as platforms reserve it for members of their content creator programs.
Here’s an overview of recurring payment features on the major platforms:
- YouTube has a channel membership program that allows users to subscribe to its channels with monthly payments. To open your YouTube channel (where you group your videos) to this opportunity, you need to be in the YouTube Partner Program and meet additional eligibility requirements.
- Twitch has a paid subscription program that lets you earn from paid subscriptions if you’re an Affiliate or Partner. Your viewers get one subscription for free through Twitch Prime, or they can pay for them using PayPal, Amazon Pay, or credit cards.
- Facebook Gaming extended its Fan Subscriptions feature to Level Up gaming content creators. You must achieve a certain number of returning weekly viewers, and the feature is only available in certain regions.
If the platform allows it, you should make content that’s exclusive to your subscribers. It’s a nice way to show your most loyal viewers that you appreciate their support. Also, remember to give a shoutout to people when they subscribe and a mention on their subscription anniversaries.
4. Tips and regular payments via third-party platforms
Not everyone is interested in joining partnership programs on streaming platforms. You may also want to keep separate revenue streams to make it easier to move from one platform to another or operate on several platforms at the same time.
For whatever reason, you may need to use a third-party platform to process payments from donations and subscriptions. Some of the most popular options include:
- StreamElements for one-time donations and tips. This platform integrates easily with Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming, and Trovo and it offers different payment options.
- Patreon for regular donations/subscriptions. With the ability to let patrons set monthly pledges, Patreon is the closest you can get to a subscription system without going through a streaming platform’s program.
- GoFundMe or Kickstarter for project-based funding. If you have a project to complete and you’re looking for funding, set up pages on these websites and use your live streams to promote it.
For most of these services, you should consider creating special rewards and content for the people who support you. Decide carefully which content goes behind the paywall and which stays free, though. You can’t keep all your best stuff locked behind a subscription; some of it has to stay free to attract new viewers.
5. Revenue from ads
Advertising revenue powers half the internet, including Google services and Facebook. Why not you too? If you join the right streaming platform or social network, you can start earning some decent ad money.
When you start broadcasting live videos on a specific platform, like YouTube or Facebook, you may be able to take advantage of their advertising programs. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of in-stream ads that are usually available:
- Pre-roll ads: These ads play as soon as a viewer clicks on your stream. They have to view the ad before they can start watching your content.
- Mid-roll ads: Mid-roll ads play in the middle of your live stream. Your stream continues in a smaller window while the ad takes up most of the screen.
- Display and overlay ads: These types of ads usually pop up as banners or small cards on top of your stream.
If you want to generate revenue with ads, join these platforms:
- YouTube offers pre-roll and mid-roll ads, as well as display and overlay ads.
- Facebook offers mid-roll ads if you meet the viewership number criteria.
- Twitch offers in-stream ads, as well as display and native ad opportunities.
Advertising in live streaming is a hot topic and a regular cause of controversy. Try to exercise as much control as you can over the advertisements displayed during your streams or on your channel. Also, remember that viewers can use ad-blocking software to prevent some ads from showing. Therefore, using ads as the sole method to monetize your live streaming may not be the best idea.
Brand deals and sponsorships are another way you can earn money while streaming by engaging with businesses in a mutually beneficial arrangement. If you have a large following on streaming platforms, brands will reach out to you with offers. If they don’t, you can reach out to them.
When dealing with brands, it pays to be professional and detail-oriented. You make money when brands agree to pay you. You’ll want to negotiate every part of the deal, to be 100% sure you’re on the same page regarding your commitment.
Some of the ways you can make money include:
- Sponsorships, where whole streams are sponsored by a brand.
- Banners and other types of advertisements you can display during your streams or on your channel or profile page.
- Sponsored content, like when a game developer pays you to play their game.
Your audience is what will get a brand’s attention. You should have a decent number of viewers and a clear understanding of who they are, their interests, and the types of problems they need solved. Be mindful of cutting deals that make you look like a sellout. Your audiences might not like that, and if you lose your audience, you lose the sponsors.
7. Affiliate programs
With a membership in an affiliate program, you can earn a commission every time a shopper clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase. Sometimes you don’t even have to post a link, because all you need is a promo or coupon code viewers can use when they shop at the place you’re promoting. The link or code is provided to you once you join the affiliate program.
Typically, you place the affiliate link or the code in your stream description. You could also mention the coupon code once or twice during the stream.
Keep in mind that, unless the streaming platform has a deal with the affiliate program, the platform isn’t profiting from your affiliate sales. So keep your content to the point and make the products or services you recommend relevant to your topic. Don’t stream for the sake of making sales — your method for making money by streaming should come second to creating good content.
If you're unsure where to start, give the Restream Referral Program a try. You can earn up to a 30% recurring commission on every subscription that comes from your link.
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8. Create and sell your own merch
Merchandise is an important revenue stream for many people who broadcast live video content. Streaming platforms have recognized this and give users plenty of advice, offering them some truly useful tools to help boost merch sales.
Even with these tools, however, you’ll still have plenty to figure out on your own if you decide to sell merch. What kind of products do you want to sell? T-shirts, mugs, and plush toys are all good choices. You can also sell digital products, such as music or e-books.
You’ll need to think about the design, production, inventory, and shipping of your merch as well. There are a few ways you can do this, including:
- Building your own online store. Handle production, store inventory, and shipping all on your own.
- Overseeing the design but letting one of the platform-approved merch companies produce, store, and ship the merch for a cut of the profits.
- Partnering with stores that let you take advantage of special opportunities on select platforms, such as the YouTube Merch shelf.
Each of these solutions offers different profit margins and requires different levels of involvement. Whatever you choose, you can tie your merchandise business to your live streaming.
Read more: Marketing tips for live video influencers
9. Develop pay-per-view content
Producing live content and selling tickets for it has become hugely popular. It’s no longer just gaming content that gets live viewers. People with all kinds of interests and hobbies are turning to live streams to learn and exchange opinions with like-minded individuals. If you can create content that’s appealing to these viewers, you can make money by selling tickets for your live stream.
First, you need to create content that people will want to pay to watch. It should have some level of exclusivity or a way to stand out from content that is already available for free. You also have to use a platform that lets you sell tickets to live streams. Services like Streamtick let you sell admission to live broadcasts on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter as well. With killer content and a ticketing service, you have everything you need to develop pay-per-view content.
10. Coach/teach/offer lessons
Share your knowledge through live seminars, workshops, or classes. If that sounds too academic for your taste, consider becoming someone’s mentor, coach, or teacher. As long as you have the skills or knowledge other people want to learn, you can earn money from sharing your expertise, and live streaming can help.
A common format is spending one-on-one time with someone who is paying for lessons or coaching sessions, helping them achieve their goals. For example, you can offer a couple of one-on-one lessons every month to the people who pledge your highest tier of support on Patreon. You can also do one-off transactions.
Many streaming platforms are evolving in a way that benefits this revenue model. An increasing number are allowing co-streaming, for example, which is perfect for coaching someone on playing a video game. As platforms improve their overall quality, the dreaded lag time is disappearing, making it easier to communicate via chats. Plus, some platforms allow call-ins. With the right combination of platform and service, you can start critiquing people’s in-game builds, showing them new skills and even preparing them for jobs.
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Ever since the beginning of the internet, people have looked for opportunities to do interesting new things online and earn some money in the process. If you want to use live streaming to generate income, you can pick one of the methods from this list — or all of them. It's up to you. With a little help from a multistreaming tool like Restream, you can even earn money on several streaming platforms all at once. Keep in mind that you have to create content people want to see. Once you build that audience, you need to make sure you keep it. When it comes to live streaming and making money, your audience is your biggest asset.
Live streamers all around the world stream a variety of events to make money. Live streaming has become a popular career choice for several people and live streamers are earning between US $50 to US $1,500 or more a month.How do free streaming services make money? ›
Ads: Users do not pay any money but instead listen to and/or see ads while they use the platform. The advertisers pay the streaming platform for the exposure to their customers.How much do you get paid for live streaming? ›
|Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
Tik tokers earn around 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views. This translates to an earning between $20 to $40 once your video has gained 1 million views. A viral video with 10 million views costs around $200 to $400 from the creator's fund.What is the highest paying streaming service? ›
TIDAL ranks higher than both Spotify and Apple Music in terms of royalty rate and the direct artist payouts available on the platform.How do I start streaming for money? ›
- Live shopping. ...
- Donations or tips from fans. ...
- Regular payments from viewers on streaming platforms. ...
- Tips and regular payments via third-party platforms. ...
- Revenue from ads. ...
- Brand deals and sponsorships. ...
- Affiliate programs. ...
- Create and sell your own merch.
Twitch Affiliate: To become an Affiliate, you must have at least 50 followers and meet minimum streaming metrics in the last 30 days (500 minutes broadcast over at least seven unique days, with an average of at least three concurrent viewers).Is it hard to get money from streaming? ›
There's a lot of money floating around in the video game streaming market but it can be tough to get a good chunk of it. You can earn money streaming on Twitch but many don't consider the upfront cost of equipment, taxes and fees. It takes a lot of showmanship, as well as equipment, to become a profitable streamer.How much should I charge to live stream? ›
An on-site live stream operator can run you up to $1,800 per event, but a remote live stream operator is a more budget-friendly choice. A remote live stream operator typically charges $200 - $500 per event.How many streams does it take to make 1000 dollars? ›
How many streams on Spotify = $1000? On average, you'll have to earn 300,000 to 350,000 streams to generate roughly $1000. Due to those variables we mentioned above, however, streams are not created equally.
How Spotify's streaming royalties work. Royalties are the payments that an artist earns from streams. Spotify royalties are specifically distributed from the net revenue collected from ads and Premium subscription fees. Artists are paid monthly.Does TikTok live Give money? ›
TikTok Live is TikTok's livestream option, which allows creators to connect with their fans while also further monetizing their content. With TikTok Live, fans can leave comments for creators and even give them virtual gifts to show their appreciation. These gifts can be converted to actual money for creators.What is the number 1 live streaming app? ›
- GO Live.
- VK Live.
- 2. Facebook Live.
Twitch is the most popular platform for live streaming content, offering users the option to subscribe to their favorite channels.How much TikTok pays for 1,000 views? ›
According to reports from top influencers, TikTok pays around $0.02 and $0.04 for every 1,000 views. These are reports based on payments received through the TikTok Creator Fund. This is a program that TikTok introduced in 2021 in a bid to compensate content creators for creating content on the platform.Who pays more Instagram or TikTok? ›
By statistics, Instagram has the most users and pays content creators the most.How much does Amazon pay per stream? ›
How Much Does Amazon Music Pay? Amazon Music, the third most popular streaming service after Spotify and Apple Music, pays out one of the highest royalties – roughly $0.00402 per one stream, around $1 per 235 streams, $100 per 23,474 streams, and $1000 per 234,742 streams.How much does Apple Music pay for $1 million streams? ›
How Much Does Apple Music Pay Per Million Streams? Artists receive about $7,000 to $10,000 per million streams on Apple Music. That's a decent chunk of change, in my opinion. With Apple Music alone, you could easily be making $84,000 to $120,000 a year if you were able to generate a million streams per month.How many streams do you need to start getting paid? ›
Therefore, in order for you to receive a decent wage from streaming on Spotify, your songs will need to have over 300,000 streams per month.How long do you have to stream to make money? ›
Become a Twitch Affiliate
With the Twitch affiliate program, Twitch affiliates can earn revenue from certain games, game sales, and Twitch Bits. Streaming regularly, which is at least seven days with at least three concurrent viewers, and increasing your Twitch affiliate status, opens up the Twitch partner program.
- Become a virtual assistant.
- Pet sitting.
- Sell your possessions online.
- Tutor students online.
- Start a blog.
- Sell services online.
- Create sales funnels.
- Sell consulting services.
65% of millionaires have three streams of income. 45% of millionaires have four sources of income. 29% of millionaires have five or more income streams.How much does a streamer with 100 average viewers make? ›
So if you want to play video games on Twitch and earn a full-time income, you need to make it your full-time job. That's something to aspire to. But more realistically, you can expect to make about $1,500 per month if you have 100 viewers.How do I start a streaming career? ›
- Define your goal. The most common mistake people make at the beginning of their streaming career is not setting a goal. ...
- Choose the type of your stream. ...
- Set up your streaming equipment. ...
- Choose your software. ...
- Choose your streaming platform. ...
- Test everything before you go live!
Standard definition uses up to 0.3 GB per hour. High definition (720p) uses up to 1 GB per hour. Full HD (1080p) uses up to 3 GB per hour. UHD (4K) uses up to 7 GB per hour.How much does it cost to get a million streams? ›
The average price per stream is $0.004. $4 for every 1,000 streams. $4000 for each million streams.How many streams to make $100 dollars? ›
|Desired Income/Month||Streams Needed Per Month|
|$1,257 (Minimum Wage)||314,250|
|Annual Salary||Weekly Pay|
Streaming service can be cheaper than cable, but it's not cheaper to pay for all of them at one time. The small monthly fees can quickly add up, bringing you right back to paying more for television service. Sticking with one service may be a good choice, but there are other options, as well.How much is 1 million diamonds on TikTok? ›
If a TikToker's fans buy them 1 million coins worth of virtual gifts on a standard video, then that TikToker's gifts will be converted into diamonds that can be redeemed for $10,000.
It's estimated that the creator fund pays around 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views. How much money does one million TikTok views make? A creator who received one million views could make between $20 to $40.How much is 100 diamonds on TikTok? ›
Each diamond is worth 5 cents. If you have 100 diamonds, you can cash in for $50. However, TikTok also retains 50% of what you earn, so if you earned $50 worth of diamonds, you only keep $25.How do I create a live streaming app? ›
- Create a Team. ...
- Choose an Online Video Host. ...
- Choose Your Content Delivery Network. ...
- Download SDK for iOS or Android. ...
- Load SDK to Mobile Development Software. ...
- Begin Live Streaming App Development. ...
- Work on UI/UX. ...
- Beta Testing and Soft Launch.
- Paramount+ Subscribers. 46,000,000. ...
- Apple. Subscribers (Estimate) 40,000,000. ...
- Eros Now. Subscribers. 39,900,000. ...
- ALTBalaji. Subscribers. 34,000,000. ...
- Globoplay. Subscribers. 30,000,000. ...
- Starz. Subscribers. 27,300,000. 09/2022.
- iFlix. Subscribers. 25,000,000. 03/2020.
- ESPN. Subscribers. 24,900,000. 12/2022.
This list contains the top fifty channels with the most followers on the live streaming social platform Twitch. As of February 2023, the most-followed channel belongs to Ninja with over 18.4 million followers.What makes a good streaming service? ›
The most important feature or characteristic needed to qualify as the best streaming service is a user-friendly interface. User experience is vital to attract customers. They tend to abandon their purchases due to a bad user experience. People don't like dealing with complex interfaces, nor do they have the time.Are free streaming services legal? ›
If you're simply watching a stream of unlicensed content, you're not technically breaking the law. Where it becomes a crime is if you download the movie or show, or host a stream yourself. The PLSA law is going after the big fish – the services that stream pirated content.How does Netflix make money with no ads? ›
Netflix makes money without ads by only offering paid subscriptions. Customers can choose their subscription plan based on how many screens they want to apply it to and the streaming quality they want. A Netflix subscription costs between $9.99 to $19.99 per month, depending on which package you choose.How does Netflix make money without commercials? ›
Today, Netflix's main source of revenue comes from its massive amount of subscribers, each paying from $8.99 to $15.99 per month. With a reported 182.8 million paying subscribers around the world, the platform brings in millions in revenue per quarter.How does Tubi make money? ›
Tubi makes money through advertising.
Tubi is a free digital streaming service, though it has advertising content in the form of commercials that play when a user switches between content or goes forward or backward within one piece of streaming content. Tubi makes all of its money from advertising in this way.
What are Illegal Streaming Sites? Illegal streaming sites allow users to download movies, music, and other entertainment files without paying for them. These sites offer pirated content that is distributed without the knowledge and permission of those holding rights to the content.How do I start a streaming channel? ›
- Find your niche. ...
- Focus on your target audience. ...
- Find your content. ...
- Choose the monetization model. ...
- Review streaming platform requirements. ...
- Build an MVP before pouring millions of VC money.
Streaming devices, such as USB sticks, IPTV devices and set-top boxes, can be illegally configured with infringing apps and add-ons to unlawfully stream copyrighted TV, films, sports, music and games.Where do streaming services make money? ›
In most cases, streaming services make money through paid subscriptions and ad revenue. In some cases, a percentage of the ad revenue made while a musician's work is streaming is then given to the recording artist.Is there a way to get paid to watch Netflix? ›
Netflix employs people called "taggers," which are part-time employees who get paid to watch TV shows and movies on the streaming service. Taggers associate Netflix content with various tags, helping the service recommend other shows and movies to viewers after they finish watching.How much does Netflix pay to license content? ›
For writers looking to capitalize on that, just how much can a Netflix screenwriter make when they sell a script to the streaming giant? As a general guideline, the streaming giant Netflix pays between $100 million to $250 million for the rights to a typical box-office movie that they wish to put on their platform.How do TV channels make money without ads? ›
TV channels mainly earn through TRPs and DTH cable operators.Who is the owner of Netflix? ›
Netflix, in full Netflix, Inc., media-streaming and video-rental company founded in 1997 by American entrepreneurs Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. It is also involved in the creation of original programming. Corporate headquarters are in Los Gatos, California.