Less than a week until TNW València 🇪🇸 Get a last-minute 30% discount on your ticket

This article was published on July 23, 2017

How to make money livestreaming

How to make money livestreaming
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Recently we published a piece helping new livestreamers get started. Basic stuff, right? Now we think you’re ready for a more advanced lesson: How to make money doing livestreams.

This is not casual stuff we’re talking about — you’ll need a lot of time, dedication, and probably no small amount of luck to get to the point where you can make decent money while livestreaming.

But we all have to start somewhere, and if you’re serious about what you’re doing, here are some of the tools you can use to make money while you’re streaming.


Advertising might seem like the way to make decent money while livestreaming, but you might not be able to do it depending on the platform.

Facebook Live and Periscope allow pre-roll and mid-roll ads on their livestreams, but it’s not available to just everyone — you’ll need a relatively large audience (300 viewers on FB Live, for example) before you’ll get the option to put ads in your streams.

Most YouTube channels make their money by volunteering to be part of Google’s Adsense, which pays . Again, this will be something will only come to a large channel, as YouTubers cannot make ad money until they reach 10,000 lifetime views.

Fan Donations

One version of it on YouTube is Super Chat, which lets viewers pay a small fee to get their chat message pinned to the top of the comment section for a select amount of time.

Twitch’s version of the same system is Bits. Viewers pay for partnered or affiliated streamers to receive a certain number of Bits, with Twitch splitting the revenue between itself and the streamer. Viewers send messages with their Bits which stand out from the rest of the chat.

There’s also third-party donation processors out there to allow viewers to make larger donations directly to the streamer. Streamlabs — which works with YouTube, Mixer, Facebook Live, and Twitch — has the highest profile out of them.


One-time donations can do a lot for a streamer — for some streamers, it may be a primary source of income. But if you’re a regular streamer and you have a dedicated audience, you can open yourself to monthly subscriptions. These allow you to capitalize on a core audience for income without necessarily alienating newcomers.

Twitch, Mixer, Smashcast, and Picarto both have in-house monthly subscription services, which allow audience members to pay a monthly fee to support the streamer.

For a less platform-specific solution, Patreon is king. Patreon patrons can pledge a specific fee per month, which works the same way as a subscription. Patreon allows the creator to set what kind of rewards, if any, their patrons receive by pledging, which makes it ideal for connecting with an audience.

Now that you know what tools are available, you’re ready to try your hand at monetizing your livestream. Good luck!

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with