Top 10 Twitch Streamer Reveals How Much They Make From Donations, Ads, Subs And Sponsorships

It's no secret that the top Twitch streamers, such as Ninja and Shroud, make bank from playing games and broadcasting their antics. What remains a mystery is how much they're making. Yesterday, popular Hearthstone streamer Disguised Toast decided to pull back the curtain by not only showing his average income, but using his figures to extrapolate the earnings of other top streamers.

Over the course of a 10-minute video, Disguised Toast breaks down the four main revenue sources for streamers — donations, ads, subscriptions and sponsorships. Having been in the top ten of Twitch streamers with over 1.2 million hours watched, you can be sure Toast knows what he's talking about.

For Toast, donations make up the smallest part of his income, bringing in $US2500 ($3542) per month. Which is a decent amount of coin... but only a bit over half of what he gets from advertisements — $US4000 ($5668). Toast notes this could potentially be more, if he used a special "show ad" button available to partner streamers.

Next up is subscriptions. Normally, 50 per cent of this goes to Twitch, but top streamers get a better deal of 70/30. With 4000 subscribers, Toast gets around $US14,000 per month here.

For comparison, Ninja gets around $US423,500 from his 121,000 subs. Per month.

Image: Disguised Toast

The final source is sponsored streams, usually marked with the "#ads" or "#sponsored" hashtags. Depending on the streamer and game, this can bring in $US0.01 to $US1 per viewer, per hour — so, anywhere from $US100 ($141) to $US10,000 ($14,170).

I'm guessing by now you're wondering "What the hell am I doing with my life? I should just start streaming!" Obviously, it's a lot more complicated and harder than that. At the very least, it's an extremely eye-opening, and one might say brave, video — even Toast's friends and colleagues warned him off making.

How Much MONEY Do Twitch Streamers REALLY Make? (Inside Look from a Top Streamer) [YouTube]


    Good ol’ Toast. He’s one of my favorites and this is definitely the kind of video he likes to make.

    Feels kind of gross that they're making that kind of money while I bust my ass in a 9-5 job and still barely make ends meet fortnight to fortnight.

    Power to them for capitalising on the demand for that type of thing, but it does make me slightly more cynical of our capitalistic society.

      They're like actors though. For every one that makes it, there's 100 who don't.

        I would say 1000's that don't make it. As a teacher I can tell you the next generation all have it in their head they're all going to be youtube/twitch stars.

          Make it millions instead of thousands.
          Yep, a huge number of students think they are going to make their fortune on youtube and twitch.
          I wish more streamers would do a 'day in the life' video that shows all the other work they do other than just streaming the content. I know a few you tubers that make a reasonable living, but they are working 90 hour weeks. Some videos about the entire process would be educational.

            Reminds me of the early '00s online poker thing. Making $100k a year playing a game sounded sweet, until you realised it was an incredibly monotonous, lonely job working antisocial hours 60-100 hours a week. I'll take my 9-5 office job any day.

          +1 there...My 6 yr old son thinks being a YouTuber is a viable career option...

            The fact your 6 year old even knows what a 'youtuber' is, is concerning enough.

              He doesn't know what a "YouTuber" is in that sense of it, just that he sees the videos and wants to do it himself.

          Every generation of kids has stupid goals. It's good because it gives them targets to gradually transition away from and something to focus on as they find their strengths. It's better than them being realistic like I was.

          Nothing wrong with having a go I suppose - if they do it properly, at the very least they'll gain some skills in digital, marketing and networking that may come in handy down the track.

      Maybe you'd have better luck making ends meet Fortnite to Fortnite. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

      The other thing to consider is a lot of the stress and bullshit that goes with this kind of thing. Get big enough, and you're going to have people looking to bring you down, or people who become obsessed with the personality. There's been countless reports of swatting and doxing, DrDisrespect has had his house fired upon twice, and I remember reading once about a streamer who had a fan show up on their door step after they'd worked out where they lived and tried to convince them to let them stay the night. Plus the crazy amount of hours a lot of these players put in to playing, and practicing, and recording, and interacting with fans in other ways.

      Sure, they're making some serious bank, but at what cost?

    With that sort of revenue for ads and subscribers why do people feel the need to donate to them?
    I can see for a smaller streamer but for someone who's go the subs you're not supporting them.

      I think there is a large percentage of desperate need for recognition which is why people donate, they want their names called out on stream for doing it, gets them high or something... I don't understand it either but ultimately many people want to be noticed and will do almost anything for it.

        It may also be some conscious people wishing to "pay" for their entertainment.

          You pay for it by watching ads.

            Yeah, I know. What I'm saying is that some people feel the need to take money out of their pockets and pay for something they have consumed, even if it was nominally free, or paid-for.

    Been watching CohhCarnage lately, he has 14-15k subs but gets alot of donations during streams, I suspected he was making bank but this confirms it.

    Certainly living the dream these guys, if only my personality wasn't as abrasive as 80 grit sandpaper! :(

    I don't want to brag or nothing, but I'm right up there with the big boys. Over the past year on Twitch I've made myself a tidy sum of approximately $30, almost entirely from people I know.
    Yep, mmhmmm, big leagues

      I make about $60 a year from Patreon subs, which is nice.

        That must be fun to include on your tax return.

      You got me beat, I only made $23 from YouTube.

    How sustainable is it though? Can they keep at it until they're in their 30s - 40s - 50s? There's going to be competition from younger streamers. I supposed if they're making all that in a short amount of time, they can retire fairly early on and live comfortably into their senior years. I guess it also depends on if they're investing their money.

    This is actually IMO a little sobering. Excluding sponsored streams a top 10 streamer getting around $300k AUD a year. Don't get me wrong that's great money but streaming is no millionaire factory that some kids would hope it would be. Most careers would have pathways to a role that makes more than this and have more of those roles available by far.

    Obviously the work seems great on paper but it's the kind of work that I could see being mentally draining putting your personality on show for so long and your personality basically being your product for so many hours of the week.

      If you're an extovert it really doesn't matter.

      Closer to $380k AUD for toast based on the numbers in the article and using the same US to AUD conversion as the article for the numbers they haven't converted.

      You have to consider that this is "just" his twitch earnings though. A lot of streamers also upload VODs to YouTube or record additional content for YouTube, and also Patreon. Hard to say how much extra they get there but an extra $200k wouldn't be surprising. From the streamers I watch who regularly have 5000-8000 concurrent viewers per stream I get the impression that Twitch makes them more cash than YouTube but YouTube is still worth doing.

        Yeah good point. Youtube is huge for them too and they'll pay an editor to just edit their twitch clips to get a youtube video out of it.

    Having an 8 year old son, I've watched my fair share of streamers/youtube over the last year or so. At first I was mortified that he counted it as entertainment.

    Then I started to watch some F1 2018 streamers and the odd league race on GT Sport. So yeah, I can see why it can be popular.

    I don't really understand what the fascination is, perhaps I need to be between the ages of 5-15.

    Right now my kids are watching some guy called "thinknoodles"? He's playing Hello neighbor, they've been watching this guy for about a week now on a daily basis. All he does is play games and do a running commentary on what he's doing whilst screaming like a girl and talking in an overly excited manner...really loudly.
    If they're not watching him, they're watching some "Dan TDM" show....which I have to admit is more bearable, I've actually purchased two games because of a game that this "Dan TDM" guy is playing after watching. Little Nightmares and Hello Neighbor. So I guess there's that, perhaps he's helped the company with selling stuff?

    Still though, I find watching people play games the most infuriating experience and at times boring. Horses for courses I guess.

    so much money for so much throw away content.
    what happended to talent?

    I'm surprised they are making that coin without being female and wearing low slung tops.

    Still, each to their own.

    If there is ever a desire to watch a stream from a grumpy, foul mouthed, other side of 50, opinionated redneck gamer, I'll be set like a squid in a fridge.

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