Creating great live-streaming content requires dedication, time, and energy. The more frequently you stream, the more chances you have to get in front of people, build an audience, and generate a viable revenue source. While many people are getting into streaming, reports show that the top 5,000 channels account for 75% of all views on sites like Twitch.
Video is an engaging medium and ideal for developing a monetizable online brand and community. But selecting a video monetization strategy that makes the most sense for your specific audience and goals is critical. Fortunately, there are many ways to monetize live streams.
Live Streaming Cheat Sheet
Live streaming can be challenging. So here are some quick tips you can use to speed up your progress as a streamer and eventually be able to monetize live streams:
Look confident on camera
It’s natural to feel strange when you first start streaming. However, the more time you spend doing it, the more confident you’ll feel. With one simple trick, you can speed up the process. Alter your on-camera body language. Sit as comfortably as possible, keeping your shoulders back, your neck relaxed, and your posture straight.
Communicate with your audience
Refresh that viewer list now and then, and whenever you spot someone new joining the stream, say, “Hello (username), welcome to the stream.” Be courteous, answer viewers’ questions, and ask them your own. Communicate with them as you would with anyone else. If someone is disturbing you or others, remove them and end the conversation quickly without arguments.
Avoid inappropriate behavior
Be careful of how you behave during a live stream. It’s okay to get excited, but it is never okay to use abusive language or make sexist comments or racist jokes.
Learn from your competitors
Look to your competitors’ content for inspiration and see the mistakes you feel they made in their content that you can avoid. See any gaps or opportunities? Start incorporating them in your live streams.
Use additional tools
It’s incredible how a few simple tools can vastly improve a streamer’s work. A stream monitoring system is one such tool. These let you monitor your streams’ incoming and outgoing data in real-time. Other tools, like full streaming software, such as Streamlabs, have many additional features for advanced streamers.
10 Ways To Monetize Your Live Streams
Live shopping or shoppable live streaming combines the best of e-commerce, social media, and live video. These shopping videos are live streams promoting and selling products or services to viewers. They function similarly to regular streams but with the addition of features that allow viewers to purchase the products or services they see in-stream.
You can create shoppable live streams by promoting a brand’s shoppable link or curating products from multiple brands.
YouTube and TikTok have announced plans for live shopping features on their platforms by the end of 2022, and Instagram has offered shoppable live streaming since 2020.
TalkShopLive, ShopShops, Amazon Live, buy with, and Popshop are dedicated live shopping platforms that offer apps or web-based live streaming with shopping features. Their primary function is to enable live-stream shopping, and they all include features that allow streamers to list specific products or services.
Donations or tips
Some live-streaming platforms allow users to make donations to their favorite streamers, which is likely to be a more appealing option for most supporters. This is because such contributions are typically accompanied by a personalized message, allowing users to interact with the streamer and receive a response or reaction from them. The most common of these is YouTube Super Chats.
Viewers on apps like Twitch and TikTok can tip with unique tokens. Tokens have different monetary values, and creators can encash them via the streaming platform.
Alternatively, broadcasters can direct their viewers to platforms such as Patreon or SubscribeStar. These use a subscription-based model in which supporters can earn different rewards or privileges based on the monthly amount they wish to contribute.
You can eventually turn your streaming channel into a source of regular income. To enable this type of support, you need to meet specific requirements of the platforms reserved for members of their content creator programs.
Here are the monetization options of the three major streaming platforms for gamers:
- YouTube’s channel membership program allows users to pay monthly to subscribe to your channel. You must be a member of the YouTube Partner Program and meet additional eligibility requirements to make your YouTube channel (where you group your videos) available for this opportunity.
- Twitch has a paid subscription program that allows Affiliates and Partners to earn money from paid subscriptions. Twitch Bits are a virtual currency that viewers send to streamers to “cheer” for them while live streaming. Streamers are paid $0.01 for each Bit received during a stream. This adds up as your viewership grows.
- Facebook Fan Subscriptions feature now includes gaming content. You need a certain number of weekly returning viewers to be eligible. This new incentive program is part of the network’s commitment to invest more than USD 1 billion in creators by 2022. Throughout the program, creators can earn a bonus of up to $10,000. It’s by invitation only in 27 markets where creators can use the Subscriptions feature.
While you’re building up your channel to meet the criteria to enter into partner programs, you can monetize live streams using third-party platforms. You need to build a product or special offers that your fans will be happy to pay to access.
Among the most popular choices are:
- StreamElements is best for one-time donations and tips. This platform easily integrates with Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming, providing various payment options.
- Patreon is suitable for recurring donations/subscriptions. It allows patrons to set monthly pledges, the closest thing to a subscription system, without going through a streaming platform’s program. You’ll need to offer something in return, though.
- GoFundMe or Kickstarter is for creators who need to raise project-based funding. Set up pages on these websites, use your live streams to promote your project, and ask fans for financial support.
You should consider creating special rewards and content for those who support you for most of these services. Choose which content goes behind the paywall and which remains free.
Most people dislike ads appearing during a broadcast, but the statistics speak for themselves. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 67% of global consumers would rather have an ad-filled but free viewing experience than pay a subscription fee. Add to that the fact that ad-based monetization schemes are among the simplest to implement, and you have a winning business model!
So, if you wish to monetize live streams through ads, here are the types of ads you can use:
- Pre-roll ads: These begin playing as soon as a viewer clicks on your stream. They must first view it before they can watch your content.
- Mid-roll ads: They appear in the middle of your live stream. While the ad takes up most of the screen, your stream continues in a smaller window.
- Display and overlay ads: These appear as banners or small cards on top of your stream.
Also, keep in mind that ad-averse viewers can use ad-blocking software. So, relying solely on ads to monetize your live streaming may not be the best idea.
Other brands can pay to be featured in your streams thanks to partnerships with sponsors. If you are just starting with live streaming, until you have a sizable audience, you will most likely earn more from sponsorships than ads.
Some examples of how to highlight sponsored brand partnerships are:
- Placing a sponsor’s logo on or near your video
- Having banner ads in the background
- Using pre-roll sponsorship videos
- Having announcements similar to “This stream was sponsored by”
Strategic product placement is another type of sponsorship. This is ideal for streamers with a specific target audience because it allows them to showcase a natural and organic product to their brand. The key to successful product-focused sponsored content is only working with brands you truly enjoy and share your values with.
With an affiliate program membership, you earn a commission every time a customer clicks on your custom link and makes a purchase. You don’t always need a link, as you can also reveal a promo code that viewers can use when shopping at the location you’re promoting.
Depending on the main topics you live stream on, you could join an affiliate program and have your audience buy products or services that are directly related to your content niche.
You may have seen some of your favorite streamers holding coffee mugs with their logo. This can be a great way to monetize your live streams. Create a storefront on your website, or if you’re streaming to YouTube Live, have a merch shelf with print-on-demand services that will dropship products for you.
This can be a great way to brand your live streams and reach new viewers as customers wear your merch to parties and other events.
You can also ask your customers to share their enthusiasm for your brand on their live streams or social media channels. This can lead to an increase in viewers and additional income.
YouTube’s Merch Shelf enables subscribers to purchase merchandise directly from your channel. You need to meet some criteria to be eligible for this feature. Merch Shelf, once enabled, will display your merch beneath your YouTube videos and live streams. Your subscribers can click on the links to learn more about, browse, and purchase your custom merch.
Think of live streaming as a series of digital events if you want to monetize live streams. After that, charge admission to some of these events. Live viewers are no longer limited to gaming content. People with a wide range of interests and hobbies are turning to live streams to learn and share their thoughts with others who share their interests. You can make money by selling tickets to your live stream if you can create content that appeals to these viewers.
For example, you could do a free Minecraft speedrun and then a paid-only follow-up stream where you explain your strategies and interact with fans.
You’ll need a method for charging users for access. Streaming platforms such as Streamtick and Glimpse enable you to sell admission to live broadcasts on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.
Offering courses and coaching is another way to monetize online video content. This method of making money with streaming is usually used after you’ve established some authority in your field. Many streaming platforms are evolving to incorporate this method. A growing number, for example, allow co-streaming, ideal for coaching someone on how to play a video game. The lag time is disappearing as platforms improve their overall quality, making it easier to communicate via chats.
Furthermore, some platforms allow for call-ins. With the right platform and service, you can begin critiquing people’s in-game builds, teaching them new skills, and so on.
Bonus: Top Earning Live Streamers for Inspiration
Followers: 23.8M on YouTube, 18.4M on Twitch
Everyone interested in eSports or streaming has heard of Ninja “Tyler” Blevins. His international breakthrough came during the Fortnite hype in 2018 when he broke record after record, became one of the most successful Twitch streamers, and continued his reign on the top.
Followers: 6.81M on YouTube, 10.4M on Twitch
Shroud primarily makes videos for first-person shooter games like PUBG, Valorant, CSGO, and Overwatch. His abilities in CSGO have contributed significantly to his fame and the game that launched his professional gaming career when he joined many ESEA teams.
Followers: 4.76M on YouTube, 7M on Twitch
The 31-year-old streamer has made a name for himself in various games, including Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Fall Guys, and Call of Duty: Warzone, but his popularity skyrocketed during the Fortnite boom in 2018. Tim has won many awards, but the Fan Favorite Male Streamer and Gamer award is one of his most notable accomplishments in his streaming career.
Followers: 4m on YouTube, 6.6M on Twitch
Nicholas’ “Nickmercs” Kolcheff, also known as Faze NickMercs, is a Twitch streamer, YouTuber, and Faze Clan co-owner. He mainly streams competitive FPS games but also plays Fortnite Battle Royale and Apex Legends.
Followers: 2.8M on YouTube, 11.4M on Twitch
Felix Lengyel, a Canadian YouTuber and Twitch streamer known online as “xQc,” started his career as a professional Overwatch player. He also creates content on Apex Legends, Minecraft, and Grand Theft Auto V gameplay.
How To Monetize Live Streams With Atisfyre
Content monetization is easy for small streamers and content creators when they can secure brand sponsorships and paid collaborations. However, attracting a brand’s attention with a smaller channel can take time and effort.
Atisfyre helps gamers and streamers work with brands on projects of their choice. The algorithm considers all your preferences and matches you with brands looking for a partner like you.