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Live Game Streaming Platforms That Pay Creators

Room with equipment for live game streaming

Gamers who live stream their gameplay have different needs. Well…maybe not all gamers. Those who play strategy games and puzzle games can stream with just a regular connection. But if you play a fast-paced game like a first-person shooter or a driving game, you’ll need a fast connection, picture-in-picture video capability, and maybe multi-player voice chat functionality. On top of that, you’ll want to stream on a forum where there are plenty of fans who want to watch you play and maybe reward you for great gameplay. We profile a few such live game streaming platforms for you.

We found something surprising while researching for this article: there aren’t a lot of gamer-friendly streaming platforms. There used to be quite a few. But a lot of them shut down in the past few years.

We did find a few live game streaming platforms worth profiling. They all pay their streamers in some way. You’re always free to make off-platform deals like endorsements like any creator can. But we think it’s important for the platforms themselves to pay you as well.

We start with the platform best known for its gamer community: Twitch.

Twitch is a Live Game Streaming Platform Best Known for Its Gamer Community

Let’s get this out of the way: Twitch isn’t only for streaming games. You can stream all sorts of videos on Twitch. But it just happens to be best known for live game streaming.

To Make Money on Twitch, You Have to be an Affiliate or a Partner

There are a lot of ways a gamer can make money live streaming on Twitch. But, before you can earn, you have to be an Affiliate or Partner.

To become an Affiliate, you have to:

  • Have 50 followers
  • Stream for 8 hours, spread out on 7 different days
  • Have an average of 3 viewers per stream
  • All completed in a 30-day period

To become a Partner, you have to:

  • Stream for 25 hours on 12 different days
  • With an average viewership of 75 people for the streams
  • The streams can’t be Premiers, Reruns, or Subscriber Streams
  • Complete the requirements in a 30-day period

Once you hit the Partner minimums, you have to apply. Approval isn’t guaranteed.

There are Five Ways a Creator Can Make Money Through Twitch

There are 5 ways to earn money on Twitch. Because Amazon owns Twitch, some of these ways are through various Amazon subscription programs.


You can set subscriptions at $4.99/month, $9.99/month, and $24.99/month. You can give your subscribers special goodies like customized emotes, special badges, commercial free streams, and so forth.

Your viewers can gift subscriptions to other viewers. Subscriptions usually automatically renew at the end of every month. But if a viewer is also an Amazon Prime Gaming member, they get one free subscription every month. For them, the subscription doesn’t automatically renew, so you’ll have to remind these subscribers to re-subscribe your channel every month.

The subscription pricing is adjusted for countries with a different cost of living. This way viewers there can afford to buy subscriptions.

You split the subscription revenue with Twitch 50/50. Twitch used to offer a better percentage for some streamers, but that program is not available for new creators.


You buy Bits with real money. Then, you can use Bits to buy Cheers during live game streams. Each Bit is worth $0.01 to the creator.

When your audience uses Bits in extensions (parts of your stream screen where audience can control and interact with), you’ll get 80% of the $0.01 and the extensions developer gets 20%.


You can run ads during your streams. You get to pick if and how many ads you run before, during, and after a stream.

The ad programs are a little different for Affiliates and Partners. Affiliates who set their Ad Manager to run ads for 3 or more minutes per hour will get a 55% share of the ad revenue. Those who run less than 3 minutes of ads will receive a 30% rev share.

Most Partners are eligible for the Ads Incentive Program (AIP). Your ad revenue share is 55%. Every month, you’ll get various goals for various money amounts. You get that money when you hit those goals. The goals and money amount will change from month to month.

You’ll still earn 55% revenue share if you pause your participation in the AIP. AIP is opt in, so if you don’t opt in, you’ll still earn what you currently earn for running ads. This is usually a flat amount per 1,000 views. We couldn’t find the exact amount and it seems the amount can change depending on how much advertisers bid for the ad space.

Amazon Associates

Since Amazon owns Twitch, you can become an Amazon Associate and earn a commission for affiliate marketing of things sold on Amazon. The commission is different depending on product category. Here’s the list of percentages.


Twitch pays out when you have at least $50 in your account. They can send money via ACH, PayPal, check, or local bank/eCheck. They can also send via wire transfer, but, due to transfer fees, the minimum payout amount is $100.

YouTube Hosts Many Types of Live Game Streaming

Most people know that gamers do a lot of live game streaming on YouTube. We already did an article on YouTube, and YouTube pays its gamers in the same way as it pays its other YouTube creators. So, check out this article for the details on how to make money as a gamer on YouTube:

How to Get Paid on YouTube, for Creators

Because gamers and games sometimes feature mature or adult content, YouTube does have a page summarizing its content policy as applied to gamers. The policy focuses on how excessive language, adult content, and violence can reduce your ad streaming monetization opportunities.

Facebook Also Has a Live Game Streaming Community

Facebook offers a lot of services. One of them is Facebook Gaming. There, you can play games for free and watch live game streaming from other gamers.

To make money on Facebook Gaming, you mostly follow the same rules that all other Facebook creators follow. You can find the details in our earlier article profiling Facebook:

How to Get Paid on Facebook and Instagram, for Creators

But Facebook has a few specific rules that apply only to Facebook Gaming. We summarize them here.

Anyone can live stream games on Facebook Gaming. But to get gamer creator benefits, you have to join the Level Up program. To qualify, you have to have:

  • Created a Gaming Video Creator Page for at least 14 days
  • Gathered 100 followers for that Page
  • Streamed a game (which you’ll tag) for at least 4 hours in the preceding 14 days.

Once you’re in the Level Up program, you’re eligible to earn Stars even if you don’t qualify under the normal minimum to receive Stars. You can also earn a rev share from Subscriptions and ads if you meet the standard minimum criteria (see main Facebook article).

Those in the Level Up program can earn more if they become a Partner. Once you’ve met the eligibility criteria based on engagement and number of followers, you’ll have to apply.

Not everyone who applies will be accepted—the applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. At a minimum, you have to stream often and tag the game correctly and follow minimum community standards. Partners can receive Stars, get ad rev share, offer subscriptions, and offer branded content.

Caffeine is a Newer Live Game Streaming Platform with Ambitious Plans

Caffeine is a general streaming platform. It also has a large gamer community. The platform is relatively new, and it’s giving incentives to established creators to move their followers to the platform.

Creators on Caffeine Can Earn Money by Exchanging Credits for Cash

Creators on Caffeine earn money mostly from awards given by their viewers. Viewers first buy Gold with actual money. Gold can be used to send Props to creators to support their gameplay. Viewers can also use Props to buy items for creators during live game streaming (e.g. extra health potion).

Creators can exchange Props for Credits. Then, they can cash out the Credits. They can also exchange the Credits for Gold so they can use the Gold for other things on Caffeine.

You need a minimum of 4545 credits to convert to cash ($50). Right now, 1,000 Credits is about $11.

There are Two Tiers of Creators on Caffeine

Caffeine creators can be a Caster or a Partner. The Partner program is invite only. It gives creators better support like production, technical, and marketing support. There’s also a guaranteed minimum payment and a 50/50 rev share for Props. Caffeine seems to promote to Partner only those creators that they think will help the platform grow and will bring in viewers from other platforms.

Anyone can join the Caster program. There are three levels of Casters: Basic, Yellow Caster, and Cyan Caster.

The Basic level gives you a 50/50 rev share for Props. The Yellow and Cyan levels give you additional marketing support. When you reach the Yellow level, you’ll get a one-time reward. Once you reach the Cyan level, Caffeine will make monthly payments to you. Cyan Creators also have access to the Creator Fund.

To become a Yellow Caster, you have to:

  • Have broadcasted at least 400 minutes in the previous month, over at least 5 days
  • Average at least 3 viewers during your live broadcasts
  • Have 50+ followers

You’re automatically upgraded from Basic to Yellow once you hit these numbers.

To become a Cyan Caster, you have to:

  • Have broadcasted between 20-40 hours a month, over at least 8 days
  • Consistently peak with at least 8 viewers during live broadcasts
  • Have 100+ followers

You have to apply to the Cyan level. Not everyone who applies is approved. In addition to the minimums, Caffeine also looks at other factors like variety of content, viewership growth, passion for entertaining, etc.


You have to have $100 in your account before you can ask for a payout. Caffeine can pay out to PayPal, ACH (US and International ACH), check/eCheck, or wire transfer. If you’re outside the US, then you’ll have to pay a 2.5% international transaction fee as well.

Caffeine doesn’t charge for payout but its payment processor, Tipalti, does. The fee ranges from $1 for ACH or PayPal to $26 for international wire.

Discord is Better Known as a Messaging Platform for Gamers but You Can Do Basic Live Game Streaming as Well

A lot of gamers use Discord as a way to communicate outside a game. The platform is often used to share gaming knowledge and tips. Discord is not known as a live game streaming platform, but you can do rudimentary streams on Discord.

Discord is beta testing a membership program as a way to pay its creators. Only a limited number of servers have it. But it seems like the subscription program will let the server owner/admin divide the server space into general access and subscriber-only areas.

Discord’s subscription program gives creators a revenue share. Creators take 90% and Discord takes 10%. You have to have a minimum of $25 before you can ask for a payout. Discord will pay the amount you had in the account at the end of the previous month.

There’s not much info about membership pricing directly from Discord. But we found this Reuters article that says the price can go from $2.99-$99.99.

Should Gamer Creators Have Their Own Website?

Yes, we do think gamer creators should have their own website. But how detailed a website depends on the type of games you play.

We’ve seen creators who play strategy games put a lot of tips in blogs on their websites. We’ve also seen RPG creators put a lot of info on character stats on their websites too. So, if you play these types of games, you might want to do something like it.

But if you play a fast-paced game like a driving game or a first-person shooter game, these live game streams work best if they remain on the streaming platforms. You can embed clips and replays on your website, of course, but link to the platform for the actual videos.

Whatever you do, just be sure to have a place for your fans to find you if your streaming platform goes down or goes out of existence. Considering how many live game streaming platforms have gone out of business in recent years, this is definitely a precaution you should take.

Be sure to also have a social media presence like a Facebook page or a Twitter account. This way, you create another way to safe-guard against sudden platform implosions.

Gaming and eSports Seem to be Consolidating onto Just a Few Platforms

The nature of sports is that anyone can play, but only a few can play so well that people will pay to watch. And that’s the same for live game streaming and eSports. But maybe this is why there seems to be just a few big platforms that great gamers stream from.

There are other ways gamers can make money that’s not usually available to other creators. Winning an eSports tournament will give prizes, and many eSports teams are sponsored by brands that will provide living and training spaces, for example. But these ways tend to be reserved only for the top players.

Maybe you’re not pro-level good yet. But everyone has to have a place to start. Streaming on one of the platforms profiled here seems to be as good as any.

Interested in starting and running a small business? Here’s the beginning of our step-by-step guide: What to do right after getting that great business idea.

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