It’s not all gold: Bits, Subs & Tips at Twitch

A quick breakdown on what the streamer earns (if any) within the Twitch environment.

First, there is a difference between affiliates and partners. Also, not all partners are equal, nor are the affiliates.

Note: You may also voluntarly choose not to become affiliate or partner at all, eg. because direct tips shave off much less money than using the Twitch monetarial environment, or because you’re streaming for fame, glory or just the sake of it 🙂

Not everyone is equal

Lets get this jotted down quickly – the ranking thing:

  1. Streamer – your base mode, where you get nothing EXCEPT from direct tips, eg. via PayPal or Ko-Fi
  2. Affiliate – you get all the money for bits, but subscriptions get you 50% at max (with percentual reductions based on the country you live in)
  3. Partners – get all of the above + at least 50% of the money per subscription, but depending on what Twitch decides, you may get even more

Cost breakdown: User

The inner base currency of Twitch is essentially the USD = the US Dollar. 1 bit roughly costs 1 US cent. In Europe, its 1 bit = 1.23 Euro (plus VAT, which changes depending on the country). 1 USD = 0.82 Euro (as of 2020-01-26).

Subscription costs are roughly as follows (US numbers are based on currency conversions):

  • Tier 1: 4.19 Euro / 5 USD
  • Tier 2: 8.40 Euro / 10 USD
  • Tier 3: 16.80 Euro / 20 USD

Transfer costs for direct tips (most common, globally available options):

  • PayPal / Rates are calculated based on the monthly volume of sales, but are roughly 2 – 4% of the overall transfer; also depending on your country
  • Ko-Fi: Does not take a platform fee, only transfer rates are applied (that includes PayPal)

How to support your streamer / DJ the best?

The best options are either direct tips, or cheers. So hype trains primarly supported with bits means much more support for your favorite streamer, than handing out subs, although subscriptions cost less for you as a user. This also depends on the size and the “mainstream approach” of the streams or shows.

Eg. my primary show, Black’N’Deather, is focused on specific sub-genres of Metal, that is, Black / Atmospheric Black / Viking / Pagan / Folk Metal, and to some extents also Thrash / Death / Doom Metal and Grindcore. This is essentially a niché area, even in a nowadays pretty mainstream subculture. Thus, my personal expectations are not high, at least not when looking at potential earnings from Twitch.

For more mainstream streams, you might earn quite a bit, and the subscription path would be an actual option. My personal guesstimate is, when your stream has got 1k = 1000 followers, your average subscription base would be at least 1/5th, so even at that level, you’d get roughly 400 Euro per month.

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