10+ Proven Ways Streamers Can Make Money

10+ Proven Ways Streamers Can Make Money

The global live streaming market was valued at $1.4 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow by 16% in 2024. A novice Twitch streamer $50–1,500 per month on average. Broadcasting the content on its own won’t make a penny, but it enables various forms of monetization to step in.

In this article, we’ll go through the main ways of making money with streaming. We’ll start by defining streaming and outlining its subtypes. Then, we’ll elaborate on how streamers can make the money, and give a few suggestions along the way.

Streaming helps to grow the audience — an invaluable asset for marketers. Invest in becoming popular, and we’ll reward you with our monetization features. How? Read the article to find out more.

Streaming 101

Via: Fortune Business Insights

Streamers are individuals who broadcast themselves engaging in various activities, typically via live video feed, on online platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming, or Mixer (now defunct). They often interact with their audience through live chat, creating a community around their content. Streamers can come from diverse backgrounds and may focus on different types of content, leading to various subtypes within the streaming community.

Some common subtypes of streamers include:

  1. Gaming streamers primarily play video games while interacting with their audience. They might focus on specific genres, such as first-person shooters, role-playing games, or multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs).
  2. Creative streamers showcase their artistic talents, such as drawing, painting, digital art, graphic design, crafting, or music production. They regularly provide insights into their creative processes and techniques.
  3. IRL (In Real Life) streamers broadcast their everyday lives, sharing experiences like traveling, cooking, exercising, or socializing. This category can encompass a wide range of activities beyond gaming and creative pursuits.
  4. Podcasters host talk shows, podcasts, or interviews, discussing various topics like gaming news, pop culture, technology, or current events. These streams frequently involve discussions with guests or interactions with the audience.
  5. Esports professionals stream their gameplay, providing insights into their strategies, techniques, and competitive matches. They may also offer tips and tutorials to help aspiring players improve their skills.
  6. Webcam models highlight their personalities and engage in discussions, romantic interactions, or sexually explicit content. While this sphere is generally considered to be adult, not all the models specialize in erotica and can serve as a friend in need.
  7. Astrology and tarot experts are live advisors, specializing in improving the users’ well-being. This niche is similar to webcamming but drives whitehat traffic and remains mainstream overall.
  8. Variety streamers switch between different types of content, offering a mix of gaming, creative endeavors, IRL streams, and other activities based on their interests and audience preferences.

10+ Ways to Make Money as a Streamer

Streaming is the fundamental part of the equation, but still just a part when it comes to making money. When recording or broadcasting live videos, streamers might end up with a bunch of byproducts or wasted opportunities. Let’s collect them one by one, so that you can squeeze out every last dime from your monetization efforts.

Affiliate Marketing

You knew this one coming, but CPA marketing is more than just a tool to earn money. It helps people to get the products they might not be aware of but would be interested in. Referral marketing forms an ecosystem where ad networks, affiliate networks, advertisers, publishers, and, of course, influencers, make a profit.

The only requirement is to have an audience: the bigger, the better. Think about it, an advertiser wants to spread the word about the product at hand, so… why would they opt for a marketing channel with 3.5 users?

As long as you’re passionate about streaming the niche you specialize in, growing the audience should not be a problem. Once the audience grows, however, you want to pay close attention to what kind of ads your audience is exposed to. For example, serving non-mainstream ads on a channel, specializing in family-friendly content can damage the reputation for a long time. Fortunately, HilltopAds works only with whitehat ads, marked by their moderation-friendliness and overall appropriateness.

Over time, you can try promoting the products on your channel yourself, using Direct links from HilltopAds. This should give you more control over which ads are served on your channel, which is good for preserving the audience. However, it might be difficult to combine the roles of advertiser and publisher.

Streaming Ad Program

Similar to affiliate marketing, this is an option to include paid ads in your videos but from YouTube, Facebook, or any other web hosting platform. Video streams typically have the following types of ads.

  • Pre-rolls: the user is to watch this type of ad before proceeding with the stream
  • Mid-rolls: these ads appear during the stream, taking all the available space, while the stream continues in a small dedicated window, until the ad finishes
  • Display ads: small static banners appearing on top of the stream

While the option requires meeting some KPIs before becoming eligible for a monetization program, this is a great way to get acquainted with how advertising works in general. This might come in handy when trying to advertise yourself.

Tips and Donations

Tips, tokens, and donations are the draft horse of streaming. This is a safe way to develop a channel and start monetizing at the same time. For such verticals as cams and astrology, this is the main option for generating profit.

The burden of deciding how much the content is worth lies on the shoulders of the viewer. Starting a channel is a tedious task already, so it's always nice to delegate extra responsibility to somebody else.

Don’t worry, once you get good at content creation and streaming, people will appreciate it by paying more and more, especially in rich countries of Tier-1 region. The tipping system is not a stable source of income, but it’s always nice to have, even when you’re an experienced streamer. Popular streaming services like Twitch offer seamless integration and variability when it comes to picking a payment provider.

Monthly Subscriptions

Twitch allows paying a monthly subscription fee to support a favorite streamer (hopefully you 😀). This monetization strategy provides a more stable and predictable income. At the same time, users get access to some perks, like unique emojis, badges, and ad-free viewing. By acknowledging their contributions, e.g., playing their favorite games the whole day, you can engage subscribers even more.

Subscriptions can also be made auto-renewable, which makes buying months in bulk even more lucrative. Just try to avoid making an impression as if you’re streaming for money only. Aspire for genuine care for the users, as they form the foundation of your monetization. Reward the most active members by listening to them and granting their wishes.

Paywalling Premium Content

Platforms like Patreon enable you to reserve the finest pieces of content for paying members. This is a great way of segmenting your audience and catering to their needs better.

Specifically, the user can decide, whether they are satisfied with free content or want more to learn as much as possible from you.

In case you don’t distinguish between premium and ordinary content, you can paywall the most recent streams and make them publicly available later on when the hype train is long gone. Paywall allows capitalizing on human curiosity, giving just enough materials to spark interest but not enough to satisfy it.


Who says only racecars can benefit from investors? Brands are desperate to penetrate the ad blindness of the users, that’s why influence marketing is so popular nowadays. Advertising through streamers diminishes the hard-selling effect and adds more credibility to the product being promoted.

Companies might implement various payout models: fixed commission per video, monthly salary, free samples, etc. Sometimes you get paid and sometimes you get gifted.

It’s not always that the brands notice popular streamers — after all, they have other affairs to attend. Why don’t you contact a matching pick yourself? Just make sure to define your niche and stick to it.

Initially, it’s better to fulfill your contract obligations for a single brand instead of spreading thin over several companies. Aim for the quality, the quantity will follow.


If a 19-year-old streamer sells her used bathtub water, you can sell your merchandise too. Belle Delphine, PewDiePie, Mr. Beast, and other prominent media figures — they all sell or have sold their merchandise to make extra money.

Make your hats, T-shirts, mugs, stickers, pictures and sell them using online platforms like Spring and Amazon, respectively. People want to get closer to their favorite stars, and merchandise is a way to get closer to heaven.

Moreover, you can carry your branded production with you on streams to appear more consistent and integral with the values promoted. Stream with flying colors!

Tournaments and Events

Mr. Beast and TheRussianBadger are two YouTubers, hosting tournaments for their subscribers and giving away prizes for the winners. “But wait!”, you might say, “we were talking about the ways to make money, not to give it away”. Correct, but they say spend more to earn more for a reason.

Invite either subscribers or paying users for an event, so that the prize pool is made entirely of their fees. While requiring some preparation, tournaments allow creating an event out of thin air and event marketing is a powerful engagement tool.


A streamer is not limited to a single platform and can try out various platforms to pick the ideal audience. Any sphere of activity involves constant perfection, and streaming is no exception.

Moreover, platform diversification is a great way to increase your social media grasp by nudging the users to follow you more actively. You can use YouTube or Twitch for streaming, while Facebook is a solid pick for giveaways and special promos.

A streamer is not limited to streaming only and might start blogging as well, especially if the popularity is already gained. For example, the audience might be interested in knowing more about the streamer’s biography or personal preferences.

Working for Other Companies

Besides casual companies, there are affiliate programs, looking for confident streamers, e.g., Oranum. Live broadcasters are in demand there, which makes it easier to start; but when it comes to astrology, special skills might be required to sound credible and keep the user hooked.

Still, working for other companies is a solid option to get enough experience before freelancing. Provided you have all the necessary tools needed, you can get experience from such companies quicker and learn the basics.

Bonus: Selling Your Expertise and Courses

What good of a top 10 without #11? As a bonus way to make money from streams, you can start selling your expertise and consulting services to your followers. This can either be exclusive live streams or eBooks. It can even be printed materials, bordering the idea of selling merchandise.

As an idea for starters, this can be the courses on how to start streaming and make it better. Think about streaming ideas, niches, gaps — anything goes as long as you’ve been in the industry for a while.

Streaming Requirements

Speaking of the tools needed, here is what you need to start streaming:

  1. A reliable internet connection: to ensure smooth streaming without interruptions.
  2. A computer or gaming console: to run streaming software or apps.
  3. Streaming software: such as OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, or XSplit, to broadcast your content.
  4. A microphone: for clear audio communication with your audience.
  5. A webcam (optional): to add a personal touch and interact face-to-face with viewers.
  6. A platform account: sign up on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook Gaming to start streaming.
  7. Passion and consistency: dedication to create engaging content regularly and interact with your audience.

The most important part, however, is to have a clear idea of what you’re going to say and which niche you will specialize in.


Streaming presents a lucrative opportunity for content creators to monetize their passion and build a dedicated audience. With the global live streaming market booming and various avenues for income generation, aspiring streamers can tap into a range of proven strategies.

From affiliate marketing and ad programs to tips, subscriptions, and merchandise sales, the possibilities are vast. Moreover, diversifying across platforms, hosting events, and offering consulting services can further enhance revenue streams.

However, success in streaming requires not only the right tools and technical setup but also consistency, creativity, and a genuine connection with the audience. By leveraging these strategies and staying dedicated to their craft, aspiring streamers can turn their passion into a sustainable source of income in the dynamic world of online content creation.

If you want to learn more about monetizing your popularity with the audience, sign up for HilltopAds, contact our specialists, and let’s boost your profit together.

Don’t forget to check out our article about Direct Links, dedicated to quick-start monetization of social networks.