In recent years, the live streaming industry has exploded in popularity due to the public’s insatiable appetite for video content.
As the market continues to grow, it may be time for you to ride the wave by growing an audience, selling your own merchandise, striking brand deals, and monetizing your live broadcast.
Getting started in the live stream industry is easy. However, if you want to make money streaming, you must stick to a streaming schedule, engage your audience with high-quality content, and take advantage of all available monetization options.
Discover the best ways to make money streaming and the best live streaming platform down below.
Table Of Contents
- Quick Summary
- Can You Make a Living From Live Streaming?
- How Do Live Streams Make Money?
- The Top 12 Ways to Make Money From Live Streaming
- 1. Affiliate Marketing
- 2. Tips and Donations
- 3. Paid Memberships or Subscriptions
- 4. Advertising Revenue
- 5. Tips on Third-Party Platforms
- 6. Company Sponsorships
- 7. Physical and Digital Merchandise
- 8. Pay-Per-View Events
- 9. Workshops and Tutoring
- 10. Launch a Live Stream From Your Own Platform
- 11. Expand Into Other Forms of Media
- 12. Sell Everything and Start Over
- Paid Live Streaming FAQs
- Live streaming is an effective way to make money if you can keep your audience interested.
- Some of the most popular streaming platforms are YouTube, and Twitch.
- You can earn money from your live stream in a dozen different ways.
Can You Make a Living From Live Streaming?
You can make a comfortable living from live streaming if you attract a loyal audience.
Once you have enough viewers and get noticed by businesses in your industry, you can land a brand deal, produce sponsored content, and sell access to exclusive live streams.
Many live streamers generate additional revenue by choosing to sell digital products and merchandise through an online store.
My live performance — it just comes from feeling an energy and emotion from the crowd.
– Wiz Khalifa, Rapper and Songwriter
How Do Live Streams Make Money?
Live streams make money through ad monetization, brand partnerships, regular payments via subscription services, the sale of digital products, and more.
Many streamers attract eyes to a live video by blogging about the subject matter. In their blogs, they include a content marketing lead that directs readers to their live streams.
After you build a significant following, you can set up multiple revenue streams and cobble together a reliable source of income.
The Top 12 Ways to Make Money From Live Streaming
Newcomers to the streaming business may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities at their fingertips. However, as long as you stay open to new ideas and explore all potential revenue streams, you will find yourself making money from your live content.
1. Affiliate Marketing
By joining a trusted affiliate program, you get paid for recommending your favorite products and services!
Once you’ve accumulated a large audience, you can generate revenue by placing an affiliate link or discount code in your live stream description.
Many popular personalities who make money live streaming also mention the affiliate links and coupon codes in the live video itself.
Making money through affiliate sales is a reliable form of video monetization if you have a large following. Every time one of your live viewers clicks the link and makes a purchase, you get a portion of the sales proceeds.
In most cases, your live-streaming platforms will not have deals in place with your affiliate program. So, you must tread carefully by only mentioning your affiliate links and voucher codes once or twice per video.
If you turn your entire live stream into one long advertisement, you may lose your other forms of monetization through your streaming platforms.
Otherwise, making money through affiliate marketing remains a highly effective method to receive regular payments each month for your product recommendations.
If you are interested in learning more about affiliate marketing, check out this free webinar.
2. Tips and Donations
Let your content speak for itself as you gain a following and start accepting donations or tips from your biggest fans.
Most of the streaming platforms allow creators to make money live streaming by accepting tips during their live broadcasts.
Many live streamers earn money by accepting tips in a platform’s virtual currency or receiving digital goods, like a virtual sticker.
Let’s look at some of the best platforms for a live-streaming business centered around tips and donations.
On Facebook, you can go live to report the latest gaming news or show everyone how to beat the latest video games.
For your efforts, viewers can reward you with Stars. Facebook Stars are digital goods. Each time you receive a Star, you earn $0.01.
To receive Stars, you must sign up with Facebook’s Level Up Program, designed specifically for gamers.
Through your YouTube channel, you can start accepting tips through Super Chat.
In Super Chat, viewers can donate money during your YouTube live stream. By doing so, they can pin their message to you at the top of the chat.
Fans can also purchase Super Stickers to give you. You receive a portion of the Super Stickers’ purchase price when they do.
On the Twitch video game live streaming platform, viewers can reward you every time you create content by giving you a “Cheer.”
Fans purchase Cheers with Bits, Twitch’s native digital currency. Every time viewers Cheer, they get to send you a message accompanied by a special Cheemote.
When you receive a Cheer on Twitch, you earn $0.01.
3. Paid Memberships or Subscriptions
Create a revenue stream you can bank on monthly by offering paid memberships or subscriptions.
Receiving donations from your most loyal viewers feels great. However, trying to build a business around the generosity of others comes with a lot of risk and uncertainty.
If you want to work with a steady monthly budget, you need a revenue model that you can depend on throughout the year.
Thankfully, all the biggest live stream outlets provide the infrastructure for a content creator to sell paid subscriptions and collect recurring monthly payments.
Let’s look at how Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch facilitate dependable revenue streams.
Facebook recently simplified the name of its Fan Subscriptions features to “Subscriptions.” They also started to permit live streamers to collect subscription fees through its Level Up Program.
Before you can join the Level Up Program you must:
- Create a gaming video creator Page
- Gain 100 followers
- Stream for a minimum of four hours within 14 consecutive days
- Stream on at least two separate days within that same period
Once you get accepted into the Level Up Program, you can charge a subscription fee in addition to receiving Stars.
YouTube Channel Membership Program
Collect monthly membership fees from viewers who watch your live videos on YouTube!
To make money streaming on your channel, you can join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
To join YPP, your channel must:
- Adhere to YouTube monetization policies
- Remain free of Community Guidelines strikes
- Log more than 4,000 hours valid public watch hours in the last year
- Attract more than 1,000 subscribers
- Link to your AdSense account
Once accepted into the YPP, you can apply for the Channel Membership Program, which allows you to charge your viewers a monthly fee. In return, your viewers gain access to your content, use members-only emojis, and earn exclusive badges.
Twitch Affiliates and Partners can take advantage of the platform’s subscription scheme to reward their most avid fans.
Like paid YouTube channel subscribers, your paying Twitch subscribers receive digital goods, like emojis, badges, and stickers.
Twitch allows content creators to develop tiered subscription options that provide varying levels of access to your Twitch channel based on the amount your viewers pay each month.
The Twitch platform also promotes various types of subscriptions, including:
- Standard subscriptions — Viewers pay between $4.99 and $24.99 per month
- Gifted subscriptions — One-month memberships gifted from a subscriber to a viewer
- Prime Gaming subscription — Prime Gaming members get one free, non-recurring subscription per month
4. Advertising Revenue
Monetize your live videos to make even more money by enabling in-stream ads during your live stream. Including mid-roll ads.
Most live-stream platforms run various types of in-stream ads and share the ad revenue with creators of live-stream content.
Some of the most common kinds of in-stream ads include:
- Pre-roll ads — Pre-roll video ads play before your video content starts
- Display and overlay ads — Banners, pop-ups, and other clickable ads
- Mid-roll ads — Mid-roll ads play in the middle of your video content
- Native ads — Ads that mimic the look and feel of your live streams
Running ads serves as a great way to make money live streaming. However, you don’t want to overdo it and risk putting off your viewers.
Make sure your live stream does not have too many spammy ads enabled. Generating above-average earnings through advertising isn’t worth displeasing your potential customers.
5. Tips on Third-Party Platforms
Earn even more tips and donations through third-party sites like Patreon, StreamElements, GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and others.
Sometimes, your viewers might not own any Facebook Stars or Twitch Bits to tip you. Make it easier for your audience to send a one-time tip by including a link to your GoFundMe.
You can also facilitate donations or tips by integrating StreamElements with your favorite platform.
For recurring monthly donations, set up a Patreon and make your viewers aware of it.
6. Company Sponsorships
Grow your audience large enough, and you’ll start to receive sponsorship offers from companies in your industry.
Alternatively, you can contact your favorite companies, make the decision-makers aware of your stream, and strike deals proactively.
Sometimes, you might receive sponsorship for your entire live stream channel. In others, a company may wish to sponsor a single session. Either way, your sponsorships will serve as a welcome source of income as you continue to grow your brand.
7. Physical and Digital Merchandise
Prove to everyone that you finally made it by printing some branded t-shirts and creating wallpapers that bear your likeness.
Offering physical and digital merchandise to your viewers opens up yet another revenue stream you can rely on for additional income.
Some of the most common types of merchandise that live streamers offer include:
- Coffee mugs
- Action figures
- Stuffed animals
8. Pay-Per-View Events
Become your own hype-man by promoting your upcoming pay-per-view event.
After you form a community of like-minded viewers, you can plan special events that cost extra to attend online.
Pay-per-view content is a great way to earn a significant lump sum in a single day.
Some of the most popular types of live-streaming pay-per-view events include:
- Award shows
- Record release parties
- Cross-stream collaborations
9. Workshops and Tutoring
Once you’ve proven yourself a successful live streamer, some of your more well-to-do viewers may contact you for tutoring or mentorship.
Then, when the workshop ends, you can post a recording of the live-streamed workshop to monetize the event even more.
10. Launch a Live Stream From Your Own Platform
Cut out the middleman and keep 100% of the revenue from your live streams by launching a live stream from your own platform.
Some streamers wonder what it might be like to leave their current platforms and break out on their own.
Some of the benefits of launching your own streaming platform include:
- Full creative control
- Retention of all revenue
- No fees or penalties
- Unlimited potential
11. Expand Into Other Forms of Media
Some of the best live streams have a presence on multiple media channels.
Even if you believe your business couldn’t grow any further, your most loyal fans constantly seek more content.
If you made your big break as a gaming live streamer, then why not create a gaming podcast or news program?
Once you’ve mastered your preferred form of media, it’s time to take over the world by trying your hand at live streaming in a different format.
12. Sell Everything and Start Over
There may come a time when you want to try something new despite all of your success. Maybe you feel too comfortable. Or, you may think your live stream has become too stale and predictable.
Cash-out while the getting is good. Just because your stream now stands at its all-time high in popularity, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Sell high.
It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring on live TV.
– Tina Fey, Actress and Comedian
Paid Live Streaming FAQs
Where Can I Live Stream for Free?
You can live stream for free on most platforms. Some of the most popular platforms that allow you to live stream for free include:
- Tiktok Live
- Instagram Live
How Much Money Can You Make Out of Streaming?
You can make $10,000 per month or more out of streaming. Some live streams generate annual revenues of over $1 million when they attract more than one brand deal and lead to significant sales of digital products.
First-timers should first aim for $1,000 per month as their initial milestone. Then, they can explore new ways to monetize their live content until streaming becomes their main source of income.
What Live Streaming App Makes the Most Money?
The live-streaming app that makes the most money is YouTube. Streamers will find it easier to set up their streams and earn an income on YouTube than on most other platforms.
More people watch videos on YouTube than on any other social media app. However, TikTok and Instagram Live have closed the gap and may surpass YouTube at some point in the future.
What Is a Monetized Video?
A monetized video is a video that generates revenue through advertisements, public views, affiliate links, brand deals, and other income sources.
You can also make money streaming when you sell tickets, exclusive content, t-shirts, and other merchandise.
What Are the Best Live Streaming Platforms?
The best live-streaming platforms allow you to reach your core audience and monetize your content more quickly.
Some of the best streaming platforms for the majority of content creators are:
- Tiktok Live
- Instagram Live