The top 1% of paid streamers have received half of all revenue so far this year
The streaming platform, best known for its videogame streamers, has paid out $889 million through September so far this year, up from $517 million in the same period in 2020. Twitch streamers usually make money from paid subscriptions to their channels and on the platform. Ads, though only after reaching certain audience metrics.
While a small pool of streamers has taken home seven-figure shares of that pool, three-quarters of users making any money this year made less than $120.
The Businesshala analysis excluded 896,261 accounts in the report that didn’t make anything or lose money between July 2019 and September 2021, according to data posted by a person who claimed access to internal information from Twitch .
People who call themselves Twitch streamers posted on social media that many of the leaked payout figures were in line with their earnings on the platform. The Journal cross-referenced payment stubs from a streamer against similar records in the leaked data and found that most months’ payment totals matched within 25 cents. The Businesshala has not been able to independently verify the leaked data.
Businesshala analysis shows that the highest paid streamers on Twitch made over $5 million this year. Last year’s highest-grossing account, a group of “Dungs & Dragons” players, made nearly $4 million in 2021. These figures do not include other potential income sources such as corporate sponsors, tipping services and videogame publishers.
Earnings figures in the leaks go back to July 2019 and reveal the rapid growth in Twitch’s business during the pandemic. In just two years, the amount paid to streamers has nearly tripled to nearly $100 million a month.
These funds are not evenly distributed. Half of all streamers earning payouts have made less than $28 so far this year, a far cry from the millions of top earners. However, Twitch only offers payouts when a streamer’s earned revenue balance reaches $100. Very few people are getting rich from streaming: US median household income gained only 0.06% from $67,521. A quarter of all revenue was earned by the top 1,000 accounts.