Playing video games as a form of entertainment is a hobby for many people across the world. Next to playing sports, watching television or reading a book, playing video games is a part of peoples daily life. However, not everyone plays video games just for their own entertainment. With the help of online services Twitch.tv and Youtube, people are now able to earn money by playing video games.
What is Twitch.tv?
Twitch.tv is a free online broadcasting service, offering a platform for people to broadcast themselves playing video games for anyone in the world who is willing to watch. Similar to Youtube, anyone with an account can start broadcasting their own content. However the difference between the two is that with Twitch.tv the broadcasts are live, just like the news channels on television. Also the broadcaster has the option to chat with viewers watching the live broadcast with the help of a messenger chat system.
With over 2 million unique monthly broadcasters entertaining over 15 million daily visitors during 2017, Twitch.tv has become a popular platform for anyone interested in video game content. And for anyone interested in starting a career in online broadcasting, Twitch.tv offers a variety of options for individuals to start earning money.
The Partners of Twitch.tv
Anyone with an account can become a partner or an affiliate of Twitch.tv and start monetising their own broadcasts. Certain requirements have to be met before an account is considered a partner or affiliate. The requirements are based on the amount of hours a channel broadcasts per week and the amount of viewers watching the channel. The minimum requirements to become an affiliate are to broadcast as least 8 hours in the last 30 days, broadcasting 7 days in the last 30 days, reaching an average of 3 viewers per broadcast and grow your audience to 50 followers. The requirements to become a partner are based on how large the broadcaster has managed to grow the channel and if the broadcasts have a set schedule.
As a partner and affiliate, the broadcaster will now have the option to play advertisements, receive Bits, receive donations or have people subscribe to your channel by the means of a monthly fee. Partners, unlike affiliates, have the option to choose when an advertisement is shown on their channel and the length of the advertisements.
If a viewer wishes to financially support a channel in addition to watching advertisements, they have the option of paying 5, 10 or 25 dollars a month as a subscription towards the broadcaster. When a viewer subscribes to a broadcaster they unlock certain benefits for themselves as well, such as new unique chat emojis and the option to not receive advertisements when watching the broadcast.
For viewers that do not wish to pay a monthly fee but still want to support the content of a broadcaster, there is the option to donate money or Twitch Bits. Bits are a virtual good that can only be bought and used on Twitch.tv. A 100 Bits is worth 1 dollar when donated towards a broadcaster. The viewer however is paying 1.75 dollars per 100 Bits, supporting both Twitch.tv as well as the broadcaster of their choice. With over 27 thousand partnered streamers and over 150 thousand affiliate streamers, people have been given an opportunity to play video games for a living.
Playing a video game for a living
One of many broadcasters is Tyler Blevins, also known as ''Ninja''. Tyler Blevins has recently been featured on CNBC news, as he is currently one of the most successful broadcasters on Twitch.tv. The reason Tyler got noticed by mainstream media is that he was broadcasting playing the game Fortnite, together with global music icon Drake. CNBC reported that Tyler makes over 500 000 dollars per month, a part of the earnings by being a partner on Twitch.tv. It is not surprising that this inspires young people to follow the same path of playing video games for a living.
Playing video games, hobby or job
Becoming a partner with Twitch.tv is not as easy as it sounds, as Tyler mentioned during the CNBC broadcast. Tyler was still in college when he began his gaming career, and maintained a job while competing semi-professionally in a game called Halo. It took a lot of time and dedication to combine his study and hobbies, while aiming to become the next big broadcaster. He encourages young people that strive to be like him to at least give it a try, but at the same time warns young people that while being a partner for Twitch.tv looks very lucrative, you should still keep your other options for the future open and available.
Popularity of broadcasting with youth
The young people of today are a generation that have grown up with gaming as part of their daily lives. Playing games with friends and family after school, watching a friend beat a hard level or playing a co-op game together have grown into the mainstream. With the help of Twitch.tv, people have found a way to replicate this experience, share it with thousands of people around the world and pursue a whole new career.
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