BY JOSH PEDERSON
Imaging having a job where you wake up every day, turn on a camera, connect a microphone and broadcast yourself to an audience from around the world. You get to make your own hours and oftentimes, you don’t even have to leave your house.
The job of livestreaming is quickly gaining traction as a legitimate career path and for those who are successful, monthly earnings can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“If you are good at playing video games or broadcasting your personality, streaming is definitely a thing you can consider,” said e-sports journalist Josh Bury.
“All it takes is a couple of people to stumble on your channel, they go and tell some people and before you know it, you have a little community coming back to watch you,” he added.
One example of a success story is Tyler “Ninja” Blevins who recently announced he was earning over $500,000 a month from streaming the video game Fornite. Blevins, who has reached an almost celebrity-like status from livestreaming, also got a chance to play the game with rapper Drake which amassed a viewership of over 700,000 people watching them at once.
As crazy as it may sound, people will actually pay to watch you play your favourite games. The method of streaming is so simple that anyone with a webcam, microphone and computer can do it.
As Bury mentions, there are two things that will contribute to whether or not you will be a successful live streamer or not.
First is personality. You can’t bore your audience to death or no one is going to take you seriously and come back. One thing about livestreaming is that a lot of times with successful streamers, people watch them because they connect with them personally and they find them entertaining. Not only are you marketing your gameplay, but yourself as well.
Second is overall skill. It’s not as important as the personality side of things and many successful streamers exist who are actually terrible at the game they stream. However, being able to enthrall your audience into compelling gameplay is another way to get them to stick around and keep watching.
So how do you profit exactly?
Generally, people livestream themselves playing a video game or more rarely, themselves in public. Both methods of streaming can be equally as successful. The most popular streaming platform where users go to broadcast their content is the website Twitch.tv, although other options are out there.
Money earned through streaming can come from a variety of different sources and all are important to mention.
Subscriptions are the most basic source of income for streamers. People who want to support those they enjoy watching can subscribe for a fee of $5 and in return, have access to increased features and overall interaction with the streamer they are supporting.
Donations are another way of earning money through streaming. You may be thinking, why would anyone donate money to someone sitting in their rooms playing Xbox?
Rest assured, donations can actually accumulate more money for streamers than the monthly subscriptions and they happen on a pretty regular basis as there is no restrictions on the amount of money one can donate to a streamer. Donations of a few hundred dollars are but a daily occurrence for some of the more well-known streamers.
Lastly, you have sponsorship opportunities. Companies are always watching for people they can endorse to sell their products. When you get 50,000 people watching you at any given time, the advertising revenue potential is astronomical and corporations are jumping at this unique form of marketing.
“I’ve been streaming different games for about six months now,” said Conestoga College computer programming student Marcus Gazzola.
He stresses that putting the effort into your work is important if you want a career in streaming.
“I’ve found that you really need to stream every day and follow a schedule if you want to gather an audience. When I stream every day for a week, you can see my viewer count stay steady, but if I take a break it will dip down a bit, so commitment is key.”
“Right now, I have over 10,000 total views on my channel and 14 subscribers. I’m not anywhere close to making a living off this yet, but hopefully that will change some day.”