If you didn’t think creators made much money from live streaming, think again. Here, we’ll paint a picture for you. Did you know that ‘lawtubers’ – YouTube creators who share pro legal analyses – saw massive earnings spikes during the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial? During this period, the platform’s three top creators each banked six figures by streaming proceedings daily. That’s some serious dough.
The majority of these earnings come from Super Chats, a tipping tool unveiled by YouTube in 2017 that enables viewers to have their comments emphasized during broadcasts.
Interestingly, in addition to these lawtubers, pastors are another top-earning contingency when it comes to Super Chat, per Playboard, which uses bots to track viewer spend. One top YouTube televangelist, the Nigerian pastor Jerry Eze, made $80,000 on his YouTube channel in one month, he said, with the majority coming from Super Chat.
Musician Harry Mack makes use of live streams in a very interactive way where fans can suggest different words he might use in his freestyle raps, with monthly streams fetching between $4,000 and $8,000.
One reason these numbers are so high is that brands are embracing TikTok Live, in some cases paying three times as much for sponsored streams as compared to static posts. With this being said, the potential for this isn’t reaching as far in the west as it has in east Asia (2023 has its eye on this growth already).
When it comes to payment from ads there are a few types;
Pre-roll ads: These ads play as soon as a viewer clicks on your stream. They have to view the ad before they can start watching your content.
Mid-roll ads: Mid-roll ads play in the middle of your live stream. Your stream continues in a smaller window while the ad takes up most of the screen.
Display and overlay ads: These types of ads usually pop up as banners or small cards on top of your stream.
Most income streams from Live streams from ad and brand sponsorship but creators are also making money from fan donations. With YouTube’s Super Chat, viewers can use tips to pin messages in your channel’s chat window, making them more noticeable. YouTube also lets users buy chat animations called Super Stickers, and you get a cut of each purchase.
Similarly, Twitch allows viewers to “cheer” using Bits, the platform’s virtual currency. If you’re a Twitch affiliate or partner, you get around $0.01 for every Bit v iewers use when cheering. The viewers get to write a message that appears together with a special kind of emote Twitch calls a Cheemote.