Content creators are the entertainers of the future. Common forms of content are live streaming or curated videos, such as highlights or clips. Most content creators are not only highly-skilled players but also entertainers. However, many content creators may be young or new to the various opportunities available to them.
This post outlines how individual content creators can grow either on their own or with a gaming organization.
On Your Own
There are also a variety of ways to increase revenue as a content creator. The primary sources of revenue are:
- Affiliate Links
- Selling Customized Merchandise
- Subscription Revenue (e.g., 50% of each monthly subscription with Twitch)
This post will explore each of these sources below.
Affiliate links are essentially commissions on referrals to affiliate products, such as Twitch products, Amazon products, or Epic games. If a person purchases an affiliate product through your link, you may receive a percentage of that sale. For example, you may have an agreement with a company that you get 5% of every sale of their game. You then provide a link to your viewers to purchase a new game at an exclusive discounted rate. For every $100 of that game sold, you will get $5.
Of course. the product sold does not have to be limited to games but can include in-game purchases, peripherals, or food.
Selling Customized Merchandise
This strategy is good for creators with a unique or artistic brand. It would require setting up an online retail operation that sells items, such as shirts, hats, or posters. This approach may have a promising future even though it is not related to gaming per se. For example, 100 Thieves calls themselves a “lifestyle organization” and “lifestyle brand” on their official website and has recently received large investments from the controlling shareholder of Luis Vuitton. Additionally, Louis Vuitton recently partnered with League of Legends to create their trophy case for the 2019 World Championships and has also designed unique champion skins as well as a capsule collection. This kind of partnership and investment indicate growing opportunities in the lifestyle and fashion industries.
Sponsorships can take a variety of forms. Some examples include playing a new game on stream or posting on an ad on social media, such as YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram. These agreements may be a one-time or fixed fee-for-service. For example, you may receive a set amount of money for doing a 30-second advertisement on your YouTube channel and promoting it on your Twitter and Instagram.
Alternatively, you may play a certain game on your stream or channel at a set amount of money per hour. For example, this is the strategy EA used that launched Apex Legends into popularity. That is, on the day of the Apex’s release, EA was paying the top Twitch streamers (primarily Fornite streamers, such as Ninja and Dr. Disrespect) to play Apex, which resulted in Apex being the top-streamed game on Twitch.
Endorsements are similar to sponsorships but maybe a more recurring source of revenue rather than a one-off deal. For example, you may be paid to recommending and consume a particular drink or food or use certain peripherals on stream. This could be as simple as using a HyperX headset, a Razer mouse, or drinking G FUEL, which was massively popularized by YouTube streamer PewDiePie.
Subscription revenue is a simple equation based on the number of subscribers you have. The standard agreement between a streamer and Twitch is a 50-50 division. So, for every $4.99 subscription, you get $2.50 (rounding up). Interestingly, some streamers, such as Jeremy ‘DisguisedToast’ Wang, have stated that streamers can make up to 70% of the subscription revenue if they average 10,000 or more viewers during streams.
Subscription revenue is driven by the sheer number of subscribers a streamer has and is the basic incentive for streamers to gain more subscribers.
Donations can be set up through Paypal, cryptocurrencies, or a streaming service’s currency, such as Twitch Bits. Paypal is arguably the simplest option but as a business accepting payments, you will be charged transaction fees of 2.9 percent of the payment plus 30 cents per transaction. This means you would only see about $4.56 on a $5.00 donation or $96.80 on a $100.00 donation. After some time and frequent payments, you can apply to reduce the percentage fee but not the 30 cent fee.
Cryptocurrencies can allow for lower transaction fees on the part of the sender, however, the transaction fees vary greatly depending on a variety of factors.
Twitch bits can be purchased and used on a streamer’s page to give them a corresponding amount of money. For example, Twitch Bits are purchased at a rate of 2 cents per 1 Bit (ignoring bulk discounts). Every time a Bit is used on your stream, you receive 1 cent per Bit. Therefore, if someone purchases 100 Bits for $2.00 and then uses 100 Bits on your stream, you receive $1.00. The added value here is supposed to be the access to other more creative forms of expression, mainly in the form of unique emotes
If you have a substantial following or are looking to grow, contact us to discuss your options. We can provide a free consultation of your profile as a content creator and recommend the best avenues for growth.
Gaming organizations such as Cloud9, TSM, and NRG, recognize the value of content creators. Although they are usually associated with competitive esports teams, many of these organizations have signed streamers and content creators from various games:
- Yassuo (100T League of Legends)
- Diegosaurs (TSM Apex Legends)
- Aspen (C9 Overwatch)
- Myth (TSM Fortnite)
Approaching or being approached by one of these organizations is a big commitment, but it does not have to be stressful. With the best advice and representation, you can know your options and get help negotiating contracts. There are also a few advantages in reaching out to join an organization.
Naturally, having the brand name in front of your name brings a level of authenticity or legitimacy to your brand. In other words, there can be a certain amount of prestige that differentiates your content from the millions of other content creators.
A large organization will have substantial infrastructure and resources that they can put towards helping you grow. Additionally, you can be featured on their website and social media accounts.
Organizations may pay salaries to content creators who represent their brand. This can give players some peace of mind and financial security.
Revenue sharing agreements as well as provisions affecting sponsorships, intellectual property rights, and representation should be reviewed carefully. You should make sure that you are only signing agreements with your success in mind.
As exciting as it may be, before signing with any organization it is important to have the best representation. We can assist you by explaining what you are signing and discussing your options. We will always act in your best interests whether that means financially or otherwise.
If you are a content creator looking to grow or approach a gaming organization, contact us today at 604-336-GAME or email us at [email protected]. Contact us for a free consultation.