You are watching: I will dominate twitch
18 months ago, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitch was perfectly poised for hype. The Amazon-owned platform satellite at the nexus that several various music/tech trends: The rise of livestreaming amidst the death of touring, the climb of direct-to-fan engagement models amidst the unsustainability of streaming income and also the climb of social gaming together a new interactive canvas for building online communities.
In a issue of simply a couple of months in spring and summer 2020, average weekly concurrent viewership in Twitch’s Music group went up end 4x, top to significant artists favor Logic signing seven-figure exclusive deals with the platform. Also with the return the IRL shows, Twitch has stayed liven inking a slate that music deals in an effort to stay relevant to the industry long-term — most notably with licensing and also strategic partnerships with legal rights holders favor Warner Music Group and also the NMPA.
But how well is music actually faring top top Twitch on the artist level? A year-and-a-half into this hype, perform we have substantial data on how much the top musicians are making top top the platform, and also how it could compare come their revenue on other channels like audio streaming services? and also generally speaking, just how do we move past just higher-level strategic conversations about Twitch’s duty in the music industry, right into a much more granular expertise of how Twitch impacts individual artists’ livelihoods?
Well, we’re in “luck,” if girlfriend can contact it that, due to the fact that Twitch suffered from a 125GB data leak two weeks back that exposed not only the platform’s entire source code and user account info (have you readjusted your password yet?), but also earnings details for numerous thousands of the platform’s height streamers — including musicians — from august 1, 2019 to October 1, 2021. Every the revenue info was posted ~ above a third-party site referred to as twitchearnings.com the has due to the fact that been take away down, yet I was able to scribble down the names and earnings the the top 50 or therefore music accounts on the list before it disappeared. Screenshot of revenue for the peak 100 streamers in its entirety are still accessible on Twitter.
This leads us to our data points because that this week:
The height 10 music accounts on Twitch by direct earnings make between $50,000 and $400,000 a year from channel subscriptions, ads and Twitch bit donations. The vast majority of this accounts belong come independent artists, and there is nearly no correlation between an artist’s Spotify followers and also their Twitch earnings.– an anonymous, 125GB data leak from Twitch
Here’s a more detailed perform of some of the top music accounts on Twitch (which I also laid the end in this tweet), with web links to their corresponding profiles:
As usual, let’s address the asterisks in this data prior to moving on.
Firstly, this leaked earnings info from Twitch includes only earnings acquired directly from the platform, which includes channel subscriptions, ads and Twitch little bit donations. If illuminating, this list of earnings sources at some point paints an incomplete photo of streamers’ overall businesses, due to the fact that a huge portion of their revenue may come from external the ecosystem of straight platform payouts. Because that instance, streamers can receive a large proportion of your revenue from real-time donations exterior of Twitch (such as through PayPal, Venmo, Cash application or StreamLabs), indigenous brand sponsorship transaction brokered off-platform and/or from on-demand clips of livestreams on various other platforms prefer YouTube that tempt their own separate ad and sponsorship income. (Some top game streamers prefer pokimane have talked out about this diversification in a helpful means in irradiate of the data leak.)
Sources tell me that in an aggressive bid to construct up their music catalog, Twitch will likewise pay choose artists as much as $250/hour in added incentives on height of tips, subs and ads in exchange because that streaming routinely on the platform. This incentive-driven deals are obviously negotiated behind close up door doors, and also are not factored into the leaked revenue info — i beg your pardon is presumably why artists like Logic can sign “seven-figure” deals but not actually make seven figures in direct platform earnings in a year.
Last but not least, there was no data leaked alongside revenue info top top how many times or hrs each streamer had actually broadcast over the time period, which would have given us a more helpful metric of every streamer’s average direct earnings every hour. For instance, maybe one of the top artists on our list made the bulk of their revenue end the food of only a couple of different streams, together opposed come artists prefer The8BitDrummer or Kenny win who room streaming almost every day.
All that said, this data still offers a yes, really productive beginning point because that a discussion around what that really like to do a living as an artist top top Twitch, or on any type of livestreaming platform for the matter. In particular, I want to to mark a duality that could initially feel like a contradiction. The music livestreaming economy undeniably favors independent artists — however it’s really complicated to do a sustainable living from livestreaming, with a power regulation that quiet sees the optimal 1% commanding the bulk of revenue.
Twitch is still a gamer’s civilization — and the tail is looooong
It’s pretty tremendous that essentially no major-label artists room on the perform of countless streamers whose Twitch income were leaked. Just like with other locations of music/tech prefer music NFTs, artist sector share in livestreaming is the literal reverse of what we watch in recorded music, through independent artists taking up the majority of revenue.
That said, just due to the fact that indie artists overcome Twitch’s music charts doesn’t mean the playing ar is necessarily an ext level or equitable. The Wall Street Journal found that the peak 1% of payment Twitch streamers command over 50% the all straight platform revenue, and that just 5% of streamers have made over $1,000 from direct platform income so much in 2021. This might be partially because of livestreaming’s as whole discoverability problem, where there’s boosting amount the noise but small to no infrastructure to help audiences sift v it.