A lot of people wonder how you can make money streaming games on Twitch, or how streamers and YouTubers generate revenue. We’ve previously detailed many ways for revenue generation on YouTube, but haven’t specifically spoken about YouTube’s streaming service for revenue.
With Twitch, it’s straight-forward: Run ads during the stream, depending on where breaks make the most sense (a bio break, for instance, is an excellent time to roll an ad while the audience is waiting your return).
As we’ll describe in a later article, YouTube Live isn’t necessarily as easy to monetize. You’ll have to slate-in ads after the video, with some configuration done before hosting the stream. It’s best to work with someone to “man the booth,” so to speak, while the stream is ongoing.
YouTube revenue during streaming is lower with AdSense than with YouTube Red, as a general rule, because YouTube red pays based on view duration. The longer a viewer stays on the content, the more of their monthly allowance you’ll receive. To get the most out of this, livestream regularly (30 minutes to one hour recommended) to pull in more revenue from longer view durations. The nature of a livestream tends to keep people viewing for longer, which in turn builds YT Red cashflow.
This is the major difference versus Twitch ad revenue, although Twitch does leverage its own subscription types for bringing in money. To counter this, YouTube now allows “Super Chats” to bring in donations during a stream. The best way to monetize YouTube live stream videos is to encourage donations, normally by answering questions in return. We’ll cover this more later.
Between Super Chat, ad slates, and normal in-content (direct sale) ads, YouTube and Twitch ultimately aren’t too different for revenue. We’d suggest picking the platform where you’ve got the largest existing following (or feel that you can build a larger following), then expand to the other at a later time.