Gaming can be a great way to blow off steam after a long day of work or clock a few hours of fun on the weekend, but imagine being able to earn a living playing video games all day? That’s exactly what some entrepreneurial players are doing, thanks to the advent of live streaming and the growing popularity of game-centric video platforms like Twitch.tv.
Streaming video is revolutionizing the way people play and consume gaming content. Most of the major consoles and gaming devices now have the built-in ability to stream live gameplay — accompanied by face cam and audio feed — directly to the Internet.
The Growing Industry of Gaming
There’s an eager global audience of game fans who tune-in daily to watch popular streamers broadcast. For some, watching live-streamed games has supplanted regular television, which in part explains why bigger companies have taken an interest. Last year, Amazon purchased Twitch for just under a $1 billion and Google is looking to roll out a competing streaming platform via YouTube. There’s no denying that live streaming games is only going to gain more momentum in the future.
How to Collect Followers
It’s not just about the games themselves, either. Many of the most popular channels are built around streamers who develop into online personalities. Their staged personalities include humor, game genre specialization and other interactive elements to their broadcasts to keep their audience entertained beyond the game. Because Twitch lets viewers live text chat with one another and the streamers, it often becomes a very social interactive experience, which makes it easier for streamers to potentially build a very large, loyal following.
How Gaming Entrepreneurs Earn a Living from their Hobby
Turning your gaming hobby into a full-time career isn’t easy, of course, but you might be surprised to find that some popular players are making between $100,000 and $300,000 a year from streaming their live gameplay and audio/video commentary on Twitch. One of the most successful streamers is the wildly popular PewDiePie, who earns millions each year between his recorded video broadcasts on YouTube and lives stream feeds on Twitch, use multiple video content platforms to boost their audience. Some broadcasters, like the three Florida guys behind StreamerHouse, even band together to form collective channels.
The big question is “how do they all make a living doing this?” Simply put: it’s a numbers game. Streamers monetize in a variety of ways, through video ads, paid channel subscribers, affiliate marketing and sponsorships, live appearance and even gifts. By streaming daily and on regular schedules, they’re able to build and grow a steady following, which increases their revenue incrementally as their audience expands. It takes time and a lot of hard work to reach the critical mass required to make a full-time living from this, but it’s shocking how much the top streamers can earn through their audiences…and all through doing something they love.
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