As the Twitch community continues to flourish, more and more streamers are finding themselves in a position where their content is starting to earn revenue on the platform. Although this opens up exciting new avenues for growing both your brand and your bank account, it also raises several questions about what to expect from Twitch payouts and how to make sure everything is set up to get that money into your hands.
Who is eligible to get paid by Twitch?
There are many different ways to monetize your Twitch channel, but the most common ones are to either take advantage of the revenue-generating streams offered to Twitch Affiliates or Partners or to receive donations directly via third-party websites (PayPal, Ko-fi, etc). Only those who get paid through the Affiliate and Partner programs will be paid directly by Twitch.
How do I monetize Twitch as an Affiliate or Partner?
Speaking specifically to the Affiliate and Partner programs, there are three primary ways to monetize your channel: Bits, Subscriptions, and Ads.
Earning money with Bits
Bits are virtual goods that viewers can purchase and use to Cheer creators on during a stream, potentially winning the attention of the streamer and other viewers while financially supporting their faves—you will get $0.01 for each Bit used in your chat. Partners can create customized Bits known as Cheermotes that are specific to their channel, and have the same value.
Earning money via Subscriptions
Dedicated viewers can subscribe to your channel at different Tiers, starting at $4.99 a month. This earns them perks such as subscriber/loyalty badges, custom emotes, ad-free viewing, subscriber-only chats, and some other options, based on what you enable. After fees are taken out of the subscription price, creators split the remainder 50/50 with Twitch.
Earning money via Ads
Twitch’s current method of managing ads is through the Ads Incentive Program, which is an opt-in program that allows streamers to not only run ads on their videos but also decide how many minutes of ads they want to show per hour. As long as you stream at least three minutes of ads per hour, you’ll receive a 55% share of the ad revenue. If you opt for less, you’ll receive a 30% cut.
How do I get paid via direct donations?
If you’re a Twitch Affiliate or Partner, you can enable Bits by going to the Creator Dashboard, navigating to preferences, choosing either Affiliate or Partner, and selecting Bits and Cheering. The payout works the same as other payouts that come directly from Twitch.
Anyone can set up direct donations through third parties, which can be a great option for streamers who have yet to become eligible for Affiliate status. You can use just about any platform that allows funds to be transferred between users for this; some, like Ko-fi, even offer a walkthrough so that you’ll get notifications in your Stream Chat whenever you receive a donation—which can be beneficial as it allows you to shout out your supporters in real-time.
But the most popular donation method is through PayPal. Here’s how you get that set up:
Step #1: Start with PayPal
Log into or create a PayPal account. Click on the gear in the top right corner to access your settings, and choose Seller Tools.
Step #2: Create a donate button
Next, select PayPal buttons, then Donate, and follow the instructions to create a button that will take fans directly to a page where they can donate to you. It’s good to include your Twitch name here, you can even customize the button to better fit the aesthetics of your channel.
Step #3: Add a donation panel on Twitch
On your Twitch Channel, go to the About section, click Edit Panels, and then click on the plus sign to add a text or image panel. There, you’ll be able to add a title and a description, which will allow you to sell viewers on donating to you. This is also where you include your button and link.
Step #4: Ask viewers to donate
How you encourage viewers to donate is up to you, but many won’t realize the donate option is there unless you tell them. You can choose to direct them to the panel you set up or you can drop the link in the chat, although it’s a good idea to mention it verbally as well.
Step #5: Cash out via PayPal
You may want to wait a few days before cashing out via PayPal, as there are sometimes scammers who donate and then cancel the transaction. But when you’re ready, on the PayPal website, go to Wallet, choose Transfer Money, and you can transfer your balance out to the bank you have on file.
How do I become a Twitch Affiliate or Twitch Partner?
Twitch Affiliates will be invited to apply to the program once they have met the following requirements:
- have a minimum of 50 followers
- stream for at least 8 hours in the past 30 days
- stream on at least 7 of the past 30 days
- have an average of 3 viewers in the past 30 days
Twitch Partners often start as Affiliates and become eligible to apply for Partner once they’ve met the following requirements within 30 days.
- stream for at least 25 hours
- stream on at least 12 different days
- reach an average of 75 viewers, excluding viewers from Raids, Front-Page Promotions, or Embeds
Partners are also expected to have had at least eight streams in the prior two months that averaged 75 viewers per 30-day period. However, Twitch notes that there may be instances in which streamers are granted “Partnership” without meeting all of the general requirements, such as if they already have a large presence on another social media platform. Conversely, meeting the requirements doesn’t guarantee that you will become a Partner.
To see how close you are to meeting the requirements for either path, you can view your Twitch dashboard, click Analytics, then navigate down to Achievements. For those applying to be a Twitch Partner, the company will respond within 2-4 weeks (usually within seven business days for those who meet all the requirements) with a decision.
What’s the difference between being a Twitch Affiliate and a Twitch Partner?
Both Affiliates and Partners are streamers who have established themselves on the platform and routinely stream content, although the label of Partner signifies a more advanced tier.
Both groups can monetize their content through ads, subscriptions, and Bits. There are some variations between the specifics, but the mechanics of both Twitch Affiliate payouts and Twitch Partner payouts operate in the same way.
Additionally, Partners have access to up to 60 days of VOD storage, compared to Affiliates’ 14, can delay their streams up to 15 minutes, and have a dedicated support team.
What is the Twitch Partner Plus program?
Twitch rolled out a new Partner Plus tier as of October 2023, which allows select creators to receive a 70/30 revenue share for subscriptions, up to $100K annually. As of now, there’s no application process, but qualified streamers who maintain at least 350 paid subs for at least three months in a row will be notified.
How do I get set up as a Twitch Affiliate or Partner?
Once you have been invited to either the Affiliate or Partner program, you’ll have to set everything up so you can be paid when the time comes.
Step #1: Begin the onboarding process
On the Creator Dashboard, go to Preferences, then select either Affiliate or Partner.
Step #2: Provide your personal info
Fill out your legal name and permanent address as instructed.
Step #3: Sign the agreement
You’ll have to sign a contract agreeing to the terms of the specific program you are joining.
Step #4: Complete the relevant tax forms
There are two tax forms you’ll have to fill out, regardless of which program you are joining—one for royalty tax and one for service tax. Twitch advises checking Amazon’s tax information guide if you need help understanding these forms.
Step #5: Choose a payment method
Twitch offers several options for payment, including direct deposit, check, wire transfer, and PayPal. You can also have them hold your payout until you decide which payment method you want to use. Each method of payment has different fees associated, which you may want to take into consideration before choosing one. You also may be asked to upload a copy of your government ID at this point in the process.
You can come back to this section and change your payout method at any point in the future, although you will need to do so by the 10th for it to take effect for the prior month’s earnings.
It’s worth noting that payment methods can take up to 48 hours to be verified, whereas tax forms can take up to three weeks. So make sure you run through the onboarding process as soon as you can after qualifying for either Affiliate or Partner.
How do Twitch payouts work?
Twitch pays streamers roughly around the 15th of each month for revenue earned the month prior. So any revenue generated in March that meets the minimum threshold for a Twitch payout would be sent to you automatically on around the 15th of April (unless you have previously chosen Hold Payout rather than an actual payout option).
What is the threshold for Twitch payments?
Payments sent via direct deposit, PayPal, check, or eCheck require a minimum of $50, whereas payments sent via wire transfer require a minimum of $100, due to processing fees. If your balance doesn’t meet the minimum requirement for the payout method you chose in a given month, the money will roll over to the next month.
How long do Twitch payments take?
It depends on your payout method of choice. According to Twitch, it can take up to 10 business days from the time your payment is marked Submitted or Paid in your Payout History, with the specific timing often falling within these ranges:
- direct deposit: 3-5 business days
- PayPal: 1-2 business days
- check: 1-2 business days
- eCheck: 1-4 business days
- wire transfer: 1-3 business days
How do I check my Twitch balance?
Twitch will email you sometime early each month to let you know what kind of payout to expect, if any. But for those wanting to keep tabs on things themselves, you can do so via your Payout Dashboard or Channel Analytics.
When checking your balance, you’ll be shown your estimated earnings, which includes a breakdown of how much is being withheld for taxes and going toward fees related to your chosen payout method. This amount is considered an estimate until it is sent, as Twitch may have to verify the numbers further. And if the number looks off, keep in mind that the balance can take up to 24 hours to update with your most recent earnings.
You’ll also be able to find out whether you qualify for the next Twitch payout date, and what your current payout status is—“paused” means you haven’t made enough money to hit the threshold yet, “reached” means you have, “eligible” means you have reached the threshold and your payout information is in order, and “on hold” lets you know there’s a problem with your payout method that needs to be addressed.
Lastly, your Payout Dashboard also shows a record of all your past payments for easy viewing or downloading.
Does Twitch withhold taxes?
Twitch requires tax information from all creators, regardless of whether they’re in the United States or not, but U.S.-based creators generally will not have taxes withheld from their earnings except under specific circumstances. You will still have to pay taxes on this income yourself when the time comes. Non-U.S. streamers may have taxes withheld at a rate of up to 30% unless your country has a tax treaty with the U.S. and you’re eligible to claim an exemption. You can find out more about Twitch and taxes here, or check out our guide to Twitch taxes for streamers.