When Loserfruit became Australia's first game-streaming millionaire, plenty of others jumped on the bandwagon and proved it was not a fluke.
They don't all have Loserfruit's wealth but they have proved that it is possible to generate some good revenue from streaming games. If you want to give it a try, you'll need to work out a strategy. Here are some of the things you'll have to consider.
Choosing your niche – casino could be a winner
When choosing your niche, it has to check the following boxes:
- You're good at it
- People are interested in it
- That interest is not a passing fad
- You have the knowledge and interest in it to say something unique
For example, Australian streamer The Outlaw specializes in streaming casino content. He supplements the gameplay with useful information for Australian casino enthusiasts such as minimum deposit casino deals, wagering tips and so on. Now that’s not to necessarily say everyone should start streaming casino games, but we can see how in The Outlaw’s case it checks all the boxes.
First, gambling on the slot games, or pokies as they say in Australia, is a game of chance. So the first aspect of skill doesn’t come into it. Exuding a confident air is enough, and The Outlaw certainly achieves that. Interest in pokies is sky-high and seems to increase all the time among Australian audiences, especially when it comes to playing them online.
Finally, The Outlaw has experience and a certain screen presence that undoubtedly attracts viewers, subscriptions, donations and so on.
Get your set-up
If you’re serious about game streaming, it is likely the first thing you need to do is take everything you thought you knew about a good PC gaming set up and throw it away. PC Mag ran a great piece a couple of months ago on this which delves into all the details, so we won’t get too carried away going on about monitors and graphics cards here.
A couple of points that are just worth emphasizing though, are as follows:
- Assuming you will be playing and streaming from the same device, you need a high-spec PC. The alternative of playing on one device and streaming from another is usually too horrible to contemplate.
- Avoid compromises. It is already crazily competitive out there, if you are putting out content in substandard 1990s blur while the rest are in HDMI, you can’t realistically expect to take them on on equal terms.
- The graphics card will also need to be up to the dual roles of playing and streaming. The PC Mag article recommends at least a GeForce GTX 1660.
Choose your platform
Twitch is the best-known platform for game streamers. It is the weapon of choice for Loserfruit and The Outlaw, but having said that, it is not the only option.
Gaming is a massive category in its own right on YouTube, and there is also the growth market that is Facebook Gaming – probably not an ideal choice if you plan to follow The Outlaw down the casino gaming road. Twitch is probably your best bet if you are following a slightly less common niche than the usual eSports – the latter have so many you will really find it hard to carve out a niche and build an audience.
Show me the money!
Twitch certainly makes it easiest to monetize your stream. Simple advice here, however is don’t try to do too much too soon. In fact, try not to think about money for the first few months other than in some dispassionate checks of your metrics, because you are really not going to generate anything worth talking about while you are the new kid on the block.
A little bit later? Well anything is possible. Before you do anything else, you need to focus on getting followers. More monetization options exist for Twitch Partners and Affiliates, but to become so, you need to have a minimum 50 followers. Then, you have the possibility of inviting viewers to subscribe, and you can also accept Bits. These are virtual tokens that can be exchanged for fiat currency.
Viewers can support you by donating bits in the form of a virtual cheer or even throwing a few into your personal tips jar. Bits and subs tend to be the best revenue generators, and that is why you need to focus on getting those followers established.
How about ads, you might ask. They are ubiquitous across these video streaming platforms, so clearly plenty of streamers think they are a good idea. Don’t hurry to get ads too fast though. Think about it, if your mother and your nephew are your only followers, even they will get feed up and disappointed if you keep interrupting yourself with ads.
The point with ads on game streaming channels is that they will earn you about $2 for every 1000 views. Now even some of the big streamers don’t always attract more than a few hundred viewers to a stream, so don’t expect to get rich through ads. They do, however, have the power to drive visitors away so think carefully about if, when and how to use them.