Twitch recently announced a new monetization option for its streamers called the Ad Incentive Program. The internet is abuzz with claims that it is basically a Universal Basic Income for Streamers. But, is this program going to live up to the hype as the articles claim, or will it be another public farce put on by the streaming giant to try and regain some of the favor it has lost from its DMCA “solution” and data breach of streaming revenue?
Well, anything that helps you guys earn money for the time you dump into live streaming is a nice addition, but there are a few key points I want to bring to your attention. First, the program is only going to be available to select streamers… at least at first. This means that new affiliates and affiliates with little to no audience likely aren’t going to be included in this list.
So what gives? What are the qualifications?
Well, to explain that, I first need to explain how ad incentives work.
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How Ad Incentives Work for Websites
As you can see, Streamer’s Haven serves ads. These ads are run by companies looking to sell a product or service to consumers. Typically, these companies will sell ads on ad networks, such as Adsense, Ezoic, Mediavine, and Adthrive. Websites will sign up with those ad networks, and display ads (Banners, images, Mid video ads, etc.) are served to their audiences as they consume the content they searched for.
Then, based on the number of “views” and “clicks” the ad gets, the publisher gets paid money as an incentive to serve those ads to their audiences. Of course, the amount you get isn’t very much and requires thousands of views to amount to any real amount of income, but it adds up over time (Pun very much intended).
For example, at the moment, this site gets around 1400 visitors per day. Of those 1400, around 600 of them block ads. I don’t blame them, I don’t like ads either, but they are necessary to support the operating cost of running the website and help pay the bills.
Anyways, during an average day, those 1400 visitors generate around $9 in ad revenue.
That’s it. Just $9 a day.
Granted, this is a pretty low EPMV (Earnings per mille (thousand) views) compared to the average. The average EPMV is around $28.74, or $28.74 per thousand views for content-based websites like this one.
This is why I also supplement my articles with affiliate links, such as Own3D.tv, a place that pays a healthy commission for sales of streaming overlays, alerts, and other things that you guys can use to enhance your streams. Yes, that is an affiliate link, and yes, I earn a commission if you buy anything using that link. No, it won’t make you famous, but it will make your streams look more professional.
How it Works for Streamers on Twitch (Currently)
Ads work differently on Twitch. Since you are essentially working for a platform to earn revenue, you don’t get to see the full ad revenue of the ad that gets paid out. This means you earn a smaller percentage of the earnings that you otherwise would be entitled to. This is how Twitch earns a large chunk of its reliable income – subs and bits are just icing on the cake.
As for your earnings on Twitch from ads, it’s ONLY $3.50 CPM at the time of writing this article. (Cost per Mille, otherwise known as EPMV). The rest goes to Twitch. This is Twitch’s share for providing you a platform for your content for free. This is much less than what I get here on Streamer’s Haven, which is already much less than industry-standard earnings, and I have regular traffic to this site that I don’t even have to be live to get – nothing is ever truly free in this world.
But remember, that’s $3.50 for A THOUSAND views of your ads. If you only have 5 viewers, you won’t see $3.50 when you run an ad. You’ll see pennies.
Partners and popular affiliates may get a higher CPM, but they aren’t allowed to disclose the amount to anyone, or they’ll breach their contract.
If you run mid-stream ads right now, you get rid of pre-roll ads (Which are devastating to your channel’s ability to retain new viewers). This is a negative incentive to get you to regularly roll ads during your live streams. Anyways, you run them, and you earn a small amount of money when you do. Once you reach a certain payout threshold ($100), you can get paid.
The problem is, for smaller streamers, ad revenue is literal pennies. That is where the Ad Incentive program comes in and the marketing behind the strategy. One that hurts Twitch if too many low viewer count streamers gain access to the program.
Twitch’s Ad Incentive Program – How it Works
The Ad Incentive Program is a positive method to convince streamers to roll them ads. It is saying, “Keep doing what your doing, just serve some ads along the way, and you’ll get a nice bonus!”
Bonus is the keyword here. Let me explain.
There are three tiers to Twitch’s Ad Incentive Program:
- Run 2 Minutes of ads every hour (80 minutes of ads being run in 40 hours of streaming)
- Stream 40 hours in a month
- Run 3 Minutes of ads every hour (120 minutes of ads being run in 40 hours of streaming)
- Stream 40 hours in a month
- Run 4 minutes of ads every hour (160 minutes of ads being run in 40 hours of streaming)
- Stream 40 hours in a month
Once you reach these requirements, you don’t get anything more outside of the basic ad revenue, subs, and bit redemptions. With that said, this is a recurring bonus incentive that resets every month. If you stick with it, you guarantee to raise your monthly income by as high as $500, but no more after that.
$500 is a lot of extra money to live off of if you already have another means of earning money, but it is FAR from a livable wage if your intent is to make streaming your full-time job. (Which you probably shouldn’t do anyway because it is too volatile and creates a lot of stress/anxiety on the streamer to constantly perform to the public’s expectations.)
How to Opt-in to the Ad Incentive Program
To opt in to Twitch’s Ad Incentive Program:
- Open Your Creator Dashboard
- Expand the Settings Tab
- Select “Affiliate”
- If it is available to you, you’ll see a notification at the top, seen here on Step 1
- Claim your offer
- Meet the offer’s requirements
- Get paid at the end of the payment period
Closing Thoughts on Twitch’s Ad Incentive Program
All in all, my thoughts are this: It is a nice addition if it becomes available to everyone, not just select streamers who qualify. However, I don’t see that happening because millions of channels don’t get very many viewers per stream. If Twitch allowed it for everyone, they’d be digging themselves into a financial grave.
9,200,000 (total number of streamers on Twitch as of 2022) x $500 = $4,600,000,000.
That is a HUGE loss for Twitch if they let every 0 viewer channel get access to this program. I don’t know many companies that can afford a 4.6 BILLION dollar loss every month. They need to keep their lights on too. So I don’t see this being available to everyone in its current form.