How do subscriptions work?
Subscriptions are a source of income for companies and a way for users to pay for a service.
We have seen subscriptions become very popular in the latest years for streaming platforms like
Netflix and Amazon Prime, but also in the game streaming world where platforms offer
subscriptions to gain benefits and support your favorite streaming content.
Even though most sites offer free streaming, subscriptions are still a thing that many people
use. Subscriptions are without a doubt the most consistent source of income for live streamers and also the
way their online audience shows appreciation for their channel.
What are the benefits of subscriptions for the streamer and viewers?
Subscribing on live streaming channels are mostly known from Twitch, where you pay 5 dollars
for a month-long subscription. This can renew once every month, but you can also choose to end the subscription whenever you want.
This is the way subscriptions work on the live streaming channels we know, it helps the streamer and grants the viewer
different perks such as emotes, sub-only chat access, VOD access, and more awesome benefits.
The way it benefits the streamers mainly is by getting paid monthly and being able to make a potential living out of live streaming.
We see people making a living on platforms like YouTube Gaming, but that is mostly due to ads, where live streaming is often income from subscriptions
and donations. It doesn’t matter if the streamer is playing on game consoles, playing games that are unknown, or creating different content like sports
content – every streamer can get subscriptions as long as they have dedicated viewers watching their video content.
The difference between subscribers, followers, and viewers
Live streaming enables different ways for viewers to follow their favorite channels. We have viewers, followers, and
subscribers, and all of them are different from each other. Just like a live TV service and live TV streaming, you can be a regular viewer, follow a
channel closely, or even pay an extra amount to show your appreciation through a live TV subscription.
The same goes for Twitch, Mixer, YouTube Gaming and other platforms. Let’s run through the three.
Viewers are the first “step” when supporting a video streaming service, sports streaming service, or an
individual streaming channel. Viewers are the cornerstone of building a community and it helps the streaming channel to rise in
popularity by getting the attention of even more viewers.
Larger viewer counts can indirectly grant the streamer revenue even though the viewers don’t directly support the channel
with any money. Viewers also give the live streamer some confidence that what he/she is doing is providing great
gameplay that helps when building a community.
Viewers can also help you become a partnered streamer which will help the streamer in many ways.
Getting viewers to start with is always the hard part and this is where stream title, game, and layouts can have a big impact.
Followers are the next step towards gaining subscribers. A streamer wants their viewers to become
followers, so then their followers will know when your channel is online and also shows the public that you are a high quality gaming streamer.
Followers might not always be ready to be a part of the subscription service, but they help the streamer have more
consistent viewers and further assist in structuring your streaming community in the long run.
Followers will most likely tune in to the stream more often than regular viewers, and they might
also start to follow your stream schedule like most loyal viewers would do.
Followers might also be more likely to follow the streamer on other platforms, like their social media and in
that way provide more support for the streamer by being ready when you hit the broadcast button.
Both viewers and followers are great to have, but the end goal will always be to convert
them into subscribers. When viewers/followers convert into subscribers
that is when the streamer starts to receive revenue and build their brand.
To get, and keep, subscribers it is really important to have some great perks for them. The most common perk on
Twitch, Mixer, and other platforms are special subscriber emotes. These emote let’s people chat in a
unique way, while they represent your channel and indirectly gives you free advertisement when they are chatting around in other channels.
Subscribers are the viewers that you want to build your stream around. Subscribers might want you to play certain
games, maybe even play with them, which is something to consider to keep them as subscribers.
People who subscribe to channels often do it to select channels which means that you are a special channel to them. They will
follow community guidelines and will be good representatives for your stream and prove to new viewers that your channel is the place to be.
This can happen through your channel’s chat, your social media posts, and other online platforms you may use for promotion.
How can you convert loyal followers to subscribers?
Converting followers to subscribers is the equation that every streamer wants to solve.
The first thing to d do is be entertaining, make great content for your viewers, improve the
video quality of the stream, and listen to the feedback from your community.
These are all things that most streamers will do naturally to improve their stream. With that said, there are
also some more personal ways to convert followers. Followers often already like your stream, but
they will be more likely to subscribe if they can gain something from it.
Offering to play with subscribers is one of the most effective ways. Make it a possibility for subscribers to play with you, and give them that
awesome experience. This can be through free games, console games, or whatever fits your viewer base. This is a
way of doing great “customer service” and prove to your viewers that you have an open community where every subscriber is included through your special perks.
How does subscribing work on major streaming platforms?
Subscriptions have become an option on various different video streaming service platforms and
obviously also on the biggest game streaming services that we already know such as Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube Gaming.
Overview: Subscriptions on Twitch
Twitch is by far the biggest gaming platform and subscriptions on Twitch have been possible
for years, but it is getting easier every year. Subscribing on Twitch is really simple and it can be done in two minutes if you have your PayPal ready,
or even if you have Amazon Prime account that grants you one free subscription each month to your favorite gaming creators
The first thing you have to do is make a Twitch account. This can be done quickly and easily on
the Twitch.tv site. You will be guided through every step in the process.
After creating an account you can start subscribing to channels. First of all you have to find a game streaming channel, or any other type of
channel, that you like. Hit the subscribe button in the right-hand corner of the stream.
After pressing the purple subscribe button you will get a few options. You can choose to subscribe with
tier 1 (5 dollars), tier 2 (10 dollars) or tier 3 (25 dollars). You can also choose to gift a sub,
which means that you give another viewer a subscription by paying for them.
After choosing the tier, you then have to choose the payment method which will mostly be through
PayPal. After paying you will see a notification in the stream chat, which means that the subscription is activated. The online
audience and the streamer will also see it and be able to give a shout out.
Overview: Subscriptions on Mixer
The way Mixer works is similar to Twitch. On Twitch you have to make an account before
you can follow and subscribe to channels. It is really easy to make an account on Mixer since you can
log-in with a Microsoft, Discord, or Twitter account.
When logged in you can find a channel you like and then support it by subscribing.
The standard price will be 5 dollars just like we saw with Twitch.
After pressing the pink sub button, Mixer will give you a list of all the perks you are about to
get by subscribing to the specific game streaming channel. You will also have the possibility to gift a sub.
After that, you choose the payment method and complete your purchase.
Overview: Subscriptions on YouTube Gaming
YouTube Gaming is a bit different compared to Twitch and Mixer, but there
is still a way to support your favorite channels even though the platform itself is a different kind of video streaming service.
Subscribing on YouTube is different from other video streaming service sites because a subscription is free, and
simply means that you follow the channel, so in Twitch/Mixer language it would be the same as a “follow”.
Instead, YouTube Gaming has the “join” option, which is like a subscription on Twitch/Mixer where you support the content creator.
The join-button will be below every YouTube Gaming stream that has it enabled.
Joining a stream will often be more expensive than a Twitch/Mixer subscription, but it can be different from channel to channel since the
amount can be adjusted by the creators. Remember that it is still free streaming and joining channels are optional.
When pressing “join” you get a list of perks and the monthly price.
You pay in the same way you do on Twitch, Mixer, and other streaming platforms. Other gaming platforms also have their own subscription system,
but you will quickly learn that most of them are similar to each other. You will also run into these sorts of subscriptions on various
TV channels when looking for on-demand content. This is also the model that many other streaming services use, such as regular video
streaming services, sports streaming services, or just regular cable TV in general.
Top highest earning game streamers
Let’s look at some of the most successful game streamers, that are living proof that subscribers
can grant you success and give you a unique career path. These streamers have become experts in broadcasting live games and converting
normal followers to subscribers by their entertaining personality and gameplay. They also give people a lot of good subscription
perks even though the subscription cost might seem high to some.
XQC is currently the largest game streamer on Twitch and has made a huge brand
through his wacky personality and entertaining gameplay via various video game publishers.
XQC is the kind of guy who could get his own TV series or TV show simply because he is an entertainer that can get
everyone to laugh and stay engaged in the content he produces, he is the absolute peak of Twitch entertainment channels.
Ninja blew up on Twitch when Fortnite was on the rise, and he was the first streamer to get 10 thousands subscribers
despite the minimum subscription cost being 5 dollars. Ninja has built a huge brand and is living proof
that you can make a huge career from streaming free games.
Ninja is now streaming on Mixer after a deal was made between him and the video streaming service. The deal included a
large sum of money, but it also resulted in fewer viewers and subscribers for Ninja,
since Mixer is a much smaller platform when compared to Twitch.
So now you should have a better understanding of how subscriptions work on game streaming channels.
If this guide has helped you understand subscriptions and you want to help others
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Created by Vejvad & Dan