“5 dollars a month”
Early in January 2020, the popular Twitch streamer BadBunny took the internet by storm by calling her audience as “cheap asses” during a stream:
“There are regulars here. Five dollars a month! How do you have hours of time to watch me, and not $5? What are you doing with your life where you have hours of time to watch Twitch, and not $5 to provide for the content that you’re watching?”.
After taking a breath, BadBunny continued her rant, saying:
“Look, I have a wall of non-subscribers. This is actually, f*cking really heartbreaking because it’s like people really have no respect for me as a content creator.”
BadBunny (real name Nicole) is a political streamer with 170,000 followers on Twitch, well-known for her controversial content about leftist politics and current events. This is not the first time BadBunny has slammed her viewers for not paying her enough. Back in February 2019, Bad Bunny labeled all fans who viewed her content without subscribing or donating as “leeches”. And BadBunny is not the only one to see there’s nothing wrong with begging for money. With a similar sentiment, InvaderVie and SavageBabyDoll have sparked backlashes in the community.
The streamers’ dilemma: is it better to speak or to starve?
Let’s look at the problem from both sides.
For those who are streamers, while the behavior of BadBunny and the likes are unacceptable, we totally understand your dilemma. It takes resources to produce content. Some of you are doing full-time streaming at the expense of your job, social relationships, and even your health. You work from midnight to 9 AM, only to entertain a dozen viewers though you could get a viewership of hundreds the day before. There’s no job security as your income can fluctuate wildly between yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You’ll lose subscribers anytime you take a break from streaming, even on vacation. There’s no shortcut to success: “produce more” is key. Then it makes sense for you to earn a decent amount of money from your hard work.
However, for Twitch viewers, one of the main appeals to this streaming platform is the fact that they can consume content for free, with advertisements being played before and during the stream. The audience has the option to support their streamers if they want to, but this is by no means compulsory. While a content creator can be disappointed if they are not being rewarded with what they think they deserve, it is part of the deal they agreed to when signing up. Viewers have the right to not pay for free content. No one owes anything to the other here. On top of that, let’s not forget that the audience nowadays has a variety of content to indulge themselves. So if you’re being rude and disrespectful to me, it’s perfectly fine, I’m gonna go find a new streamer – a viewer may say.
How to monetize my content?
Like people said, don’t bite the hands that feed you. The majority of streamers out there just want to have someone to watch their streams, so if you manage to have a few that actually spare some time to listen to you instead of the other 7 million streamers, cherish them. Yelling at your viewers only does harm to your channel and your relationship with other streamers as nobody would like to be associated with the stigma.
In fact, there are better ways to monetize your content without begging your viewers. But first, let’s change the language. Don’t use the word “Donations” or anything terms that carry the sense of charity or handouts. If you’re using the word, you haven’t recognized your own value. Great streamers like you are creating awesome content every day, keeping your fans entertained for hours. What you should be receiving is a tip – an expression of appreciation for your good service. Change the language. Seriously!
There are various ways to monetize your live streams, and fan tipping or Twitch subscriptions are just part of it. While big streamers may need fewer revenue streams, the key to success for smaller streamers is DIVERSIFICATION. Relying on 1 or 2 revenue channels only would result in a very fluctuating income. Think of having a mix between Twitch subscriptions, Patreon, PayPal tips, Cheering with Bits, merchandise, sponsorships, and affiliate deals. These are easy methods to bring home the bacon. But for the sexiest risk-takers out there, there’s a much cooler way to make money: show off your skills and get rewarded with Gimbl.
Gimbl is a free tool allowing you to be challenged by your audience during your stream in exchange for a tip unlocked only if you accomplish the challenge. The goal is to enhance the streaming experience, turning it from a passive experience into a much more active and immersive one. The tool provokes the curiosity and competitiveness side inside the audience, making them want to tip you money without you having to beg for it. Sounds cool? Give it a try here and we promise you never want to play the old way again.