A recent data breach revealed the stunning revenue that the top streamers on Twitch make. Notably, the top 10% of streamers account for a good chunk of the overall earnings.
According to the research data analysed and published by Wette.de, the highest paid streamer is CriticalRole. During the period between August 2019 and October 2021, this channel’s payout totalled $9,626,712.16.
The channel is famed for streaming online role-playing games based on Dungeons and Dragons. It has a total of 825,000 subscribers and is a surprising winner seeing as it does not stream video games.
Second on the list was xQcOW, with a total of $8,454,427.17 within the same period. xQc is a famous Canadian streamer and a former Overwatch pro. According to Twitch Tracker, he had a total of 72,898 subscribers as of October 27, 2021. His total number of followers is a whopping 9.38 million.
According to estimates published by Sportskeeda, his net worth is about $4 million in 2021. The streamer reportedly makes between $3 million and $4 million annually from YouTube and Twitch combined. SocialBlade data reveals that his earnings from YouTube can be as high as $1.4 million a year, based on ad-related engagements.
Summit1g was third on the list with total earnings at $5,847,541.17. He is a former Counter-Strike pro from America and is known for streaming a variety of games.
Per data from Twitch Tracker, he ranks 25 on the list of most watched streamers and has 5.14 million followers. Current active subscribers to his channel number 33,350.
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Top 1% of Twitch Streamers Account for Over 50% Revenue in 2021
In total, these top three streamers on Twitch raked in slightly less than $24 million from August 2019 to October 2021.
It is worth noting that the figures do not include any brand promotions or donations. These two revenue streams typically offer significant earnings on their own. Other revenue streams not captured by the data include merchandise, sponsorships, and YouTube revenue.
Other streamers in the top 10 include Tfue ($5.3 million), NICKMERCS ($$5.1 million), Ludwig ($3.3 million) and TimTheTatman ($$3.3 million). Rounding up the ranks are Altoar ($3.1 million), Auronplay ($3.0 million) and LIRIK ($2.98 million).
Factors such as the number of viewers one pulls in and the type of content streamed determine how much streamers earn. As such, the terms vary from one person to the next, a matter that has resulted in considerable tension within the community.
According to a post on Reddit, 10% of the top 10,000 streamers account for 49% of the total earnings on Twitch during the period. In that span of time, around 2,000 streamers raked in more than $100,000.
So far in 2021, the data shows that the top 1% of streamers were responsible for more than half of the overall revenue. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the highest paid streamer in 2021 has generated $5 million. CriticalRole, the overall highest earner has so far generated $4 million this year.
Another interesting insight from the data is the fact that the space is highly male-dominated. Pokimane, who is the highest-paid female streamer, is 39th on the list.
Monthly Active Streamers Rise from 300k in 2012 to 9.9 Million in 2021
Twitch has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2011. 2021 has been an especially good year for the service.
During the first quarter of the year, it generated a total of 22 million downloads. The figure was up by an impressive 62% compared to Q1 2020. In the US, its biggest market, Q1 2021 saw a total of 5 million new installs.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, monthly active users on the site increased by a remarkable 69%. By April 2021, it had about 9.36 million active streamers, slightly lower than the January 2021 peak of 9.89 million. As of September, there were 8.0 million monthly active streamers according to Twitchtracker.
The number of monthly streamers has been consistently rising during the past decade. In 2012, it was a mere 300,000, hitting 1.5 million in 2014, 2 million in 2017 before surging to nearly 7 million by 2020. Alongside this growth, the number of Twitch partners has also been rising. It has gone from 3,400 in 2012, to 10,000 in 2014 and by 2020, it stood at 45,400. As of March 2021, it stood at 51,000 according to Statista.