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How to Make Money Live Streaming in 2020

Make money live streaming

Research shows that audiences spend 3x more time watching live video, and that 46% of people are streaming more live video than last year

It’s a monetization goldmine! So how can you take advantage of that?


There are 5 main ways you can get paid to live stream.

  1. Launch your own platform – Avg . $5800+/month
  2. Create your own products – Avg. $2000+/month
  3. Find a stream sponsor – Avg. depends on CPM
  4. Ask for Patreon Pledges – $1 to $1,106/month
  5. Join an affiliate scheme – Avg. 5% to 30% commission

I’ve ranked this list in descending order (from most to least profitable) with the average earnings for each, to help you make the right choice for you. Let’s dive into each method so you can choose the one that’s best for you: 

5 most profitable ways to make money live streaming:

1. Launch Your Own Platform (Avg. $5800+/Month)

The most profitable way to make money from your live streams is to have your own platform. Specifically, a Netflix-style live streaming service. 

This is a platform where you can:

  • Host your live streams
  • Charge a monthly subscription fee
  • Have control of your marketing
  • Keep 100% of what you earn

Live streamers that switch from third-party streaming platforms to their own hosted platform go on to earn an average of $5800 a month – with many earning much more than that.

Take RaceXR Plus (XR+) for example.

Make money live streaming like Race XR Plus

They launched their live-streaming website using Uscreen in 2019 as a place to broadcast America’s largest dirt track races. You know, adrenaline-packed races like this:

For $34.99 a month (or $349.99 a year) subscribers can tune into a live stream of the latest race, and access replays of previous races:

RaceXR Plus make money live streaming

Don’t worry if you’re not a well-funded sporting outfit like XR+. We have seen this business model work for live streams in all niches, with single-person streamers and small teams.

If you have a stream people want to watch, and a handful of fans who are willing to pay to watch it, this is a scalable way to get paid for your live streams.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can make $5,800+ a month from running your own live streaming platform, the following guide is for you:

How To Create and Launch a Live Streaming Website in 2020

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How to create a live streaming website

More suggested readings on this method: 

Sticking with the theme of income streams you have control over…

2. Create Your Own Products (Avg. $2000+ Month)

Creating your own products is an excellent way to get paid to live stream. They can come in several different forms:

  1. Merchandise: t-shirts, mugs, hats, etc.
  2. Books: ebooks, print books, physical guides, etc.
  3. Digital products: tutorials, courses, downloadable guides, etc.
  4. Industry-specific: gaming controllers, vinyl, signed copies, etc.

The type of product you offer will depend on your niche. It will need to be relevant to your audience and personal (or corporate) brand.

Products are also dictated by the amount of capital or time you have to invest. 

Digital products are high-value, low-cost options. The last method you read about – creating your own platform – is a form a digital product.

However, you could also expand into information products like:

  • Ebooks
  • Courses
  • Webinars
  • Membership sites

These typically only require the time to create and some investment in the overall design.

Six ways to make money live streaming

Self-sourced physical products require a higher cash investment, but can also bring about a higher profit margin, with you keeping 100% of what you earn from each sale.

But there is also a middle ground…

Matthew K Heafy is a heavy metal singer who uses live streaming to engage with his fans. He monetizes his feed of 113,000+ followers using drop-shipping merchandise:

Make money live streaming with merchandise

Matthew provides the on-brand designs to a third-party company, who then create the product on-demand and ship it to the customer.

The commissions are lower – between 10% and 25% of a sale – but you don’t need to handle or create the goods. That’s all done for you.

If you want to learn more about how much money your live streams could earn from products, you should check out this Money Calculator from Sellfy.

The calculator will then provide you with an estimated earning potential based on the number of monthly viewers you have:

Make money live streaming and calculate your earnings

You can enter your monthly views and it will generate an estimate of your potential product earnings. (This is set up for YouTube but works as a good guide for other platforms too.)

3. Find A Stream Sponsor (Avg. Depends On CPM)

Sponsorships can be a lucrative way to make money live streaming.

Sponsorships made the mainstream news in 2019 when Ninja, a prominent gaming live streamer, was paid $1 million to play Apex Legends.

Make money live streaming like Twitch user Ninja

But this isn’t your standard type of sponsorship. For most live streamers they are a section in the video where you:

  • Mention the sponsor
  • Introduce their product
  • Share a short personal testimonial

Sponsors often pay between $15 to $50 per 1000 views. (We call that CPM in the industry.) This means if your streams are regularly getting 5000+ views you can earn a solid income.


Sponsors will usually only deal with high-profile streamers. People who can guarantee thousands of views on each video. Otherwise, it’s not worth their while.

You’ll also need to be aware:

  • Sponsors will want to influence the content you create
  • Having the wrong sponsor can cost you subscribers

If you can partner with good brands offering relevant products that pay high CPMs, this can be a great option. 

Just remember to think of how this will impact both your content and subscriber base! 

4. Ask For Patreon Pledges ($1 to $1,106 Monthly)

The simplest way to make money from your live streams is to use Patreon.

Here you can ask for monthly “pledges” that provide subscribers with premium benefits. Each new tier offers more value.

Let’s take a look at an example from YouTuber, Patrick (H) Willems:

Make money live streaming with patreon pledges

Patrick offers five tiers to YouTube subscribers ranging from $2 to $50 a month. Depending on the tier a subscriber chooses, they can get:

  • Access to exclusive live streams
  • Their name in a video’s credits
  • Hand-drawn comic panel
  • Official merchandise

All the subscriber needs to do is select their tier and make a pledge:

Patreon pledge tiers to make money live streaming

Patreon pages are easy to set up and, if you have a large enough following, you could start earning from them in hours. But I do have a word of warning…

There is no official average income for a Patreon user. And, although there are several users earning $50,000+ a month, this is not typical.

Reports show that fewer than 2% of users earn more than $1,160 a month. Patreon’s CEO also estimates just 4300 people earn $1,000+ a month.

Make money livestreaming with Patreon

I’d recommend using Patreon as a supplementary income stream, and combine it with other methods on this list if you don’t feel ready to launch your own platform.

5. Join An Affiliate Scheme (Avg. 5% to 30% Commission)

The final way to get paid to live stream is to become an affiliate.

Affiliates are people who promote and product or service – typically with a link or a referral code – and receive a commission. Usually, between 5% and 30% of the sale.

Here’s a recent commission I earned for an affiliate sale of GermanPod101:

Make money live streaming with affiliate links

Affiliate programs are a great place to start earning because they are low risk. And, as long as the products are relevant to your subscribers, they’re happy to hear about them.

You can find affiliate opportunities by:

Many businesses use them, and it’s a strategy we recommend to video business owners looking to promote their platform.

Profits will be lower for you’re using this method and it’s not a predictable income stream. But, it can be a fun way to try and earn money from your live streams.

In A Nutshell: How To Make Money Live Streaming In 2020

If you want to build a live streaming business you need to earn money. In this post, we’ve looked at the five most profitable monetization methods.

They are (in order):

  1. Build your own platform: create a Netflix-style website where you sell access to your live streams. Uscreen users who do this earn an average of $5800 a month.
  2. Sell your own products: create digital or physical products that will help your subscribers or make them feel part of your tribe.
  3. Find a stream sponsor: connect with a brand that will advertise on your channel and pay $15 to $50 per 1000 views. 
  4. Ask for Patreon pledges: create a Patreon page and ask users to “pledge” money to your business. In return, they’ll get some sweet bonus content.
  5. Become an affiliate: join the marketing programs of relevant brands and earn 5% to 30% commission on everything you earn.

I’ll be straight with you…

Building your own platform is the best option on this list. You can earn the most money, have creative freedom, and it’s the only sure-fire way to futureproof your business.

If you’d like to learn how other live streamers are earning $5800+ a month with a Uscreen website, we’d love to hear from you. You can learn more about us right here! 

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