We all wish that we could earning a living by #playing games, and some do. Is professional gaming a real career or a temporary stop for people before they “get a real job?” #Livestreaming #games online has changed the gaming industry and made gaming a real career. It is possible to choose streaming and gaming as a lifelong vocation and earn over $300,000 a year.
Jeffery Shih, better known as “TrumpSC,” is a popular streamer for Hearthstone, which has over 20,000 consistent viewers in a single night all over the world. Jeffery’s humble origins started three years ago on Ustream and Livestream. In the early days of livestreaming, it was an expensive privilege or service that you needed to pay for on a monthly basis. Streamers had to pay out of their own pockets to provide quality streams to viewers. At the time, Jeffery saw this as a hobby and was willing to build an audience with the hope of building something bigger. Starcraft was the first game he started streaming and his viewership slowly grew from 500 people to 3,000 people in the first few months.
The only investment necessary outside of time is a webcam and a good microphone – even the webcam is optional. Jeffrey explains that, “It possible for anyone to succeed with enough hard work, and it can be done as little as six months.” But, streaming is like any other entertainment industry in which there will only be a few personalities or individuals that will reach the pinnacle. Jeffrey states that, “There are streamers that make $100,000 from streaming alone, but this is likely the upper range.”
Jeffery is a strong proponent for streaming as a long-term career because the audience is only growing and the opportunities he’s been presented on a daily basis show no signs of slowing down. He believes that the industry is still in its infancy and that we’re still a few years away from seeing its potential blooming into something bigger.
Kenji, better known as “NumotTheNummy,” is another popular streamer that focuses on Magic the Gathering. Kenji is your average college grad who studied anthropology and sociology, and he found out that it’s something he didn’t want to do. Instead of plowing forward like a good soldier, Kenji decided to figure out what he wanted and worked at a grocery chain’s night crew. Night crew is the team that restocks the shelves and checks out late night shoppers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Needless to say, this isn’t a healthy lifestyle.
During this time, Kenji started streaming because he used to play Magic and watch other players stream their games. After a while, it became part of his daily gaming experience. Like a lot of popular streamers, Kenji started streaming on a whim, sporadically once or twice a week, and was able to build a small but loyal audience of 100 to 200 viewers. These viewers gave Kenji the confidence and the drive to start a 365-day livestream challenge in March 2012. Kenji’s goal was to stream every day for an entire year.
It was a lofty goal, but it paid off because he’s probably one of the most popular and well-recognized Magic streamers on Twitch.tv. But, it was definitely painful at times, and Kenji sacrificed a lot to complete the challenge. Kenji began the challeng, while working full-time as part of the night crew. This meant that he worked between 11:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. and slept for a few hours until noon to start streaming Magic. Kenji would stream at least six hours and sleep a few more hours before heading out to work again. This was Kenji’s life for the first five months of the pledge. You can imagine that the first month was probably a breeze because of the adrenaline and thrill of the challenge. But, by the third month Kenji was burnt out. He needed to make a choice. It was either go big or go home.
Luckily, Kenji decided to go full-time streaming because he was getting at least 1,000 viewers daily and the income coming from streaming was growing enough to show signs of life. Taking this plunge was definitely a leap of faith and something we can’t take lightly. Today, Kenji earns more than he did while working on the night crew, and his success is only growing.
The question everyone wants to know is how much these online streamers or entertainers earn. Jeffrey suggests that the best-off streamers earn upwards of $100,000 based on their livestreams alone. Usually, livestreaming makes up only a portion of their income. The most popular streamers break their income into three categories: livestreaming, YouTube and sponsorships or guest appearances. Thus, it’s not a stretch to understand that the best streamers make $300,000 or more annually. We also need to take into consideration that online streaming is a young industry that is only growing by the day. Twitch.tv is the website that takes up the eighth most bandwidth in the entirety of the internet.
Another way to figure the numbers is to break the audience down into units of 2,000. Jeffrey suggests that a streamer that has 2,000 regular viewers can generate $2,000 of monthly income from streaming. Kenji suggests that $2,000 is conservative and it is possible to generate significantly more. But, this is a great start to understand how much you could earn from being a successful entertainer.
Sponsorships usually make up a big part of a streamer’s income. Ironically, sponsorships aren’t hard to come by or find for these entertainers. Jeffrey and Kenji both get bombarded with offers to sponsor brands and products daily. It actually takes a huge amount of time to go through all the offers and it can become tedious sifting through deals that make sense and others that don’t.
Consistency is the most important factor to your success. Showing up is a prerequisite and it’s not easy. Making sure day-in and day-out that your face is live for everything to see is hard. Whether you’re healthy, sick, happy, sad or just plain exhausted is something that your viewers are going to see. It’s the audience getting to know you as a person or personality is what drives them to come back every day.
Personality is the second most important factor. There are two types of characters that are popular: the technical streamer and the charismatic streamer. The technical streamers are knowledgeable and know all the ins-and-outs of the game. They’re here to educate and help you improve your gaming. The charismatic streamer likely knows the game well-enough, but you care more about watching them go off the deep end when they make mistakes or when they’re on cloud nine as they beat their opponents into a pulp.
Lastly, focusing on a niche. Every successful streamer has a niche that they satisfy. This niche can be based on a single game, goals like breaking world records or just providing laughs. It’s important for you to find that niche and to just focus on that specialty.
Reblogged from: forbes.com