The year 2020 seems to have been a good year for eSports if Twitch streamer earnings are anything to go by. According to research data compiled by Saving Spot, streaming is such a big business that there are over 2 million streamers who broadcast every month on Twitch.
In Q3 2020, there were 10.57 million unique Twitch streaming channels according to Statista.
For some perspective, the figure was only 3.62 million in Q1 2018. It gradually rose to 5.6 million in Q1 2019 before dropping to 3.74 million in Q4 2019. In Q1 2020, it nearly doubled to 6.1 million, rising to 10 million in Q2 before hitting the Q3 high.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites, the highest earning streamer in 2020 is xQcOW, who is on track to make an estimated $1.984 million in revenue this year. NICKMERCS was rated second, with an estimate of $1.738 million while Ibai was a distant third with $1.374 million.
Odablock was ranked fourth with $1.299 million and TimTheTatman was fifth with $1.211 million. In total, the top three streamers are expected to rake in $5.1 million in 2020 while the top five expect to net a neat $7.6 million.
For female Twitch streamers, the highest grossing streamer 2020 is Pokimane, with an estimated $550,060 in annual earnings. Amouranth was ranked second with $384,599, while lilypichu came in third with $339,354.
Highest Paid Streamer xQcOW Ranks 19th by No. of Followers with 4.17M
North America has the highest number of top-earning streamers, 14 out of the top 20. The remaining six come from Europe and South America.
Not surprisingly, the US is the country with the highest share of Twitch viewership globally. According to Statista data, it holds 24.32% of the worldwide Twitch viewership as of October 2020.
Germany is second with 6.66% but is only home to two of the top 20 streamers by revenue. These are MontanaBlack88, in seventh spot and TheRealKnossi in tenth.
The highest paid player overall, xQcOW, is an ex-pro Overwatch player. According to TwitchStats, he had 4.17 million followers on the streaming site as of November 25, 2020.
Interestingly, he was in the 19th spot on the list and the streamer with the highest number of followers was Ninja, with 16.28 million. Notably, Twitch gave xQcOW a temporary account suspension on November 18, 2020 for stream sniping during a Twitch Rival tournament. As a result of the suspension, he cannot participate in Twitch Rival contests for six months and also forfeited his prize money.
80% of Streamers’ Revenue Comes From Subscriptions
For all Twitch streamers, an average of 80% of their annual revenue comes from subscriptions. They get 16% from ads and 4% from donations. However, there are some significant deviations from this that make interesting exceptions.
Among female streamers in the top 10, 70% of revenue comes from subscriptions, while 23% comes from ads and the rest from donations.
Streamer DarksydePhil, who does not make it to the top 100 list of streamers by revenue, earns $35 per subscriber in donations (Bits and Cheers). Not only is this the highest donation income per subscriber, it is also more than $13 higher than any other streamer on the site.
Top 4 Odablock is the only top earner who makes it to the top 10 list of donation income per subscriber. He was in sixth spot, earning $8.69 Bits and Cheers per subscriber and stands out in the sense that he earns 14% of his total from donations.
Though donation income is the smallest revenue source, some streamers make over $100,000 from it. Odablock topped the list with $178,531 while xQcOW was tenth with $80,434.
xQcOW ranks first on the list of highest earnings from subscriptions. He gets $1.595 million annually from 455,246 subscribers.
While most streamers make most of their revenue from $4.99 Tier 1 subscriptions, some make the most money from costlier Tier 2 and 3 subscriptions.
For instance, #9 RonnieRadke earns 4.1% of his subscription revenue from $24.99 Tier 3 subscriptions. This is over thrice the 1.3% average for the top 10 streamers with the highest subscription revenues. #2 NICKMERCS has the second largest share of 2.2%.
In terms of earnings from ads, #6 AuronPlay ranks first with $545,245 a year while xQcOW is fifth with $308,400. AuronPlay is an exception since he earns around 50% of his income from ads.