If you watch people play games on Twitch then you’ve probably heard of Ninja (Tyler Blevins). Ninja was by far the most popular streamer in 2018 in terms of hours viewed on his channel, he managed to attract 226.85 million hours of viewing time. This in itself is a massive number but is all the more impressive when you consider that his total is more than the next 2 channels combined in the top list. Riotgames attracted 99.31 million and Shroud had 97.07 million. Pretty impressive right?
Ninja primarily plays Fortnite and was previously a pro Halo player. He made the jump to Fortnite at just the right time as his combination of skill and personality have made him a massive gaming celebrity recognised around the globe.
It’s not all been plain sailing for Ninja though as he has been in the news for things other than his gaming prowess. During 2018 he was criticised for refusing to stream with female gamers stating that any flirting that might take place in stream would ‘become clickbait forever’ and would harm his personal life, more specifically his marriage. He has also had to make an apology for using a racial slur during one of his streams. Despite these hiccups he’s still gone on to be a phenomenal success.
So just how much can you earn from streaming games on Twitch? Well if you manage to attain the audience that Ninja has built you could be bringing in $500,000 per month. I don’t know about you but if I could earn that much for playing games I’d be pretty chuffed. This is just Ninja’s Twitch earnings and doesn’t take into account hit YouTube channel which has over 2 million subscribers. Needless to say, Ninja is doing ok for himself.
Ninja’s numbers are significant in other ways too. Recently Overwatch League signed a 2-year deal with Twitch to air exclusively on the platform and this deal was worth around $90 million. The Overwatch League managed to get 74.6 million hours of view time in 2018, small change when you compare to Ninja. The question has to be raised regarding what is Ninja’s audience worth? What if he decided to move to another platform and stream exclusively on YouTube for example? Would Twitch be willing to pay out $90 million to keep him on board? Perhaps as 2019 gets underway we’ll be seeing deals of this sort.
So if you’re looking for a new job in the new year perhaps Twitch is a valid option but I wouldn’t expect to be earning at the level Ninja is for quite sometime. I myself have set up a Twitch channel, it seems easy right? Just set it up, play some games every now and then and watch the cash roll in. I’m sorry to disappoint, but it’s a bit harder than that. My total lack of effort shows in my viewer numbers which at the last count were around the zero mark, ok they were zero and as a result has earned me squat! Ninja streams seven days a week, often twice per day. It is this level of dedication along with being good at the game you are playing plus a sprinkling of personality that will make you a success.