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Can musicians make a living from Twitch? A new report suggests they can

As Twitch continues to expand, a new report, titled Twitch’s Rockonomics, explains how it’s becoming an increasingly viable income stream for musicians.

Originally intended for gamers, Twitch is now a place for all types of creators — musicians, producers, chefs, podcasters, fitness instructors, and more. Twitch is 10 years old this month, and musicians are increasingly turning to the platform.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many artists turn their cancelled performances and tours into international live streams, and it’s paying way more than any Spotify streams would get them. In fact, music on Twitch is so popular now that there is a report to prove it.

Twitch

A former Spotify executive, Will Page, has published an eye-opening report named Twitch’s Rockonomics. It delves into the platform’s economics and explains its differentiation and how it will continue to grow into the future.

The article highlights the gaps in music consumption, interaction between artists and their fans, ownership of the content and how content creators can have three distinct income streams from the platform: creator channel subscription, direct financial supporting called ‘bits’ and having advertising on their channel.

Stars of Twitch earning serious money include Laura Shigihara, a video game composer who has over 200,000 followers; a married couple called Aeseaes, who quit their day jobs to stream their performances to 40,000 unique followers per month; and Matt Heafy, vocalist and guitarist from Grammy-nominated metal band Trivium, who shares his special moments of creation online.

Even Producer Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park fame has a prolific Twitch account. You can sit for 2.5 hours and watch him produce a song from the comfort of his own home. It’s interactive as well, as he communicates parts with his audience and sets a live poll for them to vote on.

 

As the report says, “Live streaming won’t go away when live music returns.” So, it will be incumbent upon artists to connect with fans in a meaningful, interactive way. Twitch, Page argues, is the perfect environment for creating that relationship.

Twitch’s desktop-based user experience also counts in its favour; Twitch doesn’t have to compete with the many mobile apps that are “over-exploiting our scarce attention.” As the gamers on Twitch can attest, streams can go for several hours. YouTube, TikTok and Spotify have more users, but those who use Twitch use it for longer.

Of course, it would naive to assert that there is a pot of gold at the end of Twitch rainbow, but at the very least, it has the potential to offer a compelling avenue for musical output and most importantly, a deeper connection with fans.

Read the full report here.