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Here's How Much You Can Make From Streaming, According To Local Streamers

Learn from those with firsthand experience before jumping on the bandwagon
by Ash Mahinay | May 12, 2018
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If you like to play online games like Dota, LoL, PUBG, Fortnite—or even a mobile game like Mobile Legends—there's a big chance you might have also watched somebody playing the game. It could have been on YouTube too, but if you saw it live and on Twitch, then that's a streamer you just watched.

And if you've ever seen even a little bit of streaming on Twitch, then you'll have surely noticed the fact that you can make a bit of cash by playing games for the public's consumption with all the donation buttons, subscriber widgets, money counters, and advertisements flanking the stream's actual gameplay.

We already know pro gamers can win big, but can you actually make good money too while simply playing video games? We asked three different streamers for the real talk on earning on Twitch.

Lhea Bernardino

Followers: 7,000+

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We're sure you're all familiar with Lhea since she's one of our very own homegrown models, but she's been keeping busy with streaming and her recent role as TNC ambassadress.

Can streaming be considered as your job?

For me, for now, yes, hanapbuhay ko siya ngayon. Dalawa din naman work ko so I can say na dalawang hanapbuhay, but I will not make everything depend on streaming. Kumbaga, isa lang siya sa mga job ko.

Never make it the main thing for now, or forever?

For now. In the future, kung ako tatanungin mo, as a single streamer, hindi ko kaya. Pero meron ako kilalang mga successful na kaya gawin forever yung streaming.

Everyone can go on Twitch, but not everyone can earn, can you break it down?

Tatlong stage kase yan: regular streamer, affiliate, and partner [after reaching Twitch qualifications, like numbers of viewers]. Doon ka kikita pag affiliate and partner ka—kikita ka sa donations and subscriptions.

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Donations are self-explanatory, can you explain subscriptions?

Subscriptions may tatlong tier kase yun. Tier 1 is five dollars a month, tier 2 is nine for three months, tapos last is twenty-four dollars for six months. May hati with Twitch: pag five dollars, 50-50, sa Tier 2 60-40, and Tier 3 70-30. Yung 30 is sa Twitch. Hindi gaano kataas yung total subscribers ko pero madaming tier 3, mga 25%.

So how much do you make from all these?

Di ko ginagamit yung donations as income, pang-improve ko siya ng gamit. Parang dati wala akong webcam at mic, then dahil sa donations nakabili ako ng puro high-end. Nag-ipon ako para sa sarili kong PC kasi gusto ko talaga and ayoko umasa sa sponsorship. In one month nabawi ko na [yung amount] which was P75,000.

What kind of donations do you get?

$550 yung pinakamalaking single donation. Average amount total na nakukuha ko is $50 or $20. Ma-se-set mo yung currency type so naka-set yung akin sa dollars, automatic siya mag-co-convert to peso.

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Is it realistic to expect P75,000 every month?

Di naman siya ganun every month tsaka di naman ako lagi naglalagay ng donation goals. Mga 10% lang din ng followers ko nag-do-donate.

What would be the average amount you make per month then?

Pinaka-dependent ako sa subscription pero meron pang tinatawag na Twitch revenue. Hindi lang sa subscribers mo or subgoals, meron pang mga percentage yan, subscription revenue, ad revenue, and madaming factors. Ang average kita ko sa Twitch revenue is mga $350 (around P18,000).

But you stream with expenses in mind, like electricity and other utilities?

Oo naman, solo lang kasi ako so yung kikitain mo sa donation and subscription pang-balanse mo yun lahat sa monthly bills mo.

You were an FHM model of course. Is there that stigma that you only get money because you're sexy?

Yun yung inaalis ko sa image ko. Ayoko naman maging “cleavage streamer,” kaya when I stream, lagi ako naka-tshirt kasi ayoko na masabihan na ganun. Ayoko din masabihan na natunugan lang na may kita sa Twitch kaya nag-stream. Hindi ko din sinasabi na FHM model ako. Na sa bio ko pero di ko sinasabi. I want to start from scratch parang sa FHM din. When I introduce myself as a streamer, sinasabi ko nga na di pa ako magaling ehMay stigma sa babae nadi naman magaling yan eh.” Di talaga ako magaling, natutuwa lang ako maglaro at gusto ko matuto.

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Suzzy “Suzzysaur” Irasga

Followers: 12,000+

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Suzzy is a part-time streamer and content creator who also represents local e-sports and gaming outfit RUMBLE ROYALE as well as being an ambassador for brands like MSI and Nvidia. You might have also heard that she finished her college education through streaming.

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Is it true you started streaming to pay for school?

Nanonood lang ako noon ng mga streaming channel tapos nakikita ko na may mga donation sila, so why not try it for my schooling? I asked Rumble Royal if I can try streaming—wala naman ako magandang PC, webcam, mic, and so on. Sabi nila: “Oo naman, bakit hindi.”

So how much did you actually have to earn to finish?

I set it to $500 dollars—mura lang naman yung tuition namin, P10,000 per sem—pero sinama ko na lahat doon yung projects, thesis, pati pagkain at pamasahe. Lahat na talaga. Sobrang nagulat ako na nakuha ko within the first seven days! I continued na mag-stream kaya sobrang feeling blessed ako kasi nagkaroon ako ng funds for thesis na din. Two years na-support ko: more than P60,000 din yun.

Were they all donations?

Yes, and sinabi ko sa stream na for school talaga siya. Naalala ko may isang guy na sobrang laki magbigay—siya yung nag-start up. Alam mo yung pinagawa niya? He said, “Hi, Pinay, can you sing for us? I’ll give $200.” Parang ako, totoo man o hindi, ginawa ko pa rin. Madami talaga nag-to-troll sa Twitch. Hindi naman ako into money talaga pero kailangan talaga so kumanta ako.

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How many people in total helped you out?

Around 20 or 30. Kasi yung iba one dollar lang or ten dollars pero I’m thankful pa rin kahit any amount.

What do you average per month?

Before nung naabot ko goal ko, umabot ako ng more than $1000 dollars sa isang month, yung unang month. Malaki na yun, unless sikat na sikat ka na. Now, yung earnings ko na sa $300 dollars per month sa donation and subscribers. Then yung subgoal ko na ngayon is para sa mga kapatid ko—nakalagay na streaming for my sister’s schooling.

Can streaming be your day job?

Yung endgame ko is full content creator. Since andito na rin lang, why stop or pull back? Nakaka-ipon na ako, ako na nagbabayad sa bahay namin. Di muna ako umuuwi sa family home in Antipolo, para makabawas sa gastusin. Masaya naman si papa para sa akin, sabi niya habang bata ka pa ipunin mo yung kaya mo, wag ko sila isipin ni mama. Mga kapatid ko isipin ko—so I'm saving para makapagaral sila.

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Since there are issues with Lhea being a sexy streamer, we can imagine there are also issues with the cute approach.

Well, meron nagsabi before na scammer daw ako. Yung iba kasi hindi nagbabasa kung nasaan ako [streaming from Rumble Royale]. Also, hindi naman daw talaga ako pumupunta sa school ko, which is not true. 


Nico “Kuya Nic” Nazario

Followers: 100,000+

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Photo by Facebook


Kuya Nic and his crew at WomboXcombo provide live commentary or “cast” Dota tournaments rather than play games on Twitch. Along with talk shows, debates, and other content, you can think of them more like a TV network now rather than just dudes talking into a webcam.

How did all this casting Dota and streaming start?

Actually hindi naman streaming target ko. Ang target ko lang is maka-cover ng mga Filipino games and tournaments. May partner ako nun na taga Peru, where they've been doing it since two years ago. So meron sa kanilang nag-co-cover in Spanish. Sabi ko,Uy, pwede ko dalhin sa Philippines to kasi malaki viewership natin ng Dota.” 

Which tournament gave you a big break?

To be honest, yung mga maliliit na tournament. Kasi pagka yung mga malalaking tournament, sanay ka manood sa English channel. Pero yung mga maliliit walang English coverage or wala sila option at all. So from there lahat ng malillit kinuha namin until naging credible na kami sa mga malalaki.

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How much did you make covering smalltime competitions though?

Sa first three months halos walaKasi bago ka makalabas ng payment [from Twitch], you need to have one hundred dollars at least. It took me three months to get that hundred.

And where did you learn to cast?

Wala! The original plan was I’ll be doing the backend—lights, overlays, promotion, network, scheduling—tapos meron ako caster: si Luis the Magi. Siya mag-cast for P10,000 per month. Na sa Cavite kami nun, for a cheaper na set up kailangan na sa province ka. Half a month lang siya tumagal, kasi nagka-baby siya bigla!

So paano yan pag di ko tinuloy to? Umutang ako ng P80,000 pambili ng PC na second hand, yari ako sa nanay ko nito! Sa unang casting ko sobrang nahihiya ako—meron ako camera pero naka-off!

So you decided to start big with a stay-in caster in a dedicated studio?

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Oo, kasi just like any pro player, tinuturing na namin siya na dedicated job na talaga. Ayaw namin ng outside distraction.

How did you survive with $100 to show for three months work?

May buffer budget na kami for two months. What I did was habang nag-ca-cast ako, I emailed my sponsor for an ex-deal. Lagay ko logo niyo, kahit konti viewers, tapos padalhan niyo lang ako product. Wala ng payment.

When did you finally make it back?

We started April 2016. My first physical, non-volunteer employee dumating in November. Lumuwag na ako November so after nun may pang salary na ako sa dalawa. I invested again so I could expand. Ngayon, meron na kaming fifteen na tao.

Did you think about pulling the plug in the early days?

Oo, lagi. Dumating yung time na pinutulan na kami ng internet, tapos kinabukasan mapuputulan din kami ng kuryente. Umutang ako sa mama ko—siyempre makakarinig ka ng sabon pero at the end of the day, “eto tatlong libo bayaran mo agad.”

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How much do you make per month now?

Six digits na, line of two (P2XX,XXX). Twitch revenue lang yun. Mataas dahil sa viewers. Per month ang average namin is 1500 viewers and then 20 million plus minutes watched. Highest viewers namin sa isang stream was 16,000. Pero this 2018 lang umabot sa six digits yung earnings.

Can you consider streaming your job now?

Actually di lang siya streaming, content creation din for viewers sa YouTube and FB. Pero eto na nga.

Is there still room for a story like yours? For people to build six-digit channels?

I won’t invest on something that I can't upgrade. Mas maganda kung madaming player so the competition and quality will go up.

Is it worth risking it like you did?

Tulad ng payo ko sa mga viewers ko na gusto maging pro player: kung andyan na yung opportunity, go for it full time. Pero pag wala pa yung sigurado, i-balance mo muna. Keep your day job and do streaming on the side. Once nakita mo na pumutok na, go for it.

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