During the time of the pandemic that many countries were under lockdown to keep folks safe, there was an increase in new streamers and viewers on Twitch. As described by Satch Garlock in an article from theChimes, “The pandemic [gave] viewers more time to binge-watch their favorite creators, as well as spawn[ed] a new generation of streamers.”
The Rise of Content Creators
The reality is that many folks were unable to work due to safety concerns with COVID-19, being laid off, or even due to the inability to find a new job in a tough market. This new stay-at-home lifestyle led to a lot of full-time creators who otherwise would never have seen such an opportunity.
Many jobs went remote so viewers were able to “work and lurk” alongside favored streamers. Working from home and closed services meant people weren’t spending as much of their money going out. Viewers were able to financially support their favorite creators with a monthly subscription or donation.
Viewers Head Back to the Office
However, as the world re-opens and the economy shifts so goods and services are more expensive, a lot of creators are having to reconsider this career they have been building over the last few years.
June 2022, Atheena, a full-time charity-focused variety streamer, had to let her community know that she would be stepping away from full-time content creation after two years. In her Twitlonger she said, “This was honestly one of the toughest decisions that I have had to make, and I have been bouncing back and forth trying to figure out ways to make streaming work. But at this point in my life, it’s not going to and that’s okay.”
She expressed gratitude for those who supported her going full-time for the time that she was able to. She felt it was unfair to lean too heavily into her community for support when she could make changes in her life to make sure she was financially safe on her own.
“Thank you for allowing me to call this platform ‘home’ for the past few years. I truly hope that someday soon I can say that I’m going back full-time, but we have some work to do and I will be fighting my way tooth and nail to get back to that point,” Atheena said.
Atheena is not alone in her experience. Many streamers are seeing impacted analytics and revenue now that workers have transitioned away from stay-at-home lifestyles and back into the workplace.
We spoke to full-time Twitch Partner ohKaty – an Irish variety streamer who uses her platform to talk about the content creator experience. Katy has been vocal about having to pick up a side gig in order to pay the bills.
Since November 2020, Katy has been streaming full-time on Twitch. Recently she has had to diversify her revenue streams as Twitch alone hasn’t been enough. Nothing like it was during the Pandemic. She has started this search for diverse income by working towards YouTube Partner so she can monetize the platform, and doing freelance video editing on the side.
Katy expressed that supplementing her income has allowed her to take some of the pressure off of streaming. It’s also greatly improved her headspace surrounding her relationship with content creation. Previously, she said it started to feel like she was associating her personal and professional worth with income, which was stressful.
When asked how the economy has affected her as a creator, Katy said, “It has definitely affected me greatly. More and more I find myself doing the most work I’ve ever done in my life for the least amount of money. Like I mentioned before, it’s a constant learning curve with having to adjust to outside factors that are totally beyond your control as a creator. The most difficult part is telling yourself that, instead of thinking the worst in yourself.”
You’re Not Alone
Katy wants other creators in this position, to know that they are not alone if they have been struggling.
“I really wish I could offer more than simply saying I understand how you’re feeling, but sometimes just the knowledge that you’re not alone in your struggles can be reassuring at the very least. There have been so many days where I’ve looked at my bank account and felt like a failure of a creator, assuming that all of my peers around me are flying high and doing so much better. But the reality is that it is so tough out there, and you are not the only one feeling this way.”
You may be left wondering, so what can I do to alleviate this stress for myself as a creator?
We recommend diversifying your income sources, being more conservative with spending, and learning how to budget on a fluctuating income. If you want to learn more, check out our Alternate Income Sources course.
Twitch has also recently announced a decrease in the minimum payout amount per month from $100 to $50 which should make it more accessible for creators to offset their bills.