Streaming is now a big business. A new study estimates that YouTube and Twitch creators earned a whopping $4.1 billion in 2017, the most recent year with data available.
YouTube remained the powerhouse for content creators with an estimated $4 billion in earnings in 2017 – not just video game streamers but also for musicians, comedians, fitness gurus, and every other channel that monetizes content on the platform. Twitch, meanwhile, saw a comparably minuscule $87 million in earnings – which is to be expected, given its status as a niche service focused solely on video games.
However, Twitch saw year-over-year earnings growth eclipse YouTube’s earnings growth. Twitch creators saw a 30% increase in earnings from 2016 while YouTube creators saw a more modest 21% bump, even though YouTube’s total number of creators nearly double from 2016 to 2017.
The top five states for creators closely mirrors the population distribution of the United States. California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois lead the nation in the number of content creators on these platforms. Both New York and Illinois have a higher share of creators than their share of the US population, while Texas and Florida slightly lag behind their share of the overall US population.
- California: 3,260,571 creators, a 21% increase
- New York: 1,899,869 creators, a 16.8% increase
- Texas: 1,033,292 creators, a 16.3% increase
- Florida: 938,764 creators, a 15.4% increase
- Illinois: 607,980 creators, a 15.7% increase