Huge donations on Twitch: why people pay streamers lots of money and how they react

Huge donations on Twitch: why people pay streamers lots of money and how they react
Donations are one of the main sources of income for professional streamers. They can earn thousands of dollars just during one broadcast, getting small donations from one to ten dollars.

Bigger donations up to a few hundred bucks are less common but not unusual for top streamers.

But today we want to talk about huge donations — ten thousand dollars at once or more. Even for the most liked streamers, it’s a lot. We want to figure out why people are ready to donate a lot to content creators. And also, we’d like to show you some precious broadcasters’ reactions when they realized how much money they got.

What is behind donations on Twitch

Donations and paid subscriptions are optional on Twitch. One can use the platform and watch almost any existing stream for free. But lots of people want to support channels they like. And the easiest way to do that is by donation.

Five dollars is about two coffee at Starbucks. Such monthly payment is affordable for anyone. But it helps streamers to create content all the time without warning about money.

A popular streamer having 100k followers usually gets about a thousand paid subscriptions. It means he earns from $3000 to 8000 per month. It’s a decent amount allowing him to create high-quality content.

But donations are entirely different. It’s not like you subscribe once and forget about it. Each donation needs a separate and thoughtful action. And the most common reasons why viewers donate money are:

Just like. Yeah, a donation may be a way to show that a viewer just likes the streamer’s joke, reference, or reaction.

It’s similar to an emotional purchase. A user wants to show his appreciation and does it without any hesitation. Curiously, such donations often happen when streamers are offline — people pay for content made earlier.

Сommunication with a broadcaster. Streaming seems like one-way contact with an audience. Viewers may use a chat to attract streamers’ attention, but this tool isn’t much effective even for the “Just chatting” category, not to mention gaming streams.

But a small donation allows one to cut through the noise and say something to the streamer. Cause when sending it, a viewer may add some short message which will be voiced loud.

Some streamers even create their content on these messages reacting to them and making an illusion of real communication with the audience. It works: they may earn a few thousand dollars just in two hours of a broadcast.

Ego trip. Donations may also be an effort to assert oneself. It is still popular to make a donation with an insulting message attached. Some people love seeing when a streamer gets angry, confused, or embarrassed. And for this, they don’t mind donating a few bucks.

Although a user may be banned for insulting a streamer, such donations are still popular. Broadcasters show some emotions but don’t block these users, cause they bring them money.

Here is the situation when some guy has donated one thousand dollars just to flame a popular streamer:

Making their own content. It’s also a possible case. Top streamers often visit broadcasts of other content makers and reveal their reactions. And some broadcasters even gather unusual reactions to donations.

Meet MrBeast. He’s one of the most popular US bloggers having over 100 million subscribers on YouTube.

He became famous because of his weird videos. For example, counting to 100,000 in real time or 24-hour spinning a fidget spinner. But one of the most famous categories of his videos is donating money to no-name streamers.

Just like that: he offered a random Minecraft streamer a deal: if he beats a new game within an hour, he’ll get $50,000.

Spoiler: yeah, he did it.

You may say this is insane, but not. In 2021, the income of MrBeast was about 29,5 million dollars. And that year, he spent about 700,000 on donations to Twitch streamers. It’s not so much for him, given that over half of these streams were sponsored.

It’s not charity at all. By donating to streamers, the blogger gains popularity and people’s love. Look, almost every streamer getting money from him knows who MrBeast is.

His good name allows him to create large-scale media projects in the US. In 2020, he has run a collaborative fundraising challenge event on YouTube called #TeamTrees gathering $20 million to plant 20 million trees.

And in 2021, MrBeast created a game show having a $456,000 prize pool. It was a real-life adaptation of the super-popular Korean “Squid game” series, but with no violence. The video of this show got 284 million views on YouTube and caused a wide public response in the US.

MrBeast was probably the first one to use donations as a marketing tool, but he is not the only one now. Of course, other content makers spent less money, but even a hundred dollars is still a great motivation for a streamer.

Reasons for donating money to streamers may be different. But these “thanks” help broadcasters to create. Even if it’s small, it’s important.

But now we’d like to share some videos where streamers get really big donations. These are not the largest earnings ever, but still. Streamers’ reactions are precious.

ExoticChaotic didn’t believe in getting $75,000

ExoticChaotic is a mid-level streamer. Not a complete no-name, but also not at the top. Now, he has 15,7k followers. And in 2019, he managed to get one of the biggest one-time donations on Twitch — $75,000.

He actually didn’t believe the numbers on the screen. ExoticChaotic dropped the game he was playing and checked his PayPal account. He just thought he had missed something, cause it just couldn’t be real.

And even after checking the balance, he couldn’t believe that. “Why? Why? Just for playing Fortnite? It can’t be real!” — he was saying.

This kind of reaction is not so rare. For most streamers, a thousand dollars donation means earnings for a week or even more. But 75 grand is just more than a person can bear. The guy is happy but absolutely shocked.

SpaceLyon and $30,000 from MrBeast

Yeah, this one is from MrBeast. He has donated a load of money to a random streamer. In 2018, SpaceLyon had just 4k followers, so his Twitch earnings were pretty low if any.

When the streamer got the first thousand dollars, he was happy. Other 5k bucks made him cry. When MrBeast donated 10 grand more, SpaceLyon was stunned and began to thrash from side to side. And the last 14 thousand made him shout loud.

MrBeast needed a fair reaction for his own video. And that’s why he hasn’t sent $30,000 in a single payment. Splitting the money into a few donations helped him to kill two birds with one stone.

First, he received a really bright and long reaction from the streamer which was enough for a great video. Second, he gave SpaceLyon a good start in a streaming life. And it’s not even about 30k dollars. When the video was released, the streamer got over 100k followers in a few weeks. And in six months, his audience grew to 300k. He definitely blessed the day when MrBeast chose him as the next donation victim.

CourageJD got $70,000 for winning a Fortnite game

As you already know, BrBeast and Miniminter love challenging streamers. He joined CourageJD‘s stream and made him an offer: if he won the match, he’d get 70,000 dollars.

Fortnite is not an easy game to beat, cause up to 100 players may take part in a match. And you need to become the very best. It requires a lot of skill and luck. CourageJD is not the first streamer who received a such offer. Earlier it was about ten of them who didn’t make it.

CourageJD became the first who had beat the challenge. And MrBeast kept his word.

Just watch, he’s extremely excited cause he made it. But still, he didn’t believe it when the first 35k came into his bank account. He just called his mom and dad and kept saying “Guys have changed my life.” And in the end, he burst into tears of happiness.

That’s why people like donating to streamers — because of their emotions. Years ago, MrBeast created a brand new trend. He still remains one of the biggest donators on Twitch, but he’s not alone. Now it’s prideful to support streamers with large donations. Even if you make your own content filming their reactions.