TikTok Delivers More Creator Revenue than Twitch in the U.S.

Ariel Ariel

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #80 - No Way Down. Check out the full article for more insights.

Twitch has been the top revenue generator for creators for a very long time. It was one of the first to enable paying creators via app, and has a very loyal (and large) user-base, which helped it cement its position in the top-grossing charts.

But... TikTok's user-base is also large and also loyal, and as of very recently, also more willing to reward creators.

I've talked about TikTok's revenue more than once in the last few months, and that's because it's growing at super-fast speed! And as a reminder, the revenue we see for TikTok comes from users buying in-app currency to give creators. Not its ad business.

For most of 2021, Twitch has been earning 3-5x more than TikTok in the U.S. across the App Store and Google Play. But in May, TikTok's revenue started growing at, well, TikTok pace. They cut the difference to 2x within a few weeks and then got very close in July.

By the end of August, TikTok was earning the same as Twitch, $3M and change of weekly net revenue in the U.S., and by the end of September, TikTok is well ahead, having brought in $5M last week vs. Twitch's $3.5M.

Are these two really competing? Yes and no. Twitch is for gamers and TikTok for everyone else. The way streaming works across the two is different, two. I'm mainly using them as a comparison for how TikTok overtook the king. That's the no part.

But... Attention is finite. The odds of someone being on TikTok and Twitch, and giving enough attention to reward both, are small. In a sense, any service that captures viewes, be it a more direct competitor like YouTube or a less direct one like HBO Max, are competing. Soon enough, TikTok will be outpacing both of those...

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

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