For video gamers who want to live stream their gaming sessions, it’s not hard to find a broadcasting platform. Amazon-owned Twitch has been around since 2011, and YouTube launched its own broadcasting site YouTube Gaming in June 2015. Even the online video site Dailymotion has a live streaming offering for video gamers.

What is more difficult for live streaming gamers, however, is making money from their broadcasts and gameplay sessions.

Twitch currently offers a subscription/paid content option, but only to creators who’ve become streaming partners, and while YouTube Gaming allows fans to sponsor their favorite gamers, it currently provides no other monetization options outside of YouTube’s traditional ad split with its content creators. Dailymotion also requires gamers to become partners before they can make money with their videos. What are video gamers to do when they don’t want to partner with Twitch or feel restricted by other platforms’ monetization features?

Enter GameWisp. The subscription-based platform allows any video game live streamer, regardless of partnership status, to monetize content through monthly subscriptions and related rewards for fans(like exclusive content or one-on-one interactions). GameWisp CEO and Co-Founder Michael Anderson sat down with Tubefilter to discuss how his company got started, why it’s important for live streamers to have the ability to monetize their work, and where the future of video game streaming is heading.

Tubefilter: What was the reasoning behind starting GameWisp?

Michael Anderson: GameWisp was started with the intention of helping gaming content creators earn a living as an online entertainer. Monetization is easily the hardest part of building a career in content creation in an already tough industry. Traditionally, the opportunities that existed for generating revenue from a live stream have been limited. We wanted to provide a means of building a stable, sustainable monthly revenue.

Initially, we explored a wide variety of experiences (in addition to subscriptions) to try to accomplish this goal, including helping gamers with getting discovered, taking tips, and developing audience engagement. We settled on subscriptions and reward management tools because, as we gained a further understanding of the industry, it became clear that monthly revenue provided by subscriptions is the key to building a reliable foundation for a sustainable career as a creator. As we’ve focused on these tools, we have been able to meet a real need for a wide variety of gaming content creators.

TF: Who are your main competitors and why are you different?

MA: Monetizing online entertainment requires a holistic strategy. Live streamers rely on several different avenues to earn enough to sustain their careers.

Because of this, there are several companies currently working on different ways to monetize live streams. YouTube and Twitch have some built in opportunities for certain content creators to generate revenue from tips and subscriptions. There are companies that currently enable streamers to take one-time tips (e.g. TwitchAlerts, Muxy) and recurring donations (Patreon). Additionally, several companies are currently working on finding ways to leverage brand deals and endorsements to help streamers generate revenue.

GameWisp is the only platform that provides the ability for any live streamer to take subscriptions. Because of the recurring nature of subscriptions, they can provide an excellent foundation on which a streamer can build other forms of monetization. As a result, GameWisp can provide an important cornerstone of a streamer’s monetization efforts. Additionally, we put a lot of work into our reward management and automation tools, allowing streamers to pair their subscriptions with any reward they want to offer their subscribers.

The GameWisp Nashville team (left to right: Kelley Griggs, Jase Rader, Michael Anderson, Aaron Middleton, Thomas Buida, Andrew Wynans, MaRisa Jackson, Donny - GameWisp's best friend - and Eli Hooten).
The GameWisp Nashville team (left to right: Kelley Griggs, Jase Rader, Michael Anderson, Aaron Middleton, Thomas Buida, Andrew Wynans, MaRisa Jackson, Donny – GameWisp’s best friend – and Eli Hooten).

TF: Why is monetizing live streams so important for creators?

MA: In our experience, monetizing live streams is incredibly important for two primary reasons.

First, online content creation is a full-time job, whether you are doing it full-time or not. Many streamers work forty hours a week at a day job and another forty hours a week at streaming. Helping streamers monetize their live streams means that they can really focus on what they love. They can spend more time working on their passion, and less on their day job.

Second, monetizing live streams is important because it gives their fans the opportunity to support the content creator and give back to the community of which they are a part. Gaming live streams provide one of the most engaging, inclusive, and participatory experiences on the internet today. Creators who provide monetization options in a stream offer their fans the opportunity to invest in the health and longevity of the stream itself. Fans thus have a direct hand in building the community, and providing a financial means for the broadcaster to continue streaming and engaging with fans.

TF: Where do you think the future of streaming is going?

MA: I see live streaming evolving in two significant ways over the next 12-24 months.

First, content creators will take further advantage of the live format by finding new ways to make their live stream increasingly more engaging for audiences. Engagement will come through new features on the core streaming platform (Twitch, YouTube, etc.); new features in third-party tools, like Revlo, GameWisp, Infiniscene, and BetterTwitchTV, built for the live streaming experience; and on their own through pure ingenuity and creativity.

Second, live streaming will continue to expand outside of gaming into other creative genres. Twitch is already growing their approved genres by expanding into content like art, dance, spoken word, social eating and music. I believe that we will see a rise in additional genres born for the live experience like cooking, beauty, fashion, and maker culture.

TF: What are GameWisp’s plans for the future?

MA: The horizon is pretty bright for GameWisp. In the short term, we have some upcoming improvements to our reward fulfillment tools which will continue to expand the GameWisp platform and make it easier for broadcasters to take subscriptions. We are also going to continue to integrate with other businesses and tools that streamers use in order further automate rewards so that streamers can focus more on streaming and less on managing their subscription campaigns.

Long term, we are looking for more ways to help streamers build their careers, both through additional monetization options, and through other initiatives that help content creators better engage with their fans both on and off platform.

To learn more about GameWisp or sign up for its subscription management tools for your live streaming needs, check out gamewisp.com.

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