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According to Forbes – Games
We may be reaching peak Ninja on Twitch, as the Fortnite: Battle Royale star had previously broken a load of records on the site, and has continued to push past them ever since. Last time I checked in with him he had around 3 million followers and 150,000 subscribers, both records, in addition to the highest viewed individual stream of all time, 628,000 concurrent viewers when he streamed Fortnite with Drake.
Now, at least two of those records are distant memories. In the last month, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins’ growth has accelerated to 5 million followers, 250,000 subscribers, and off Twitch, he’s now almost at 7.5 million YouTube subscribers, where every video he uploads gets between 2.5-5 million viewers.
While his total income remains under wraps (like his mountain of Twitch donations, which he gets every few seconds on stream), it’s easy to estimate at least one astonishing figure. 250,000 Twitch subscribers, at a rate he’s confirmed at $3.50 per sub per month, is an income stream of $875,000 a month just from that aspect of Twitch alone. Again, almost exactly a month ago, I had guessed that figure was $350,000, based on both a lower sub count at the time, and a lower $2.50 rate per sub which turned out to be an underestimate.
We may, however, be starting to see a peak in terms of his subscriber count. Ninja’s last archived stream from yesterday shows him starting the session at 252,500 subscribers. But a few hours later, by the end? He was only at 247,300 or so. Did he do something awful to scare away 5,000 subscribers over the course of one stream? Not at all. The issue is likely that Twitch Prime subscriptions are starting to expire.
Twitch Prime is linked to Amazon Prime, and if you have the latter, you have the former. What that means for Twitch is that in addition to free games and in-game loot for being a Prime member, you can also get one free “paid” subscription which will give a streamer that $5 a month subscription (split between themselves and Twitch) at no cost to you. Ninja smartly realized the potential of this immediately, and has a recurring bit on stream where he asks viewers to click the subscribe button above his stream in order for players to see if they have a free Twitch Prime sub. It’s how he’s gotten a large chunk of his growth so far.
But what’s happening is that those subscriptions are starting to expire en masse. In the past month, Ninja could get 5-10,000 new subscribers a day, many from Twitch Prime, but a month later, he can lose just as many if people aren’t renewing.
It’s not all bad news, however. With Twitch Prime you get one free subscription a month rather than only one month ever. That means that any subscriber whose Twitch Prime subscription has lapsed should be able to re-up it for free 30 days later. It just will take some work on the part of the streamer to remind people to do that. Until viewers start resubbing with Prime, we’re probably going to see a lot of wild fluctuations in subscriber count, and it will obviously be more volatile on a larger stream like Ninja’s.
Ninja is starting to use his newfound status to pursue other opportunities. He was recently at a live fan meet-up event in Chicago in partnership with iD Tech Camps which aims to try and get kids interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math), and he’s heading to Vegas for a $50,000 prize pool Fortnite event in April (that costs $75 a ticket to attend). Whatever he’s doing has to be worth him not streaming, as if it isn’t, he’ll be losing money he could otherwise be making live on Twitch.
Ninja isn’t done setting records. No one else is close to his subscriber count, follower count or individual viewership on Twitch (now around 120,000 a session, usually), and the numbers keep climbing. I just checked and he’s already up to 5.1 million followers, making the first part of this article already outdated. So long as Fortnite mania continues, Ninja will be the one out front, riding the tidal wave.
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