While a large proportion of an artist's audience comes by way of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, payouts are often minuscule, so it's no wonder they're resorting to less conventional methods to generate cash.
Take Matt Heafy, for example: he's the frontman of Trivium, one of the most successful metal bands in the world, yet he earns more money from livestreaming on Twitch than he does from the band's music on all streaming platforms combined.
In a new interview with the New York Times (opens in new tab), Heafy reveals that his Twitch channel generated just shy of $10,000 per month in 2019 and 2020, while Trivium collectively receive around $11,000 per month from all other on-demand streaming services.
For reference, Heafy's Twitch channel currently has over 220,000 followers, while Trivium's Spotify page boasts around 1.8 million monthly listeners.
Based on these figures, Twitch streaming could be seen as the more lucrative endeavor, but for Heafy, it's pretty much a full-time job.
The Trivium main man engages with his audience six hours a day, five days a week, streaming content from guitar clinics, light-hearted covers and video gameplay to AMA-style Q&A sessions with fans.
“Even if I don't feel like practicing, I know people are going to be there who want to hear a couple hours of their favorite Trivium songs,” he explains. “So I make sure I'm there to make their day good.”
And when Trivium see a return to live touring post-Covid, Heafy has no intentions of abandoning his Twitch audience.
“I'm going to keep it to the same exact thing – 9AM and 3PM – Monday through Friday,” he says. “Every show, every soundcheck, every vocal warm-up; every day off, me playing games in the hotel room.”
“I look at it as part of my life now," he said. “And I want to keep doing this for as long as I can.”