New Wall Street Journal article claims publishers pay big streamers up to $50,000 an hour

Keshav Bhat

The Wall Street Journal has released a new article providing an overview of how some of the gaming industry’s biggest publishers attract the top streamers to promote their newest games at launch and as part of new game updates.

The report highlights that publishers like EA, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Take-Two pay some of the largest streamers to promote their games. The report states that some of the top celebrities on Twitch, like Ninja, can earn up to $50,000 an hour from these publishers for playing their new game on streams. When these promoted streams are happening, the streamer has an “Ad Content” box and #ad in their streams.

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Electronic Arts Inc., Activision Blizzard Inc., Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. are among the publishers making hefty payouts for the real-time broadcasts, or live streams. The amounts vary depending on the popularity of the “streamer,” and could go as high as $50,000 an hour for top celebrity gamers, according to talent and marketing agents.

The article also revealed that Take-Two plans to pay a large number of streamers to play Borderlands 3 upon its release this September.

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This step towards using Twitch streamers as a promotional tool is becoming very effective for publishers, as large amount of fans will be wanting to try what their favorite streamers are playing.

Apex Legends was one of the games that seemed to effectively utilize this strategy as part of their launch, paying many, many streamers to play the title as part of the launch week for the game. One report stated the EA paid Ninja $1 million to play Apex Legends during its launch window.

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Coveted live-streamers, those who attract at least 15,000 viewers at once, can command between $25,000 and $35,000 an hour during a big launch, with the most popular ones earning more, according to Reed Duchscher, chief executive of Night Media Inc., a management firm that represents streamers and other online personalities.

Activision Publishing has also gotten on with this new trend. With the launch of Black Ops 4’s newest Operations in 2019, Activision has been promoting the new Operations with #ad streams with streamers like Ninja, CouRage, TimTheTatMan, and more.

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About The Author

Keshav Bhat is the Co-Founder of, the world's largest Call of Duty news site. Based in Atlanta, Keshav also serves as the Head of Social Media for Dexerto network, running a network of over 10 million social followers. Keshav can be contacted for tips at [email protected]