Practically every channel that has viewers will have a moderator, and their role is to support the content creator and keep the chat nice and clean. There are some channels with such a large amount of viewers that the chat would descend into chaos without the moderators which could actually land the streamer in some bother with Twitch HQ.
We all know that Twitch streamers can earn a decent living from it with some hard work, with the truly elite becoming millionaires. But, considering how important a good team of moderators is – do they get paid and SHOULD they get paid? And who would be the ones to pay them?
Let’s get into it.
Are Twitch mods paid to moderate?
Moderating a Twitch channel is a voluntary role which offers no pay as a default from either Twitch.tv or the content creator. This means no one is obligated to pay their moderators and the moderators should not expect payment.
But, this doesn’t mean that a Twitch moderator can’t be paid or that it is prohibited by Twitch from being paid. In fact, there are some moderators out there who do get paid, but we’ll get into that a bit more later.
On Twitch.tv’s ‘guide to building a moderation team‘ at no point does incentives, payment or paid come up once. This means it is not even a suggestion by Twitch.
We also took a look at every job board we could find in the US and UK and could find no live Twitch moderator jobs to ascertain how much mods who do get paid could be earning.
To conclude, its very rare for a moderator to be paid outside of the very large streams and even then it is unlikely – especially when moderators are queuing round the block to just get a chance to do it for free…
Why do people want to be Twitch moderators for free?
- To get closer to the streamer – Becoming a moderator, along with VIPs, is a chance to get into the streamer’s inner circle. Many people would see it as a privilege to be able to help their favourite streamers through moderation.
- To help the content creator – Some people are just helpful by nature and want to make the content they have already been enjoying, better.
- Power – Becoming a moderator is attaining power, at least over other users. Of course this isn’t really true but for die hard fans it absolutely is – being paid to do it doesn’t make a difference to these people.
- To become a troll – There have been some instances where moderators have become drunk on power and essentially abused their privileges and become harsh on chatters. Some people may have actually set out to do this all along and thought only about revenge and not the payment.
Should Twitch mods get paid?
This is an interesting question which is very difficult to answer. It is true that moderators play an important role which is increased with the size of the viewership, without moderators it could be chaotic which could end up costing the content creator money through losing viewers, missing out on sponsorships, losing affiliate or partner status, or even getting banned if the content within the chat becomes toxic or breaks the community guidelines due to the words being used.
With this in mind, it’s clear that streamers should invest in a solid team to avoid this risk – but should they be compensated for it? That is up to the streamer.
Smaller streamers who are looking to grow rather than maintain are unlikely to be able to afford to pay moderators. Small streams would also not need to have many moderators anyway.
Larger streamers whose livelihoods depend on it probably should pay their moderators and have them be a part of the team formally. This way they can effectively ensure they will always be present for the streams and have a financial incentive on top of the others to do it properly.
There are a few super streamers who do have paid moderators on their books, because it makes sense to do so. They earn enough to afford it and have an active enough stream to warrant it. Not all do it though.
It is difficult to imagine the likes of Ninja’s, Pokimane’s and Shroud’s moderators not being paid something considering the millions they make.
However, moderators of such large channels are likely to want to do it for free, if there was no option of paid – so there’s a moral question on top. Should you pay moderators who are happy to do it for free just to save a little bit of cash?
Pros and Cons of Paying Twitch Moderators
- Offer a financial incentive for increased performance
- Support the people who are supporting you
- A structured team who work as professionals and not as volunteers
- Reliability as it is a job to them
- Extra cost
- There are plenty of people who would do it for free
- Admin of actually paying them
How much should a mod get paid?
IF a moderator is to be paid by a streamer – how much should they be paid?
This is up to the streamer but we believe it should be in relation to how much the streamer earns from a typical stream by Twitch. A simple calculation could be made based on the % of the revenue.
On average, a streamer could earn $5,000 a month if they average 1,000 viewers per stream. 1,000 subscriptions is worth $2,500. This is now $7,500 a month – not including donations and sponsorships. These are by no means massive numbers but they are useful for making this example of a mod salary budget. If you decide that you will donate 1% of earnings to your mods then it is $75 a month in this case, 2% is $150 and so on.
This could be a way to scale how much you are willing to pay – if you continue to grow then it will always be the 1%, or whatever you decide.
These aren’t huge numbers but considering it is voluntary it is better than nothing and can breed loyalty.
How do streamers pay their moderators
How you would pay a moderator is rather easy and it would be done completely separate from Twitch. You could simply send them money through PayPal, you could pay them with gift cards or gifts – or simply pay them cash if you know them personally.
How much you pay them is up to you, as it is not a formal role you do not have to pay them the minimum wage as they are effectively self-employed. You could pay them per hour or per stream.
If you are a moderator who is being paid, it is your responsibility to declare the income to the IRS (US) or HMRC (UK), for example.