Nowadays, ads are a part of content creation and there is no getting around it.
No matter what platform you stream on or upload your videos to, there will be ads — it’s just a matter of whether you get a cut of the revenue or not.
Needless to say, as long as you are streaming on Twitch, there will be ads. After all, the Amazon-owned platform needs to be able to pay for its overhead costs in order to provide its services.
Accepting that ads are part of a streamer’s life can help to greatly improve your viewers’ experience on your channel — and maybe earn you a tiny bit extra each month, too!
How to Run Ads on Twitch
To run ads on Twitch simply navigate to your creator studio and add the Ads Manager widget to your creator dashboard. From this widget, you can run ads whenever you want. You have the choice to run an ad from 30 Seconds to 2 Minutes.
Follow the steps below for a more in-depth guide:
- Edit your creator dashboard from your stream manager. Click the arrow next to “Stream Manager” to bring down the drop-down menu and click Edit.
- Hover over the ( + ) symbol on the right-hand side of your screen. You can then add the Quick Actions widget and the Ads Manager (optional).
- Click on the ( + ) symbol button in the Quick Actions widget to bring up the quick actions store.
Clicking this button will bring up the pop-up menu below. Make sure that you scroll down to Monetize Your Stream, where you will find all the options for running ads.
As you can see from the screenshot above, you can add buttons that will let you run ads in increments of thirty seconds to a maximum of 180 seconds (3 minutes):
- 30 seconds
- 60 seconds
- 90 seconds (1 min 30 sec)
- 120 seconds (2 min 30 sec)
- 150 seconds (2 min 30 sec)
- 180 seconds (3 min)
You can also add a button to mute ads for five minutes at a time.
- If you want more information on your ads, you can edit your layout again. Hover over the ( + ) icon on the right side of the screen to bring up the widget menu. Under “stats,” you can add Pre-Roll Countdown and Since Last Ad.
Once you have added both, you will see them at the top of your creator dashboard screen:
While you are live, you should be able to see information on how long it’s been since your last ad was run (Since Last Ad).
Pre-roll On means pre-roll ads are currently enabled on your stream. You can set pre-rolls to turn off for a set amount of time whenever you run ads (we’ll show you how later).
How to Run an Ad Using a Command
Running an ad using commands is extremely easy. Just go to your chat bar and type the command below:
Remember to put a space between “/commercial” and the length of time you want.
Again, you can run ads in 30-second increments, starting from 30 seconds and maxing out at 180 seconds.
You must input the length in seconds. Therefore, the valid [length] variables are 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180.
For example, if you want to run a two-minute ad, the command would be:
How Do Moderators Run Ads on Twitch?
Sometimes, you might be too busy or too in a hurry to run an ad yourself. Don’t worry — that’s what you have mods for!
However, just making someone a moderator doesn’t immediately give them the ability to run ads on your channel. To allow your mods to run ads for you, you need to assign them the EDITOR role on your channel.
Making someone an editor should not be taken lightly, since it comes with a few abilities that you probably only want to give to someone you trust. According to Twitch, here’s what an editor can do:
If you give this role to someone you do not trust, you leave yourself open to getting trolled and potentially even getting in trouble with Twitch.
That said, let’s look at how you can make a mod your editor so you can have them run ads for you.
- On your Creator Dashboard, navigate to Community > Roles Manager.
- On your Roles Manager page, click on Add New.
* It’s worth mentioning that you can make anyone an editor. Your VIP can also be an editor. You can also make a regular member of your community an editor, no need to make them a VIP or moderator.
- On the search bar that appears, enter the username of the person you want to make into an editor. Click on their name and a small pop-up should show up where you can choose a role to give them. You can also click the ( + ) symbol to bring up the pop-up if you need to.
Once you click save, the person you made an editor can now start running ads on your channel by using the “/commercial [length]” command.
Chat Bots on Your Channel Can Run Ads Too!
The bots that most streamers often use on their channels such as Nightbot and Streamelements are usually always given the moderator role. However, if you want to allow them to run ads, you can do so by making them an editor on your channel too.
Then, you can make shorter commands for your chat bot that will command it to run the ads for you. For example, you can set up:
Then have your bot return a response of:
The result would be a 30-second ad playing because your bot triggered the chat command for you.
Why You Should Take Control of Ads on Your Stream
Although you can choose to just let ads happen when they happen, there are a few advantages to controlling when you run ads on your stream and how long you run them. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits:
- You can run ads when nothing important is happening on your stream, which can potentially prevent pre and mid-roll ads from running when something extremely exciting is going on.
- Pre-roll ads can deter many potential viewers from sticking around on your stream when they first arrive. Manually running ads can disable pre-rolls for certain amounts of time. This, in turn, reduces the chances of viewers leaving your stream the moment that they arrive.
And, of course, there’s the whole extra income aspect that you get from the ad revenue share. However, unless you are a larger streamer, chances are your ad revenue a minor part of your Twitch income.
How to Set an Ad Schedule on Twitch
Twitch has recently rolled out a feature that will allow you to run ads on a schedule. It is also here that you can select whether to disable pre-roll ads when you run an ad manually or on schedule. To use this feature, you need to be an affiliate or partner.
When you set up your ad schedule, you can choose ad frequency and ad length settings. You can also snooze ads for five minutes three times each stream if you don’t want an ad to run right away.
Option One: Creator Dashboard Settings
Here’s what you can do and how: go to your Creator Dashboard and navigate to Settings > Affiliate. Then, scroll down to Ads. To enable your ad schedule, simply click on the switch next to “Ads.”
From there, you can mess around with the settings to get what you want.
Option 2: Quick Action Widget Ads Manager
Remember when you added “Ads Manager” to your Quick Action widget? This is what it looks like:
If you want to edit your ad schedule, simply click on the pencil and it will take you straight to this page:
Customize everything as you’d like, and you should be good to go.
* Your Ads Manager widget is also where you can see when an ad is about to run. It also allows you to snooze ads.
How to Disable Pre-Roll Ads When Running Ads
Pre-roll ads can get in the way and may often dissuade new arrivals from staying. To prevent that from happening, you can set pre-roll ads to disable whenever you manually run an ad.
Navigate from Stream Manager > Settings > Affiliate then scroll down to Ads. Tick the option that says to disable pre-rolls when you run ads.
Running ads manually (or on schedule) will disable pre-rolls for set amount of time:
- 30 second ad = disables pre-rolls for 10 minutes
- 60 second ad = 20 minutes
- 90 second ad = 30 minutes
The maximum amount of time you can disable prerolls for is 30 minutes, meaning even if you run a three-minute ad you’ll only earn a 30-minute pre-roll buffer.
However, if you run 90 second ads back to back (after the cooldown, of course), you can earn up to one hour of pre-roll free time.
Ad Strategy on Twitch
We’ve shown you all about how you can run ads on your stream. But is there a strategy for making things run more smoothly and maybe boost your ad income just a little bit? The answer is yes.
- Tell your community if an ad is about to run (scheduled or manual) so it doesn’t hit them unexpectedly. Use this time to let them know what is coming up after the break. Warning them may make them more willing to sit through the ad rather than just leave instantly.
- You might want to avoid front or back loading your ads. Meaning, don’t run all of your ads at the start of your stream or at the end of your stream, so you don’t miss out on the views (which is what earns you ad revenue!).
- Automate or delegate the task of running your ads if you feel you forget to do it too often.
How Long Should You Run an Ad for on Twitch?
The answer to this question is: it depends. Consider the below:
- How long you’ll be AFK for if you’re running the ad during your break
- How long you want pre-rolls to be disabled for
- How much time you want to fill
- Your preference
Only you can really answer this question. However, Twitch does recommend running shorter ads (start with 30-second or 1-minute ads twice an hour) to see how your community reacts.
When Should I Run Ads on Twitch?
Again, this comes down to your preference. You can run ads:
- When going on a break or going AFK
- When you’re dead or respawning in-game
- While you’re switching games or setting something up
- From channel point redemptions
- Because you want to disable pre-rolls
- Just because you feel like it
Run an Ad Using Your Stream Deck or Hotkey
The Elgato Stream Deck allows you to program ad breaks right into your deck buttons once your Twitch account is connected. The entire process is detailed right within Elgato’s documentation here.
If you are using alternative apps and solutions like Touch Portal, follow the procedures for creating a button to send the “/commercial [length]” command in your chat.
How Much Do Twitch Ads Pay?
Twitch ads will pay you the same amount of money regardless of the length of the ad.
CPM = price per 1000 views.
This means that 1,000 people need to see an ad on your channel for you to earn $3.50. However, you will get paid for however many views you get — so even if you only had 20, 30, 40 ad views, you still get a few cents here and there.
Not a lot, but it may ad up over time! (Get it?)
Do you really get much value from running ads on your channel? Probably not if you aren’t getting hundreds or thousands of viewers for them. However, running ads manually or on a schedule can prevent pre and potentially even mid-rolls from disrupting your stream. Taking control of when your ad runs can give viewers a much more pleasant experience on your channel.