Could you have imagined thousands of people watching you cook dinner and then eat it in real time? How creepy this idea would have been several years ago! Nowadays, this is called IRL (In Real Life) streaming, and it is incredibly popular. Some people manage to earn thousands of dollars a month simply by streaming their everyday lives or hosting online reality shows! We wanted to dive into this relatively new type of streaming and share some helpful insights with you.

💬 What is IRL streaming?

IRL streaming is broadcasting any activity that is not video gaming or business-related. It includes everything from live streaming your talents or niche hobbies to vlogging your travel adventures and everyday life.

IRL streaming categories

This kind of streaming activity is popular on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. However, the undisputed king of IRL streaming is Twitch. There, you can find people reading books to their audiences, demonstrating new cooking recipes, or simply conversing with their viewers. Usually, IRL streams are more pared-down than gaming streams, as the style of production tends to be more simplistic.

👀 Twitch IRL category

In December 2016, Twitch officially launched its IRL category. This addition allowed IRL content creators to avoid the fierce competition with gamers. IRL streaming developed as its own niche, and Twitch’s decision to add this category helped build up the community.

The IRL streaming category became so popular that Twitch had to split it into sub-categories to accommodate all the content creators. New categories like Just Chatting, Music, Art, and Food & Drinks have emerged as some of the most popular IRL spin-offs.

In terms of viewership, this update benefits everyone. The Just Chatting category is now topping the charts with 286K average concurrent viewers on Twitch! The next competitor is League of Legends with almost 250K viewers.

🤩 Famous IRL streamers

If you thought only gamers and business corporations could generate millions of views with live streaming, you weren’t the only one. But IRL streaming has developed into a huge streaming genre, and some IRL streamers have achieved massive success. Here are some of the most exceptional stories.

1. Maya Higa

Although Maya Higa is not exclusively an IRL streamer, she consistently provides her audience with wholesome IRL content. Even more so, her most-viewed clips are all about nature and animals. Maya took her audience to her workplace at a zoo, shared insights on how to care for birds, and even introduced viewers to her lovely horse. As a nature enthusiast, Maya creates a lot of content about animals and conservation. 521K followers on Twitch definitely prove Maya has achieved success with IRL streaming.

2. Hitch

Trevor “Hitch” Daneliuk is the most famous hitchhiker on Twitch. As a 19-year-old, he started hitchhiking across Canada back in 2014. And in 2017, he began streaming his adventures across the world on Twitch. Today, Trevor is still doing what he loves most — traveling. Hitch has 102k followers and thousands of subscribers on Twitch, making him one of the most successful IRL streamers in the Travel & Outdoors category.

3. Domostanton

When it comes to more niche IRL streams, Domostanton definitely comes to mind. Dominike Stanton is a professional comic-book illustrator who enjoys sharing the behind-the-scenes parts of his work. This phenomenal artist has collaborated with giants like Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Boom! Studios. He has more than 22K followers and generates thousands of views nearly every day.

4. AustinShow

If you thought the previous examples had high follower counts, then you’re not ready for this next IRL streamer. Having more than 1.5 million followers makes the owner of AustinShow a true Twitch celebrity. Formerly known as Rajjpatel, Austin streams game shows similar to the traditional TV reality shows we all know and some love, like The Bachelor and Unreal. His shows get millions of views per episode, making AustinShow one of the biggest IRL streaming successes on Twitch.

Now that you’re feeling inspired by these successful IRL streamers, let’s look at what it takes to become one.

⚙️ What equipment is needed for IRL streaming?

IRL streaming doesn’t differ from usual streaming when it comes to the equipment. Depending on your specific niche, like art or a traveling vlog, you might need extra accessories. In general, however, you need:

  • A device to stream from
  • Software to stream with
  • A stable internet connection

Let’s get into more detail about the essential streaming setup.

Live streaming equipment

If you are planning to stream at home, a desktop computer is the best option. It allows you to have more control over video and audio quality. If you want to stream outside like many IRL streamers, however, you need a smartphone or GoPro camera. To have the best setup for  streaming on the street, consider buying an IRL backpack with cellular modems, battery packs, and camera lenses.

You also need a good (720p/60fps) video camera and a decent microphone to produce high-quality content. Although IRL streams tend to be less flashy than gaming streams, viewers still value high video and audio quality. Therefore, some additional investment in lighting and visual effects can be your future goal.

The next step is to choose streaming software. There are a lot of choices out there, but one of the easiest to set up for IRL streaming is Restream Studio. Our simple yet powerful tool is packed with features that allow you to produce professional live streams that engage your viewers. Moreover, with Restream Studio you don’t have to choose a specific platform to stream on — you can multistream on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and other top platforms simultaneously!

With Restream Studio, you can invite guests directly to your stream, share your screen, upload and play videos, stream in Full HD, interact with chat, add your own logo and branding, display captions, and much more! If you’re used to streaming software like OBS Studio, you can still multistream to your favorite channels by integrating Restream with OBS.

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The final, crucial piece of your live streaming puzzle is a stable internet connection. Unfortunately, jittery and choppy IRL live streams are quite common, often due to unreliable WiFi hotspots on the street. And don’t forget that your upload speed matters as well! An insufficient upload speed means your live stream won’t even start.

Read later: 23 fun things to do on a live stream 📍

🤑 How to monetize IRL streams

Now that you are ready to start your IRL streaming career, you might want some tips on how to monetize your streams. But we have to warn you: there’s no quick way to start making money as an IRL streamer due to the existing competition. Keeping this fact in mind, here are three proven ways to earn money via IRL streaming.

1. Donations 💰

The most common income source for every IRL streamer (especially the beginner) is a donation from viewers. Make it super easy for your audience to express their appreciation by tipping you. You can use tools like DonationAlerts and similar services or simply add your PayPal and Patreon in your bio. Often, donations determine whether streaming becomes a job or remains a hobby.

2. Subscriptions 💸

Viewer subscriptions can be a good indicator of your success in addition to being a great source of income. On Twitch, you can encourage your viewers to subscribe for either $4.99, $9.99, or $24.99 per month. Partnering with streaming platforms can grant you lots of benefits, including additional money from subscriptions and a higher quality of support. Keep in mind that you must stream consistently to attract more followers and subscribers.

3. Brand endorsements 💪

When your channel becomes big enough, companies may be interested in working with you. Influencer marketing is extremely popular today, so even some smaller channels have a decent chance to get noticed. You can become a brand ambassador and advertise the products on your live streams. Top streamers can earn thousands of dollars a month thanks to partnership deals with brands.

Read later: 9 ways you can make money live streaming 📍

Let’s wrap up

☝️ There are gaming live streams, educational webinars, business live events, and courses. And then, there are IRL streams, a wholly different universe. Here, people can simply chat with viewers, create art, host reality shows, vlog travel adventures, or do basically whatever they want.

☝️ Streamers like Maya Higa, Hitch, Domostanton, and AustinShow have made a name for themselves and earn money while doing what they love. If they have succeeded, so can you! You don’t need huge investments to start your IRL streaming career — just an idea, a device to stream from, and a stable internet connection. You can use Restream Studio to broadcast your IRL streams to multiple platforms at the same time, broadening your reach.

☝️ IRL streaming can be super fun and profitable. It requires low investments and allows you to share experiences with other people. What could be better than that?