Cash for Comments: How to Make Money Playing & Talking About Video Games
Have you heard of Felix Kjellberg? Even the most avid video game players might only know him by his online name, PewDiePie. Kjellberg has forged an unlikely career by combining his love of playing games with the simple act of recording a running video commentary as he plays. This method of commentary is known as Let’s Play, and the player generally comments upon the game that they happen to be playing, which tends to be amusingly random, or by offering instructions on how to play the game properly.
Kjellberg has turned his Let’s Play exploits into a popular online video channel, and his efforts netted him an impressive $7.4 million in a single year. While its his style of commentary that has led to his popularity (he even made a cameo appearance on South Park), just how is it possible to make money from commenting while you play a video game?
There’s a similarity to broadcast television in that video channels make their revenue from advertising. This might be a banner or pop up advertisement, depending on the format of the channel in question. Advertising appears on the site, the “star” takes a reasonable cut of that revenue, and the channel owner takes the rest.
The percentages can vary, but the channel owner (the publisher) can take anywhere from 51% to 65% of revenue. The visiting star takes the rest, and when you consider that people can make a lot of money through video channels, you know that the overall revenue for the channel was astronomical.
Even if you began to record yourself commenting on video games, there’s the danger of becoming lost in the vast world of the internet. Like any online enterprise, promotion is necessary. If you’re not familiar with web-based promotion, there are a number of companies that will do it for you. These content marketing companies will sometimes charge you an upfront fee, but some will also simply take a percentage of your revenue. This slightly reduces your profits, but you are getting some much-needed promotion.
You only need the most basic of web video production skills to participate. A simple webcam is enough, and you might need to record a few test videos, and adjust your lighting and microphone as necessary. You are commenting on a video game as you play them, and nobody expects high end production values. The rest is largely dependent on your personality. Watch a few commenters in action. Their comments are generally witty, sometimes strange, and have a feeling of spontaneity. If you love playing games and think you can offer an interesting commentary as you do so, you will start to gain more followers and therefore more views on your promotional ads.
While you might not reach the heights (and income) of Felix Kjellberg, you still might be able to mix playing games with some basic web video production and make yourself some extra income. For more tips or assistance, contact companies like Tim Rowlands Productions.