Last Updated on January 23, 2021 by Michael Brockbank
I remember back when everything through Streamlabs was free. Nowadays, Twitch streamers have access to Streamlabs Prime! And although it comes with a wide scope of tools, is it worth paying $19 per month?
I suppose that depends on the creator, actually. While I might be tempted to put some money down on the system, I’m not sure if it’s worth the investment in the beginning.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at Streamlabs Prime. Then, you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the extra monthly payment.
What is Streamlabs Prime?
Streamlabs Prime is a subscription service that gives you access to a variety of tools to help you grow as a creator. From elaborate and well-designed themes to easy-to-use graphic design tools, the system is centered around getting the most out of your live broadcasts and recordings.
The subscription service runs at $19 per month, or you can pay for a year in advance for $149. This yearly fee will auto-renew every 12 months.
One of the highlights of the service, though, is being able to pay with PayPal. Since most of my donations go through PayPal anyway, it’s just convenient for me.
What Will You Get from Streamlabs Prime?
Streamlabs still offers the original features for free, such as the Alert Box, various widgets, merch store, and a new Charity campaign section.
However, the Prime version delivers quite a few extra tools to improve your stream’s visuals.
I was going to say, “performance,” but in reality, it’s up to the creator to deliver a quality show. If you’re not interesting enough for the masses to watch, no overlay or graphic nuance is going to make you a top streamer on Twitch.
Addons for Streamlabs OBS
Streamlabs OBS is an incredibly easy piece of streaming software. Because everything is integrated, it takes far less effort to add stream labels, alerts, and other visual bits.
Streamlabs Prime also adds more within the streaming software. For instance, you have access to quickly add overlays and themed alerts directly from within Streamlabs OBS.
This is quite convenient as you don’t have to visit the website to browse themes and apps you want to add to your stream.
You’re Own Website…ish
With Streamlabs Prime, you get your own stylized website. This layout is specifically designed for streaming and comes with easy access to donation buttons, About section, and even a contact form.
For those of you who want a nice layout specifically for streaming, then this is probably right up your alley.
When designing the website, you have access to a long list of additions. You can put up your Discord feed, an Image Gallery, advertise a Loyalty program, and so much more. This, by itself, is almost worth 20 bucks a month.
Overly Themes for Your Stream or Recording
Probably one of the cooler aspects of Streamlabs Prime is being able to add theme overlays to your broadcasts or recordings. For example, you can install a Steampunk theme, complete with colors, fonts, images, and widgets.
These themes are directly installed into Streamlabs OBS and are customizable.
These often come with “Starting Soon” and “Be Right Back” animated backdrops that you can show during the live stream. And most of the themes I’ve seen were very well developed.
With more than 1,200 themes to choose from, I’m sure you could find layouts to fit specific games, seasons, your personality, or anything else you want to match up.
Plus, many of them come with modifications for your website. This way, your overlay matches your site when people watch you stream.
Apps are used to accentuate the live stream or recording. Most will install directly into Streamlabs OBS. However, you’ll also find things like the Ultimate Stream Design Portal. This is an app you can use to fully customize your Twitch overlays.
There’s really not an extensive list of these at the moment. But there are a few fun additions I wouldn’t mind trying out. For example, the Pulsoid app connects with the BLE chest strap Heart Rate Monitor. Then, you can show your heart rate in real-time to your audience while playing a game.
This would be pretty fun during Halloween. That is if you have the $90 for the heart rate monitor.
Easy to Build Twitch Panels
Twitch panels are those sections under your live stream that display certain bits of information. Streamers often use panels to provide additional personal information, donation links, social profiles, and more.
Streamlabs Prime has a long list of templates you can use to create the headers for those panels. Just choose one of the templates and customize it how you want.
Although this tool is pretty handy, I do find it a bit limiting in complete customization. For instance, when selecting one of the panels, you can only choose one of five colors. You’re also somewhat limited in the number of available icons.
YouTube Thumbnail Creator
One thing I would probably have a use for is the YouTube Thumbnails creator in Streamlabs Prime. There is a long list of templates you can choose for creating thumbnails of your videos.
However, you only have access to five color variants of the templates. And, you also need to consider that if you’re using the thumbnail creator, so are a lot of other people.
This means your thumbnails won’t be as unique as you’d like. And if there is one thing I’ve learned while creating YouTube videos for the past two years is “Uniqueness Matters Greatly!“
Still, it’s a good place to start when growing your YouTube channel, so I wouldn’t discredit the templates completely. In fact, I would probably use this tool until I hit 1,000 subscribers.
Then, I would put more effort into creating thumbnails that were more one-of-a-kind.
Merch Store Items
The free version of Streamlabs still gives you access to print and market your own merch. In fact, I have my own store as well. But being a Prime subscriber gives you access to a lot more products.
And yes, I’m aware I only have one item. That’s because they discontinued the other things I was selling a long time ago and haven’t made anything new since.
Anyway, there are a large number of items you can add to your store, such as totes, socks, mugs, camera cases, notebooks, and more.
Just keep in mind the fees for selling these items are a bit on the steep side. For instance, if I sold a tank top for $25, I would only make a $3 profit. This means I’d have to sell $8,333.33 worth of merch to make $1,000 from Streamlabs.
Then again, most print-on-demand services have very poor profit margins.
Is Streamlabs Prime Worth the Money?
So, with all of this goodness available, the bottom line comes down to if Streamlabs Prime is worth the money. Because in reality, I don’t have an extra $19 per month if I can’t make that back somehow.
And I currently don’t bring in enough from tips and donations to warrant the expense.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that if you take advantage of everything available, it may help boost your live streams and recordings. But it’s not a guarantee.
Before you put money down on Streamlabs Prime, ask yourself:
- Am I going to use every tool it has to offer?
- Will I stream for more than 8 hours per week?
- Am I serious about marketing my channel and getting exposure?
- Is Twitch and YouTube more than just a curious, passing fancy?
If you answered yes to these questions, then Streamlabs Prime might be worth the money.
Because if you really don’t put in the effort to grow your channel, then it’s going to be a waste of $19 per month.
As I said earlier, though, the “website” for your brand is nearly worth the $149 per year by itself with everything you get with the layout.
I suppose one way to look at it is like this; if you get enjoyment out of using Streamlabs Prime, then what makes it different than spending 20 bucks a month on movies, games, or getting coffee from 7-11?
And like the adage goes, “You need to spend money to make money.”
Update: I Paid for a Year
After a bit of deliberation, I’ve decided to give Streamlabs Prime a test run over the next year. This is to see just how much I can squeeze out of the service and possibly motivate me to stream more often.
Because I don’t have the best track record when it comes to sticking with a regular schedule.
If you’re curious as to how it’s going, you can check out the Streamlabs Prime case study page. I am logging my entire experience using the service.
Would I Recommend Steamlabs Prime to Others?
While there are a lot of fun elements that are wrapped up in the Streamlabs Prime subscription, you still have to weigh what you get against the money you currently have.
Because as I said, there is no guarantee it will improve your streams to the point of bringing in more money than you’re spending.
So, I would have to say, “Yes, but consider what you spend versus your current viewership.”
In reality, it might be worth the experience alone to pay the $19 for one month and then pay the annual membership if it turns out to work well for you.
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