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A 22-year-old Twitch streamer who earns over $200,000 a year shares how she got her start and the biggest misconceptions about making it big in streaming

A 22-year-old Twitch streamer who earns over $200,000 a year shares how she got her start and the biggest misconceptions about making it big in streaming

Kailey "Kbubblez" Hankins.
Andrew Mournet




Kailey "Kbubblez" Hankins has been a full-time streamer for the last four years. She first went viral from a video of her dad scolding her live on Twitch in 2017.




The biggest misconceptions about how to make it in her profession, she said, include retaining viewers, the time commitment, equipment requirements, and income expectations.




Hankins lived in a streamer house in Austin, Texas, for a year, and was in the January 7 premiere of MTV's "Revenge Pranks."




Challenges to the job include the distance from family while in a streaming house, ongoing pressure to entertain, and the constant trolling, which wreaked havoc on her self-esteem for the first few years.




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Analysts predicted gaming revenues would top $159 billion before the pandemic last year. But with millions of people suddenly stuck at home and turning to games for entertainment and connection, the industry experienced a surge in growth like never before. By the end of 2020, that number crossed $180 billion, according to analysts at marketing intelligence firm IDC. With the industry flourishing, so are the gamers and streamers who are a part of it. Kailey "Kbubblez" Hankins, 22, is one of them. "Gaming has been a thing in my life for as long as I can remember," Hankins said. Her dad has always been a gamer, she said, and that's where her interest started."My mom and sister would always say, 'Come to the roller skating rink,' but we [my dad and I] would do raids on 'World of Warcraft' instead," she said. "My fifth grade present for getting straight A's in school was 'The Burning Crusade' expansion pack."
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