Ludwig Ahgren: The Twitch Livestream Subathon

At around 2 pm on Sunday afternoon, Ludwig Ahgren, a twitch steamer in Los Angeles, turned on his camera and began streaming. He has not stopped.

Mr. Ahgren has maintained a closeness over the last five days The continued vibrancy of his life. He plays video games, chats, cooks, eats and sleeps, all in the stream. In the evening, he hosts Movie Nights with his audience. Mr. Ahgren lives with five roommates and his girlfriend, and some of them also play a role on camera, helping them cook or work together.

Even he made himself flow in the shower (with shorts).

All of this is part of what is known as the “subathon” on Twitch. A subathon is a short period when a dreamer is involved in certain activities or stunts to earn paid subscriptions to their channel. Some streamers set numerical targets. For example, if they reach 2,000 new sub-levels, they will eat something spicy on camera or play a special game for fans.

The 25-year-old Mr. Ahgren structured his subathon so that every new subscription added an extra 10 seconds to a clock that determined how long he would stream. When Mr. Ahgren set things up in this way, he imagined that he would be streaming for a maximum of 24 hours, probably 48. Five days later, his subathon stream was blown up and became the top stream on Twitch, So that a daily subscription as thousands of newly-created fans pays to see how long it can go. They have gained more than 40,000 new subscriptions since they started streaming.

“The strange thing is that every time I wake up, it feels like it gets bigger and bigger,” Mr. Ahgren said. “Last night, I went to bed with 30,000 spectators and 60,000. I was awake and I had 70,000 viewers and less than 70,000. “

This is because as Mr. Ahgren sleeps, an army of fans works overtime to maximize their customers. They chat and play YouTube clips and video chats for each other to keep the channel entertaining. Mr. Ahgren’s name has trended on Twitter twice in the past week, both times when he was sleeping.

“At night, the rest of us do our stuff for him,” said a 21-year-old student from the college, who goes by Happygate and serves as one of Mr. Ahgren’s intermediaries. “We try to watch it for as long as possible to keep everyone excited and highly motivated.”

“The streams of sleep have been really interesting,” said Stephen Sewer, a Georgia high school student. “Mode of what basically happens” – it’s short for moderators – “Get on a discord call and they’re calling and talking the whole time. The idea is to have fun while he’s sleeping.” The timer is going up. “

Sleep currents have become popular on the epidemic Twitch And TIC Toc, Where fans say they enjoy late night pop-up communities that feature sleep streams. Producers like them because they are literally able to make money while sleeping.

“I slept on the stream last night and became the most watched streamer on Twitch,” Mr. Ahgren Tweeted on Monday. “What the hell too?” Later on Monday evening, Twitch congratulated Mr. Ahgren.good night“From his official Twitter account.

Amazon-owned Twitch has seen rapid growth in popularity over the past one year since 2014. The site had already expanded from a place where gamers could broadcast their play of Fortnets and Call of Duty to a wider platform that included lifestyles, cooking and political currents. The coronovirus epidemic accelerated that pace, as did those at home watching for online entertainment.

Erin Wayne, head of community and producer marketing at Twitch, said that streams like Mr. Ahgren were becoming more prevalent on stage. “This is the idea of ​​multiplayer entertainment, where the community is able to influence the content that a creator creates, will continue to increase in popularity,” she said. “The person consuming the material is able to make a direct impact, and, in some cases, determines what happens in the material they consume. This is inherently unique to Twitch. I think these types of marathons or customer streams are so popular. “

The stream of Mr. Ahgren can be seen as an extension of the tendency of the creators of demonetisation. More and more parts of his lifeFrom daily decisions to what to eat or not to wear, who they should hang out with. Currents like hers can generate a deep connection with fans, who view the Sabathon as a collective community experience.

Gaming reporter Nathan Grayson wrote, “No matter what time of day you tune in, his stream is on and you’ll see many well-known faces in chat.” Kotku. “It’s only been going on for three days, but it already feels like a comfort food.”

It was this kind of comfort and connection that Mr. Sewer said that he pulled her in. “Even though the content of the stream may not be particularly special, it is the fact that you are all part of this community who are actually witnessing this rare event,” he said. “You get to see Ludwig’s whole life for days. It’s not very good for that, but you get a lot of material out of it and you feel like you’ve got together as a community and are able to see this thing happening. “

As a result, more and more people have been enabled to earn full-time via streaming on the platform, with a handful of highest-earning streamers making more than $ 1 million a year, by online lender CashNetUS, in September According to a study of

The gaming industry in 2020 sees an overall boom in Twitch’s growth. In November, a stay at home combined with the release of a new generation of video game consoles from Microsoft and Sony led to a financial crisis; According to the NPD group, gamers spent $ 56.9 billion in the United States last year, up 27 percent by 2019.

While Mr. Ahgren has already produced six figures from his stream, he has encouraged his young fans to be responsible for his money. “I’m just telling them, ‘Hey, don’t check your excitement on me,” he said. “Make sure your bread is correct before giving it.”

Nobody knows how long Mr. Ahgren can go. Other Twitch streamers have streamed continuously for more than 31 days, but Mr Ahgren said he could not imagine things would reach that point.

He makes a trip to the north to come several hours a week to meet his girlfriend’s family, so he is hoping things will end before then. If it does not, it will have to find a way to take its stream on the road. “I think it’s a quiet, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Mr. Ahgren said of his stream. “I’m excited to wake up every day because it will never happen for me again.”


Kellen Browning Contributed to reporting.


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