May 17, 2022 7:54 am

The invisible majority of Twitch preaches in the desert

Vertigo. That is what the young woman feels Carmen -or Klei C, according to his nickname on Twitch, the trendy platform for broadcasting live content over the internet- when he turns on his camera and microphone and sees that there are barely one or two viewers on the other side of the screen. “When the greats like Ibai Llanos they announce that they are going to start their direct is impressive, in seconds they have thousands of followers. But in small ‘streamers’ like us that is strange. We have options to avoid seeing the number of spectators, and although sometimes I turned it off, not seeing it does not make me completely calm either. Also, sometimes people get excited later, so I always speak in the plural, I say: ‘To

those of you who are or for those of you who are arriving’. They see me on average about eight or nine people», says this 22-year-old Andalusian, with a degree in Fine Arts, who opened her corner for talks about music and dubbing the first summer of the pandemic «for mental health».

Carmen, (Klei C) in one of her live shows) – ABC

Although it may seem anecdotal, broadcasting for groups that could fit in an elevator is, however, the daily life of the vast majority of Twitch users. The very successful national content creators, such as Auronplay, Ibai Llanos The The Grefg -who gathered more than a million viewers this Monday at the Esland awards gala, which recognizes the best content creators of 2021- are an exception. 90 percent of Twitch streams have less than three viewers on average, according to computer engineer Kilian Arjona, which during the pandemic created an algorithm that monitors activity in Spanish on the platform, owned by Amazon. Approximately a quarter of the broadcasts, points out this expert, nobody gets to see them. Or they get just a curious.

“Having an average of more than six viewers throughout the month puts you in the top 5 percent of the most popular channels. Having more than 29, between 1 percent, “says Arjona. “The data is devastating. be known or that someone sees you is already a milestone». The “super-exact” data by country, this expert points out, is held by Twitch, which only offers global figures: nearly thirty million users appear on the platform each month, and some seven million are encouraged to create content.

With feet on the ground

“If someone gets in thinking that tomorrow they are going to manage to interview Messi or that they are going to get rich, it goes wrong, there is really little hope that this will happen. But if you have a group of friends, you like to play a video game and you also want to share your hobbies with a small community, in reality those are the valuable moments for 99.9 percent of mortals, “says Arjona. Some media stars, such as Ibai Llanos, try to remind their followers, especially the younger ones, that the dream of being a ‘streamer’ is as difficult to materialize as being a footballer or a Hollywood actor: «It is very difficult to live on Twitch. Don’t look at the life that I have, or The Grefg or Auronplay or IlloJuan, like these there are two or three. I would approach it as a ‘hobby’… », says the young man from Bilbao, who quotes from memory that barely one percent of Twitch content creators can make a living from it. «Always continue with your studies and in your free time, ‘stream’. You don’t have to leave your dreams behind and if you like to be content creators you can try it, but always having clear priorities in your life.

Kenyi Ken, alias of Víctor from Alicante
Kenyi Ken, alias of Víctor from Alicante – ABC

His message seems to have permeated many relatively new users of the platform, such as Kenyi Ken, a pseudonym behind which he hides Victor, a 27-year-old from Alicante who also started playing video games like LOL live as a result of the pandemic: «I have been working since I was 18 years old and they have taught me to be a hard worker. Currently I neither expect nor can live on Twitch. It’s just a ‘hobby’. People are surprised, because I actually work at a McDonald’s. Years ago I had a channel on YouTube, but I stopped liking it and I deleted everything. In the pandemic I entered Twitch. From there very well, although on average I have about eight spectators, “he says.

Although it may seem anecdotal, broadcasting for groups that could fit in an elevator is, however, the daily life of the vast majority of Twitch users.

Although he knows what it’s like to feel that there was no one on the other side, he prefers to keep the good memories, like the LOL tournament that he organized with some friends and that hooked more than sixty onlookers. «I do not prepare the direct ones, I am a ‘show’ and it comes out alone. But I have searched many videos about the tools to configure alerts, the user interface…».

At the moment, Víctor has not become one of those 850,000 users, according to Twitch data, who receive remuneration for their work on the platform. To monetize the content, you must at least enter the service’s ‘affiliate program’, which requires have at least 50 followers, broadcast content for eight hours on seven different days and have an average audience of three viewers. And keep all this at least thirty days. On another level are the ‘partners’, who are asked for greater dedication.

Marc, with his professional team
Marc, with his professional team – ABC

Who has managed to receive his first ‘salary’ is Mark (Marcus97), a 24-year-old administrator who is fond of video games, “a sector with a lot of competition.” Now he has 600 followers and about ten viewers on average in each direct. «I started seriously in May 2021 and I try to broadcast content whenever work allows me. And the improvement is noticeable when you have more dedication», Points out the young man, who has paused his live playing Rust -a survival game- to chat with ABC.

he has invested about 1,200 euros in equipment that he uses to share his games with his followers. «I have two screens, a good microphone, a capture device, the console…».

In addition, it has created a small community of small gamers (LGS) in which there are about 60 content creators with few viewers who “help and support each other”. “I created a group for Discord – a text, audio and video chat application widely used by Twitch users. At the beginning, and I’m still in that phase, it’s complicated, because you expect something else and sometimes there is no one on the other side. That’s why the beautiful thing is to create a community of people to play with, “he emphasizes.

Beyond gaming

José Rey, amateur meteorologist
José Rey, meteorology enthusiast – J. Rey

Although Twitch is a platform that is usually associated with gamers, there are actually many other categories of content: talk, travel, music, cooking, sports, science, fine arts… There are even people who record themselves sleeping or eating. Joseph King (43 years old), for example, has a channel dedicated to meteorology and another to personal training: «It’s just a hobby, I don’t make a living from it. I already looked at the sky before learning to speak. Chasing storms is my ‘hobby’, so before summer I decided to switch from YouTube to Twitch, where I broadcast 24-hour weather data from my area, La Rioja, thanks to an anemometer and various ‘webcams’. You have to be careful with the cameras and the data protection law, a neighbor has already complained to me. When there are adverse phenomena, logically, many more people look out their digital window. Even firefighters and Civil Protection agents, presumed. “That is the most rewarding thing, being able to be useful to others.”

Having an average of more than six viewers on Twitch throughout the month puts you in the top 5 percent of the most popular channels. Being over 29, among the 1 percent. The data is devastating. Being known or being seen by someone is already a milestone
Kilian Arjona , Computer engineer

Although at first glance it seems that men are usually more daring when launching into Twitch, there are more and more women who dare to share their hobbies as well. “There are many professional video game players that are gaining more and more visibility, although there is still a lot of machismo. I myself ended up in a pretty sticky situation where a user started making fun of our live videos. It is not the norm. Entertainment rules on Twitch, it’s a world where there’s a lot of good vibes,” says Carmen, who now can’t dedicate as much time to the platform as she would like, not only because she is studying a master’s degree, but also because she shares a flat. And the only way to continue growing, he admits, is to add hours of filming.

“You have to take it easy. The healthiest thing is to continue doing each live for the reason you did the first one, to have fun, because of the passion that took you there. It’s the most realistic. If you only think about monetizing each of your broadcasts or becoming famous, you end up burned out. You cannot feel that by not achieving that I am a failure », he has philosophy and optimism. “It’s like someone who plays the guitar and creates a group in the village,” sums up Arjona.

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