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Top streamers look to get off merry-go-round of endless output

Paid-Twitch-Streamers-Money-Burnout-thefutureparty
Twitch Streamers // Illustration by Kate Walker

Top streamers look to get off merry-go-round of endless output

Future. Video-game streamers on Twitch, YouTube, and other platforms are burning out due to the demand of always-on streaming economics — if you’re not playing, you’re not just losing money now… you’re losing money in the future too. That’s unsustainable. So, top streamers are using their fame to pivot to entrepreneurship (or something else with more longevity)… a move that could inadvertently build an entire gamer-owned talent-development ecosystem, and maybe one day alleviate the system that creates burnout.

Boss level

After experiencing burnout, some of the biggest video game streamers in the world are looking for ways to make money while not playing as much.

  • YouTube-gaming streamer Ludwig Ahgren started a company called Truffle, which gives streamers the tools to offer custom emoticons to their fans and also “wager digital points on the outcomes of events within the live videos.”
  • Twitch streamer Asmongold launched an influencer network called One True King, which helps negotiate deals between brands and the streamers it represents.
  • Twitch streamer Imane “Pokimane” Anys founded management compay RTS, which is already working with Epic Games, Facebook, and Sony.

Clockstoppers

While playing video games all day may sound like a blast, doing it as a career is more cutthroat than it would seem. That’s because streamers need to play endlessly in order to maintain their popularity. 

  • Take Ahgren, who set the record for most subscribers ever on Twitch when he engaged in a month-long “sub-a-thon” where he played Super Smash Bros. Melee nonstop. 
  • He topped out at 283,066 subscribers who were paying him $5-$25 to watch him play (pretty amazing). 
  • But… the moment he stopped the around-the-clock playing, he dropped down to 42,000 subscribers only a month later.

Ahgren said it best to Bloomberg: “You reach a level of success, and then you see it start to go away. It’s how streaming works.” It’s not dissimilar from musicians trying to market themselves on TikTok. Streaming economics demands a never-ending flow of content, no matter the industry. No wonder digital life has everyone burning out.

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