Parents, couples, brothers: the new guest stars on the Twitch platform
There was an unwritten rule in the world of live broadcasts on the internet: leave your personal life off the screen. The familiar environment of the so-called streamers ―The broadcasting of videogames, talks or videos of other content creators― was left out of his work. The call salseo (the gossip in the digital world) was never received on a platform like Twitch, born to count video games and now booming to the point of challenging the more traditional entertainment channels. But that rule has changed in the last year, especially in the last few months. The families and the closest circles of the stars of this new television have sneaked into these new formats almost openly.
A benchmark in the sector such as Ibai Llanos –who achieved more audience with his year-end program broadcast from his home than some conventional televisions– surprised his community at the beginning of last week with the announcement of an interview with his father, Javier Llanos . This Thursday they chatted quietly –chatting quietly is the name of the space on his channel in which he participated – as before he had done with footballers like Gerard Piqué and When Agüero and singers like Nicki Nicole. For more than 90 minutes, an average of 65,000 viewers witnessed a family conversation where Llanos asked his father about his dabbling with video games such as Call of Duty, how you experienced your son’s anxiety or if you missed seeing him more often.
The irruption of Javier Llanos on Twitch did not arise by chance at all. His son’s own audience voted in a poll that had a leading role on his channel – his grandfather, Pedro Garatea, came in second place – that he would stop being simply Ibai’s father and become someone of flesh and blood to whom to put a face , voice and physical appearance. Despite his inexperience with these new formats, in his own way he was part of a new form of entertainment and even dared to leave a message to those parents who observe video games with suspicion: “This way you get closer to your children and have more themes of conversation. If not, you will not be able to help them with their problems. They will never tell you anything. Of course they have to study, but they have more life ”.
Ibai’s broadcast has been the most recent, but other Twitch names have opted for a similar format, to open the doors of their private lives. The Grefg – a boy from Murcia who broke the world audience record on the platform in January, with 2.4 million viewers – interviewed his girlfriend; María Pombo, to her sister. AuronPlay sponsored his partner to some extent, before he made the solo jump. And then there’s the Bronzafamily, a family of content creators made up of father, mother, and son.
“The new generations are quite gossipy. They want to know what is around their idols, what is their environment, to know it. Without forgetting that for him streamer it is a strategy. You can move your followers between channels of people close to you and further monetize your presence, ”says Loreto Gómez, an expert in digital marketing.
Twitch has become one of the fashionable platforms due to the boom acquired during the first months of the pandemic. According to the figures provided by the marketing company Warc, the hours consumed grew 83% last year compared to 2019 – from 9,000 million it has risen to 17,000 million. However, this trend of introducing the circles closest to the broadcasts is not entirely new nor is it justified solely by the figures that Twitch handles. On YouTube, although without the live format, multiple channels used the family environment to grow and obtain economic performance. There are examples of platform stars like MikelTube or Verdeliss.
The power of chat
Tearing down the border between public and private is becoming easier due to the power that a participation tool such as chat has acquired. The community generated around a channel talks, asks and actively participates, in real time, with the content creator. As Vicente Horcajada, video game expert and founder of Rebold Shakers explains, this reality allows viewers to perceive the streamer like one more friend. “They are not accountable to any boss or any structure. They are the owners of what they broadcast, of their lives in short. They decide what to show. For this reason, that the family or close friends appear on the screen happens naturally and organically ”, he adds.
It should be remembered that the more people who watch a live show or play a video, the more income creators earn, regardless of paying monthly subscriptions or other ways of paying users. streamer, Like the bits, virtual objects that are sold on Twitch. In Gómez’s words, this system helps the most personal facet gain a certain weight. Communicating vessels are generated between channels that mobilize money, favoring a win-win situation for all. “And you have to be attentive to the rise of multi-channeling. There are already tools that allow you to launch the live show on multiple platforms at the same time, even those without video, such as Stereo ”, he assures.
In an ecosystem as fickle as that of video games, it is difficult to predict new trends, although some are emerging strongly. Taking privacy out of ostracism is a good example, as different content creators have shown; but the sagas, also called series in the world, are trading higher. Since the year began, Rust Y ARK have moved viewers from one channel to another – and the same will happen shortly with Grand Theft Auto V-. Tens of streamer they play the same title at the same time, in the same game, generating plots in the purest style of television fiction. “During a specific period of time, the content revolves around that game. It is a way of broadcasting more hours of live performance and interacting with the audience ”, concludes Horcajada.