Broadcast For 31 Days

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Enoch Orozco

Twitch Streamer Ludwig Ahgren at the end of his livestream lasting over 30 days. (Photo Courtesy of Enoch Orozco)

On March 13th, 2021, Twitch streamer Ludwig Ahgren announced he was starting a dauntless and potentially neverending event. When  Ahgren went live, he said every subscriber he got during the length of his stream would add 10 seconds to a virtual timer, and he couldn’t turn his stream off until said timer hit zero. He also promised half the money he made would be donated to a charity of his choice. This is known online as a “subathon”, and they  last approximately two days at best. Ahgren, along with the majority of his audience, assumed his stream would follow a similar pattern and last only a few days. However, as day two of his subathon began, the timer projected another six days minimum of streaming left.

Ahgren quickly realized that he was in way over his head, and before things got too crazy, he announced that the stream would last a maximum of 31 days regardless of the timer. He then assembled a team of moderators, known as the “modcast” to interact with the stream as he slept. He set up camera spots to capture his entire life, including playing games, eating, sleeping, working out, and even showering (with shorts on) for the entertainment of his tens of thousands of viewers. With all of this set in place, the streamer was reluctantly ready to be live for up to 31 whole days. 

The stream itself was fairly uneventful except for a few key moments, but it was fun to come back to, relax, and interact with chat and the mods. When Ahgren was asleep, there would be movie nights, or the modcast would play games and interact with chat. When he was awake, he would play games, interact with chat, eat and cook in the kitchen, or work out in his at-home garage-gym. To counteract the negative effects of talking to only a camera for a whole month, Ludwig almost always had his girlfriend or visitors with him to keep him sane. The stream timer very rarely dipped below one hour, but there were a few close calls. On April 10th, three days before the stream ended, the timer hit 1 second before one viewer donated ten subs and brought the timer back up.

Then, on the last day of the stream, something monumental happened. Ahgren realized he was close to breaking the record for most concurrent twitch subscriptions, which at the time was held by Tyler “Ninja” Blevins at 269,154 total subscribers. On April 13th, Ahgren pledged all the money made that day would be donated to the Humane Society and St. Jude’s, and one dollar from every previous sub from the subathon was pledged to the No Kid Hungry charity. On that day, the last day of the stream, Ahgren broke the record and became the most subscribed person on Twitch. Having broken the record and with the timer approaching zero, Ahgren, full of emotion, gave one final salute to the stream as it faded out to black.

Unsurprisingly, many people were curious as to how much money Ahgren raised.. In subscriptions alone, the stream made at least $1,4000,000. Ahgren, however, gets a very small portion of this money. For starters, Twitch takes a portion of all subscriptions (50%), so the amount raised can already be halved to approximately $700,000. Then, he promised half of all the money would go to charity, so half that amount again to $350,000. Factoring in that he had to pay a group of moderators for essentially, working 8-hour workdays, bringing his profit closer to $100,000, which is still a lot. He also directly receives all donations given to the stream, and during the stream, Ahgren said if he stayed live for a whole year, he would make $13,000,000 before taxes. This stream was monumental for both Ahgren and Twitch as a whole, and it sets an interesting precedent going forward.

The current most popular Twitch streamer is Felix “xQc” Lengyel, who recently stated that he’s working on the same thing Ahgren just completed. Lengyel is known for having long stream times and has easily gone live for 48 hours and stayed awake for the duration. This time, xQc says his maximum time will be 60 days, and if it is anything like Ludwig’s, he will be live for the entire duration. Given that xQc is already the most-watched streamer, he would easily blow the record out of proportion in no time at all. During his subathon, Ahgren even said he was still actively competing with xQc’s normal streaming schedule. While Ahgren’s subathon is nothing to sneeze at, it will be very interesting to see who else takes the subathon mantle in the future.