Parents, couples, siblings: the new guest stars on the Twitch platform

Parents, couples, siblings: the new guest stars on the Twitch platform

Ibai Llanos in an interview with her father, Javier Llanos, on TwitchCaptura / Twitch

There was an unwritten rule in the world of live broadcasts on the internet: leave personal life off the screen. The family environment of the so -called streamers – the broadcasters of video games, talks or videos of other content creators – was left out of their work. The so-called salseo (gossip in the digital world) was never received on a platform like Twitch, born to count video game 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 like 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 he had done before with footballers like Gerard Piqué and Kun 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 like Call of Duty , how he experienced his son's anxiety or if he missed seeing him more often. Javier Llanos's irruption on Twitch did not arise by chance at all. His son's own audience voted in a poll that would have 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 he could 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 was 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 is 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 the 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 profit from it. There are examples of platform stars such as MikelTube or Verdeliss.

The power of chat

Breaking 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, videogame expert and founder of Rebold Shakers, explains, this reality allows viewers to perceive the streamer as just another friend. “They are not accountable to any boss or 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 reproduce a video, the more income creators earn , regardless of paying monthly subscriptions or other ways of paying streamers , such as 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 make it possible to launch the live show on multiple platforms at the same time, even those without video, such as Stereo, ”he says.

In an ecosystem as fickle as that of video games, it is difficult to predict new trends, although some appear 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 beginning of the year, Rust and ARK have moved viewers from one channel to another — and the same will be happening shortly with Grand Theft Auto V. Dozens of streamers 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.

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