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Twitch star Ludwig Ahgren has been streaming for about two weeks as part of a "subathon," where he keeps the livestream going even if he's asleep. According to his calculations, he's made more than $470,000 from the event, but he won't actually pocket that total for himself.
Let's spend a moment explaining what a "subathon" is. Each subscription extends the total time that Ahgren streams by ten seconds, and his broadcast is "uncapped" so that users are able to outpace the clock by subbing before the countdown completes. As aforementioned, he's been streaming for two weeks, meaning that he's made a lot of moolah from these subs that extend the stream little by little. Over the course of the event, he's been playing games like Super Mario Odyssey and Pokémon, as well as hosting movie nights for his viewers, and simply chatting in downtime. Of course, he eats and sleeps on stream too, and he's even showered on stream (while wearing a pair of shorts). When he's sleeping, his moderators take over the event and viewers are encouraged to send in their favourite videos for a YouTube watch party.
"I fell asleep on stream last night and became the most watched streamer on Twitch," said Ahgren. "What the hell is even that?" Obviously, there has been some criticism levelled at the streamer, because if a person with a more modest platform tried this sort of stunt, their viewership and following would tank. Ahgren is already well-known, and his following has doubled and then some since starting the subathon. There's also the fact that he's a guy, and sleep streams from female content creators are often mired in sexist comments stating this is "easy" work for them. Lastly, he's made a lot of money from these subscriptions and donations throughout the event, and it totals approximately $470,000. Explaining how he makes that money in a casual chat, Aghren said that he won't see all of that land in his bank account when the stream is over.
"I don't get to walk away with all this money because there [are] things in life that you have to pay. That is called taxes. But even before we get to taxes, we have to talk about my cut. Because Twitch takes away money, so this isn't all mine. This is partly Twitch's," he started, and revealed that the platform's cut is about 35%. That decreases the pot of metaphorical gold to just over $300,000, but that's before taxes. "States require taxes, and I live in California," he said. "That's why, if you don't know, a lot of streamers live in Texas-or maybe YouTubers, too-because Texas doesn't have any state taxes for income tax. Same with New Hampshire, and same with Florida."
Federal and state taxes take the figure to $150,000. Ahgren will also pay his moderators $5,000 per day on top of a base rate for their efforts in ensuring that the "subathon" was possible. At the moment, that brings the total to $83,000 for fifteen mods and six days of work. Furthermore, he intends to donate $1 to a charity of his choosing for every subscriber that has joined his channel since the start of the event. He's gained about 80,000 subscribers, so that gives him $3,000 at the end of everything. However, tax write-offs will raise the total back to the $80,000 mark. Hardly something to sniff at.
Right now, Ahgren has one hour left of streaming. He's asleep, so it's possible that he might even miss the end of the event if the countdown isn't reversed by new subscribers. Well, a portion of this is going to charity, which is wholesome content.
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