During the last week and a half, Twitch star Ludwig Ahgren has been on the watch. Whether he’s asleep, awake, or sleepy somewhere in between, Ahgren has kept his broadcast running to abide by the terms of a “subaton” in which each subscription adds ten seconds to a timer. So far, it has raised nearly $ 500,000. However, he says that when all is said and done, you will see only a fraction of that money.
When Ahgren started his subaton, he was already a very successful streamer with over 1.5 million followers. He faced criticism, then, for seemingly wanting to fill their already-filled pockets with even more cash employing a strategy that is more common among smaller streamers. Since then, he has walked a contradictory line, giving his marathon broadcast an event feel in an obvious attempt to attract attention (and subscriptions). But it has also deterred viewers from doing things like spending your stimulus controls on it—And even going as far as directly ban people who give away too many subscriptions in your chat.
Yesterday, you broke down the monetary element of all of this. During its transmission, Ahgren opened a spreadsheet showing his total subscription and donation-based earnings for a record 10 days, in which he became the most-subscribed streamer on Twitch. The total, according to current estimates, is $ 471,756.
“However,” Ahgren began, “it is not that easy. I can’t leave with all this money because I don’t [are] things in life that you have to pay for. That is called taxes. But even before we get to taxes, we have to speak for me. Because Twitch takes money away, this is not all mine. This is partly from Twitch. “
Twitch’s cut comes in at 35% because Ahgren negotiated his current contract in 2020 before reaching his current level of stardom. That already reduces the avalanche of cash rushing into your bank account to $ 304,260. It is still an absurd amount of money! But then Ahgren took into account a rough estimate of federal and state taxes, bringing it down to $ 150,000.
“The 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 as well, because Texas has no state income tax. The same with New Hampshire, and the same with Florida. “
Then a viewer asked him why he wasn’t moving to pay less.
“Why not move?” answered. “I really do not care. I earn enough money. I don’t feel like I need more money. I am happy to pay my taxes. If they want taxes to do things, it could be [like] Jeff Bezos at Amazon and I get up to try to pay as little tax as possible to make as much money as possible, but that’s not really my MO .. I’m willing to pay my share. That is the goal of taxes. “
Ahgren then moved on to the payments he intends to issue, starting with his moderation team. Many streamers don’t pay for their mods, which isn’t a great system because what moderators do is work and they deserve to be paid by streamers who have the means to do so. Ahgren’s subaton would literally not be possible without his restraint team. Not only have they made sure their chat remains relatively sane, but a rotating group of 15 moderators have run the broadcast at night while Ahgren has also been sleeping. As a result, you pay the team a total of $ 5,000 per day (plus a base fee) while the team participates in this grueling stunt. Yesterday, all of that left Ahgren with $ 83,000, which, as he noted, is “still a lot of money.”
That led to the charitable aspect of his subaton. For every subscriber you have at the end of it all, you intend to donate $ 1 to a charity of your choice, which you have yet to name. Yesterday, he had somewhere in the ballpark of 80,000 subscribers, reducing his total take away to just $ 3,000. He went on to clarify, however, that the tax cancellations should get him somewhere in the $ 10,000 or $ 15,000 neighborhood, but he doesn’t know the exact number.
“That’s for my accountant to take care of,” he said.
$ 10,000 or $ 15,000 is still—yet“A lot of money, although it may not be worth ten days of hundreds of thousands of eyes on you.” However, there are several things to keep in mind here: For one thing, the total amount of money will likely increase even more before the timer releases Ahgren from his Truman show-like bubble. Currently, it is in just under 30 hours and viewers have not stopped subscribing. This also means that Ahgren, despite saying he wants people to relax on subscriptions, has an incentive to reveal how little he personally can earn. Give dedicated fans a concrete reason to give you more money.
But even if Ahgren only ends up with a little Benjamins army to prove all this, he thinks it will have been a good use of his time.
“Even [$150,000] still less valuable than audience growth, total follower gain, the New York Times Article, “he said.” We have a New York Times Article! That’s insane … The amount of attention this has all received is definitely worth it. “
Attention, after all, is what will ultimately translate into more money and opportunities in the long run. Stunts are short-lived, even ones that last longer than any previous attempt of their nature. But making a splash so big that it grabs mainstream attention means attracting all kinds of new viewers. That is How Tyler “Ninja” Blevins Got Big, for instance. His flirtation with the mainstream fueled years of agreement and longevity despite how quickly the heyday of his relevance came and went.
However, this complicates Ahgren’s relationship with his audience. No matter how much (or how little) he earns from this subaton, Ahgren will still be a wealthy person who takes a portion of his money directly from people who are poorer than him. That is the nature of Twitch. When it comes to great streamers, he’s an accepted part of the culture. But it can still be an awkward dynamic. In this case, Ahgren may say that he is not keeping most of what he earns, but that will not be so true in the future, post-subaton earnings, at which point he will be a bigger star than ever. Even then, it will presumably continue to accept subscriptions and donations as part of regular broadcasts.
The fact that people felt strange about the launch of this subaton when Ahgren was already rich is telling. Many take the basic structure of Twitch for granted, but as soon as you put a slight twist on the donation / subscription model, they start asking legitimate questions about why the big streamers need even more money. Those questions are always worth asking, even outside of sub-shows and other events, as long as the money keeps flowing.