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Ludwig held up in a highly profitable Twitch hostage situation

Published: 10:25, 22 March 2021
Updated: 10:34, 22 March 2021
Ludwig on Twitch
Ludwig on Twitch

Hostage situations are normally a horrible thing but one occurring on Twitch has no force other than audience engagement and simply exists because people keep throwing money at Ludwig.

Ludwig Ahgren, known simply as Ludwig on Twitch, launched a subathon on his channel last week, meaning that each subscription would set the countdown timer in the corner 10 seconds back. And what is the timer for? Well, he can't end the stream before it runs out.

In regular subathons, the streamers set a cap on how long the subs can extend the timer but this was not the case with Ludwig's event - he left it uncapped on purpose. 

It appears that Ahgren underestimated the sheer numbers, combined willpower and funds of Twitch chat as they managed to organise themselves to keep the stream going for much longer than the streamer anticipated. At the time of writing, the subathon had been going on for a week and still had almost 58 hours on the timer.

Tempting the crowd to do a crazy is something of a thing right now, after the Reddit mob pushed the r/wallstreetbets subreddit into international financial prominence. Maybe it's pandemic lockdown fever, but it's clear the question the crowd loves to ask is not "should we?" but "can we?". 

Considering that the subscriptions extend the stream by just 10 seconds, you can imagine the enormous amount of money that's been going through the stream. The broadcast earns $2.5 for Ahgren for each 10 seconds it runs and it looks poised to go through the 10-day mark.

In other words, Ludwig created a situation that pretty much resembles The Truman Show, although this one was made of his own volition and extended by the chat as the people want to see how long he can last in front of the camera at a 24/7 rate and probably set some kind of new Twitch record.

Moderators have now moved in to ban people gifting 100 or more subscriptions. Maybe Ludwig will get his privacy back soon, but not too soon it seems.

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