On Friday, the Twitch streamer Ludwig slept in. He got up around 11AM PT and lay in bed, chatting with the more than 30,000 viewers of his stream. He’s spent a lot of time in that spot lately — in fact, he’s broadcast dozens of hours of himself curled up in a bright red race car bed since his stream first started.
As of this morning, Sunday, March 28th, Ludwig’s stream has now been live for nearly two weeks straight. His stream started around 2PM PT on Sunday, March 14th, according to The New York Times. The plan was to stream 20 seconds for every new subscription purchased to his channel (subscriptions are $5 per month).
It’s a bit like a telethon — he won’t stop so long as the money kept coming in. “We’re making this like a goddamn vending machine,” Ludwig said just a few hours into the first day of his stream.
The stream has turned into an event for Twitch viewers. Ludwig was already a star on Twitch when the stream began (the unofficial site TwitchTracker ranks him as the 11th most popular English-language channel), and as the days have gone on, he’s become the most subscribed to streamer on the site. Twitch has promoted the stream prominently on its front page and even wished the streamer goodnight.
As he neared the two-week milestone on Saturday, Ludwig had to step away from the stream for the day and invited friends to take over. To make sure the marathon stream didn’t end while he was out, he ran a subscription promotion to run up the timer.
— Twitch (@Twitch) March 16, 2021
“Subathons” have been happening on Twitch for years, and some have even extended for days in the past. In April, the streamer LosPollosTV went for more than six days, setting what was believed to be a live streaming record at the time. (Other streams have gone for longer since, but without running subathons the entire time.)
As his stream showed no sign of stopping, Ludwig has added some constraints. Subscriptions now add only 10 seconds to the clock. Viewers are limited to purchasing 100 gift subscriptions each. He’s also set a 31 day cap before he’ll sign off no matter what.
It’s not clear if he’ll reach that point. Over the course of this week, subscriptions have been slowing. There were 37 hours left on the clock as of 8AM ET Wednesday morning, but only 22 hours left as of 8AM ET Friday morning. As of this publication, the timer has been hovering just above and then periodically below 12 hours for some time — with subs still coming in to keep the clock relatively static throughout Saturday night and into Sunday morning — and now sits at roughly 11.5 hours.