If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And if a pandemic leaves you a whole year locked up at home, become a streamer. Few sectors can say that they have experienced such a great growth this last year as the creation of live online content. While entire countries took cover inside their homes trying to avoid the effects of the coronavirus, streamers entered them through their mobiles, computers and tablets. A new generation that in a short time has given the ‘surprise’ to the youtubers and that it has conquered millions of young people all over the planet. The trade of fashion in this second decade of the 21st century in which each creator is placed daily in front of his webcam to share live with his viewers what he wants, from a game of a video game to an informal chat.
All this with the help of Twitch, the platform owned by Amazon that allows them to convert those broadcasts into hard cash. Because the most loyal followers of each streamer usually give them subscriptions, all of them altruistic, of which the creator takes an amount slightly higher than three euros. Thus, if a creator is around 250 subscribers, they are close to mileurista’s income between subscriptions, donations and the advertising that the platform itself inserts in the channel.
Inside the all you can find buffet in Twitch, there is the Joaquín Alejos channel from Vigo. This 28-year-old, known to his followers as QuiinooxX, took advantage of the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis for hit the reset button of your life. He left his stable job at El Corte Inglés and jumped into the world of video games and live broadcasts. It had been a while since he had opened his space on Twitch, but with the health crisis and greater dedication, everything went into effervescence. “What was bad for almost all sectors, was great for me. It sounds bad, but confinement has benefited me “Joaquín admits, aware of the fact that people stayed at home gave him much more audience.
“If they give me the choice, hit COVID, but at work it has been a bonanza”
Now, almost nine months later, has around 400 subscribers and is a co-owner of a video game company. He has bought a computer for 30,000 euros, he has moved to Moaña where he shares a house with his partners and every night he sits in front of his screen to broadcast his games. “When I started, before taking the leap, I was speaking alone in front of the screen. It was fun because it helped me to disconnect from the day to day, but after a few people began to appear and the snowball got bigger until it formed a whole community that follows me.
He still fondly remembers those adventures he did before leaving for Moaña. He lived in Nigrán, at his grandparents’ house, where even the ADSL connection did not reach. With the mobile data provided by three telephone cards, he was able to broadcast his first live broadcasts and also get in touch with Breixo “Breif” Fernández and Andoni “Fix” Lorenzo, his current partners. “We spent the day playing together but each from their home, so we said to each other, why not do it from the same place, create content together and create a brand?”they wondered. So it was. Just before the first confinement they found a house in Moaña and from there they formed El Origen Company.
The founding of this company has transformed the vision of Quiinooxx. Now he is a streamer, but also an entrepreneur:
“The idea was not to found a company. We were GTA Roleplay players and one day we decided to set up our own server. We talk to vendors, programmers, and get started. It was a very quick success ”.
GTA Roleplay is an online game developed by Rockstar in which players step into the shoes of an avatar and simulate a second life. Virtually anything that can be done in the real world can be translated into videogame. Its users get excited, laugh, cry and meet new people. “There are those who even have a partner in there or a job,” Alejos explains. The game does not have a goal. It is neither won nor lost. It only seeks to escape from reality in an environment that only exists on computers and consoles. To organize themselves, the players are grouped into servers, from where they communicate and access the same virtual space governed by rules.
And these servers are what Joaquín Alejos and his partners provide The Origin Company: “The opening day of our first server was June 15 and there are already more than 10,000 people there”. The good results encouraged them to create another, in which it was even necessary to pass an interview to access, and there are already more than 9,000 users. The third server is on the way with more than 3,000 players signed up. They have become the largest Spanish-speaking community in GTA Roleplay.
But, Where is the business? People don’t have to pay to join a server, but they can – and do – altruistic donations. Money also comes through advertising and sponsors, especially from brands linked to the video game sector. “We will not disclose our billing information, but we can assure that we do well. The support of the people drives us to continue investing what we earn in the brand and soon expand our model to other video games”.
Responsibilities as an entrepreneur have not dampened Quiinooxx’s interest in being a streamer. Today he combines both professions and recognizes that his live shows through Twitch are his greatest source of income. In front of the camera, Joaquín knows that he is not a showman the likes of Ibai, for example, but he connects very well with his audience by always being aware of the comments they make in the live chat: “I do the broadcasts for people who see me. Sometimes I am more aware of them than of the game itself ”. “I honestly see myself with more experience in my career as an entrepreneur. I would like it to be as a content creator, but growing on Twitch today is very difficult. My channel evolves, but not to the rhythm of the great titans of the platform. Now it seems that the one who does not have 70,000 viewers is nobody, when two years ago having 100 was amazing ”, details the man from Vigo.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.