Everything changed with the pandemic. As Spain went into lockdown, its population cloistered at home, Llanos saw his viewership figures explode: His Twitch channel currently commands 7.8 million followers, making him one of the 10 most followed creators on the platform. His YouTube account attracts a similar audience.
The players’ motivation is perhaps a little more calculating than that. “Twitch is the Generation Z platform,” said Julian Aquilina, a broadcasting specialist at the media research firm Enders Analysis. “It skews very young, and quite male. It is quite a different audience to traditional broadcasters.” Llanos offers a precious route into that audience: His interview with Dybala, for example, attracted more than 100,000 live, largely teenage viewers.
It is an approach, Aquilina said, that may become more common. “Twitch is becoming a broadcaster,” he said. “Amazon has done that with some N.F.L. games, putting them on Twitch as well as Prime. If you have the rights to something, you want it distributed across platforms: You can sell the broadcast rights but still have an online presence.”