San Antonians making coin by livestreaming video games, hobbies on Twitch

Viewers can pay extra to access special content

SAN ANTONIO – Companies such as Twitch are capitalizing on a trend of a livestreaming video games, and locals are catching on for their chance to score their own coin.

Jaik Yanez works in information technology, but in his free time, he plays video games and streams them so other people can watch.

“I stream everything. I play "Dota 2," which is a pretty big esports game. I also stream "World of Warcraft," which is kind of more of a show hang out with my chat, kind of, and just talk about stuff. But I also, you know, do music streams, where I play guitar and play songs, or I'm writing a song on stream and I'm asking for input from people,” Yanez said.

Amazon bought Twitch in 2014. According to the streaming company, it has 3 million people streaming each month.

“When it comes to video games, (there) is something for every emotion, feeling I'm kind of having, so sometimes I just want to, like, zone out and kind of escape somewhere else or other times, I want to get involved in a story,” Yanez said.

Yanez can have anywhere between four and 50 people watching him livestream. He gets paid once he has a certain number of viewers.

Yanez said people can pay $5 a month for special access to his page.

“You get special emotes and you get special access to things that I do if you're a subscriber. You get money from that. People can donate to you, give you tips. Other people can give you, like, these little things called bits that are just like one penny increments, but you can make things happen on the stream with them,” Yanez said.

Most recently, Twitch has made headlines for being the platform used to livestream a shooting at a synagogue in Germany. Two people were killed and about five people watched it live, but more than 2,000 people watched the video of the attack before Twitch took it down 30 minutes later.

Twitch is the latest online platform to be criticized for allowing hateful content to be viewed, raising even more questions about how live content can be regulated online. The majority of what you can watch on Twitch goes back to gaming.

Yanez said there is a big Twitch community in San Antonio.

“I think there's people out there that just have an endless appetite for content, like we just can't make enough of it, and there's something out there for literally everybody,” Yanez said.

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