If you’re a long-time fan of watching Twitch streams, you may be familiar with subathons. If you’re a newer viewer, you may be wondering what exactly is a subathon, and why are they so popular?
In a nutshell, a Twitch subathon is a marathon event where a streamer broadcasts continuously for an extended period, usually 24 hours or more. During this time, viewers can “sub” or “subscribe” to the streamer’s channel, providing them with various benefits, such as ad-free viewing, custom emotes, and exclusive content. Where things get interesting is each new sub adds time to the subathon clock, which keeps the stream going until the clock runs out. The longer the stream goes on, the more subs the streamer gets, and the longer the subathon lasts.
Subathons are more than just streaming marathons; they’re community-driven virtual events encouraging engagement and participation. A subathon quite literally relies on audience engagement to keep going. To keep the subathon on a high, streamers often find activities to keep viewers engaged, such as playing games, offering giveaways, or performing various challenges, like eating unbearable spicy foods—anything to keep their audience entertained and more subscribers coming.
Historically, subathons have been most popular amongst more prominent streamers like Ludwig, who in 2018 surpassed 273,000 paying subscribers after hosting a 30-day subathon. As of March 2023, rising Twitch star Kai Cenat has since broken the record and currently holds the title for the most subscribers on Twitch. However, subathons are not just for the biggest names in the streaming world —they can be an excellent way for smaller streamers to grow their audience and build community. If hosting a Twitch subathon is something that you think you and your audience would enjoy, don’t allow the numbers to deter you. Below are some types of subathons that you may want to consider.
Play-a-thon: Set a goal to play a certain number of games in a row and keep streaming until you achieve it. You can let your viewers choose the games or make a list of your own.
Charity stream: What better opportunity to give back to a worthy cause than to host a subathon to raise money for a charity of your choice? Encourage viewers offering donation incentives for reaching certain milestones. If you need assistance collecting donations, you can use Streamlabs Charity. FYI, using this donation platform is free of charge, and we don’t take a cut (all money minus standard processing fees is given to the charity of your choice).
Challenge marathon: Set a series of challenges for yourself and your viewers to complete during the subathon. Challenges can be anything from playing games while riding a stationary bike (yay, exercise) to eating increasingly spicy foods. Just make sure it’s something entertaining that doesn’t cause any harm to you or your viewers.
A Twitch subathon is an exciting and engaging event that brings streamers and viewers together for a marathon of entertainment. Whether you’re a casual viewer or a die-hard fan, subathons are a great way to experience the magic of Twitch and be a part of a vibrant and supportive community.