Wednesday 8th March, the launch of “LeStream” took over Twitch like a tidal wave. This new WebTV stars -among others – Cyprien & Squeezie, French YouTubers with over 5 million subscribers each. On their first day, they gathered more than 150 000 simultaneous viewers, an all-time record for a French stream.
“LeStream” is a well-oiled machine. The WebTV is produced by “Talent Web”, a group which includes all the major influencers that belong to Webedia (Mixicom, Bang Bang Management.). With a potential audience of more than 22 million viewers, it was very unlikely that the launch of “LeStream” should go wrong. All those YouTube big guns helped establish a record by engaging their community.
On “LeStream”, viewers can enjoy uninterrupted content from 12PM to 2AM. The WebTV serves an entertainment purpose only. During the first launch (“Le Prime”), the stream looked very much like a summer camp, with internet personalities playing one silly game after another. “Le Stream” is proof that the gaming community cares more about personalities than content, or even production quality. Here, gaming and esports are but pretexts. What viewers crave for are stars, people who are easy to identify with.
With “LeStream”, Webedia strengthens its monopoly. The digital company – owned by Fimalac – extends its influence over French talents, and is now able to reach a new audience. “LeStream” is also the ideal hub to host special events and partnerships with brands, which is bound to be a major source of income. However, this is bad news for all the smaller, less popular streamers, who might have more trouble making deals or negotiating special events themselves.
With former professional players such as Skyyart & Gotaga, “LeStream” can introduce newcomers to esports. But will esports even be mentioned during the many sessions ? Or will it simply be a pretext to organize commercial events ? Only time will tell.