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“Streamers are coming out of their national bubble”: how French Twitch stars want to conquer an international audience

“I started streaming in English in May 2023,” recalls French videographer Aymeric Pierre.

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“Streamers are coming out of their national bubble”: how French Twitch stars want to conquer an international audience

“I started streaming in English in May 2023,” recalls French videographer Aymeric Pierre. On the live video platform Twitch, it is under the pseudonym Aypierre that he offers content on the video game Minecraft of which he was, in various competitions, champion of Europe and France. A passion which led him, a few months ago, to gradually film his games in English. A necessity to be able to participate in the QSMP multilingual server integrated into Minecraft.

This server launched this summer by the Mexican streamer Quackity made it possible to create a giant game, across the globe, between Twitch videographers. This project quickly aroused enthusiasm among French streamers like Aypierre, Étoiles, Baghera and Antoine Daniel. “I play and live with other international, Hispanic, Brazilian and English-speaking streamers,” explains Aymeric Pierre.

And the audiences mix. “From 100% French users watching me, I went to 75%,” describes the videographer. “In terms of discussions on my chat (the discussion thread accessible on his channel), it’s funny. I allow people to speak the language they want,” he says. “There is also a significant proportion of spectators who come to chat to learn or improve their French.”

This initiative has put the spotlight back on French streamers. The latter are already recognized internationally for their know-how in organizing successful events, like Zevent, a charitable project bringing together French Twitch stars to collect donations for associations. More recently, it was the Formula 4 GP Explorer race, organized by YouTuber Squeezie and broadcast on Twitch, which broke a world audience record.

“This opening of the French Twitch community abroad really began during the Pixel War,” indicates Mickaël Kock, general manager at ZQSD Productions at the origin, among others, of Zevent. Internet users competed in April 2022 to impose drawings symbolizing their respective countries on a sort of digital canvas hosted on the social network Reddit.

“This event highlighted the involvement and commitment of French communities,” adds Mickaël Kock. “This subsequently led to a highly publicized event: the Eleven All Star football match, which, among other things, welcomed 20,000 spectators to the Jean Bouin stadium in Paris and was broadcast worldwide on Twitch.”

French-speaking streamers now want to retain this international audience. “Suddenly, we can reach an audience 10 to 20 times larger,” estimates Aypierre. “Seeing that more and more non-French speaking people were watching me on streams that were not related to the QSMP project, I asked members of my community to develop a Twitch extension,” he continues. “It translates and subtitles what I say in real time in around twenty different languages.”

An extension similar to that used by the streamer Étoiles to live subtitle its flagship show, “Les Nuits du musée”, where he visits cultural places like the Louvre or the Center Pompidou in the company of an influencer. “The international community reacted very positively to this novelty. Offering subtitling makes it possible to meet the expectations of as many people as possible and bring existing concepts to new markets,” confirms ZQSD Productions, which works with Étoiles on this format.

Etoiles, 27, is also active on the international QSMP server integrated into Minecraft. Finally, he regularly travels to the United States to commentate, in English, on tournaments of his favorite game: the fighting video game Super Smash Bros, published by Nintendo. These videos earned him an award at the “Streamers Awards”, a ceremony which has rewarded content creators for three years via a jury vote (30%) and, above all, a public vote (70%). Étoiles thus won the prize for “best fighting game streamer” last weekend in Las Vegas.

As Étoiles’ victory proves, fans of content creators have become essential to the expansion of their audiences outside of France. Thus, fans of the streamer Baghera have initiated an X account (ex-Twitter) in English on her news.

Entitled “Baghera Updates”, it saw the light of day on June 7, a few weeks after the videographer joined the QSMP server on Minecraft. “The objective of this account is to allow international audiences to access Baghera content by translating it and thus breaking the language barrier,” explains the team behind this account.

These are around ten young professionals and students who take turns publishing content at times when English-speaking Internet users are online. “Our tweets are seen as a literal transcription of its news, and therefore we must not harm Baghera and its image,” explains the team.

Baghera Updates is currently followed by nearly 20,000 people and another account has been created in Portuguese. “We see that there is support for Baghera, from these English-speaking people, which continues during lives where she sometimes discusses only in French,” rejoice her fans.

For now, these projects outside of borders are giving rise to friendships between streamers. Baghera, for example, has already traveled to Brazil and Switzerland with other foreign videographers such as the American Slimecicle, the Brazilian Cellbit, the English Philza and Tubbo, met on the QSMP server integrated into the game Minecraft.

“2023 was the year of the turning point, after the start of 2022. Streamers, French and international, are coming out of their national bubble,” notes Mickaël Kock. ZQSD Productions, based in Montpellier, now works with French-speaking streamers as well as American ones and those from Asian countries. “This opens up new possibilities in terms of creativity, collaboration and also gives a breath of fresh air to the French streaming landscape,” concludes the company’s general manager.

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