How much money Ludwig actually made from his Twitch subathon

Ludwig's subathon ending on TwitchTwitch: Ludwig

The headline figures from Ludwig Ahgren’s Twitch subathon are impressive, breaking the all-time highest subscriber count. On paper, that’s an exceptional amount of money, but there’s a lot of deductions to consider too. Thanks to some dedicated Ludwig fans, we have a much better idea of how much he actually made.

Every subscription on Twitch costs at least $4.99, and the highest tier is $24.99. Of course, the full amount doesn’t make it to the broadcaster to start with, as Twitch itself takes a slice.

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On top of this, Ludwig had some outgoings too. He was paying his moderators a healthy rate for their work throughout the month of streaming, making charitable donations, matching subs himself, and of course, worst of all, taxes.

So, getting an accurate figure on how much Ludwig actually made is a tough task, but four dedicated fans and data whizzes have crunched the numbers. Thanks to baddog86, smartax1111, itzdanbarz, and ogsheeper for the stats here. The team has been working throughout the course of the subathon, and presented their findings. We believe their numbers are as good as it’s going to get.

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Ludwig streaming on TwitchTwitch: Ludwig
Ludwig’s subathon was a cash cow – but how much does he actually keep at the end of the day?

Ludwig’s total earnings from Subathon

The top-line figure, for Ludwig’s overall haul, before any deductions, is approximately $1.6 million. This is before Twitch takes their share. So, how much of that does Ludwig actually have left, after all is said and done?

First, there are some caveats to these figures. One aspect that can’t be accounted for is ad revenue, as it’s not permitted for Ludwig to share ad rates publicly. Also, any sponsorship activations aren’t included here, so this is strictly earnings from subscriptions, bits, and media share.

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Post Twitch cut $935,601
Charitable donations – $365,350
Payroll – $177,000
Total $393,251.00
After tax $206,928.68

So, the final total rests at just over $200,000. This works out at roughly 16% of the total generated.

Ludwig paid his moderators $167,000, with another $10,000 for Slime, his friend who even took over the stream in stints, while Ludwig slept or spent time with his partner, streamer QTCinderella. A dollar from every subscription went to charity, and on the final day, all subs went to charity.

One of the charities was No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end childhood hunger, that Ludwig donated $1 from every sub to.

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Add in the ad revenue, and other donations, and it’s a mammoth month of earnings for Ludwig – just not quite as high as some people might initially think, all things considered.

Tax is of course a massive deduction. Ludwig has explained himself that living in California, the state will take 50% of his earnings. “This is why a lot of streamers live in Texas,” he said, “because there’s no state taxes there. I don’t live there though, so I pay big taxes in California.”

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Of course, Ludwig could have made a lot more too, had he chosen too. Paying his moderators was optional, as was the charity work. Not to mention, he limited the max gifted subs from one viewer to 100.

Ludwig and slimeTwitch: Ludwig
Ludwig with Slime, who helped man the stream when breaks were needed.

It’s not about the money

What we can’t account for though, is how the publicity around his subathon will influence his future earnings on Twitch. He’s gained a massive following, and countless new fans, thanks to the popularity of the event. “Whatever I would get paid is so much less valuable than the increased viewership, and followers,” Ludwig said. “All that is invaluable, I think. Spending $150k to get a New York Times article and all these followers, I’m fine with that.”

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From something that started out intended to last 24 hours, maybe 48 if enough subs came in, to a project that generated well over $1 million, the subathon was a massive success. And, he has walked away with more than he anticipated, if these figures are accurate.

However, Ahgren has already said he has no plans of doing another subathon. The magic of the first time round can never be matched again, he says, so what’s the point?

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But, there’s no doubt that we will see plenty of imitators in future. Ludwig wasn’t the first to do a subathon, but he has certainly popularized it.

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