After leaving a job that made him unhappy, Andarilho took the plunge and started creating content full-time. An avid gamer, he soon attracted a loyal viewership through his gameplays on YouTube and Twitch. He sat down and spoke to us about how the creator landscape has changed since he started his channel in 2015, and why it’s time for a union for content creators.
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When did you transition from gaming into creating content?
I’ve always loved video games. When I was working full-time at a company, the first thing I would do when I got home was turn on my computer to play. I had a job that was paying me well, but I wasn’t happy. Then I resigned and found myself in a ‘what to do now’ situation.
I was traveling in 2015 when I saw the release of the survival game H1Z1. I came home and bought it. A few days later I said to my wife: I think I’ll record a gameplay and see what happens.
My life changed that day. When I recorded my first video it was very strange for me, but at the same time it was really, really fun. I thought that these funny moments could be shared for more people to watch: and that happened. From there, I recorded more and more videos, receiving positive feedback from the community that was watching. The channel began to grow and here we are after six years.
How has your channel changed over the years?
When I first started I was just making videos about H1Z1. After a few months, I started to do some livestreams and I got used to creating content in real-time and playing different games.
A couple of years after starting my channel, I started to focus 100% on livestreams and mobile games. Then after playing the famous Battle Royale Fortnite on the day of its launch, I focused on that until the end of 2018.
In 2019, I switched back to recorded videos on YouTube, exploring mainly new games and survivals, while doing livestreams every day on Twitch. The change was little by little and today I’m 100% dedicated to YouTube videos and 100% to Twitch lives.
Do you think the pandemic has changed the YouTube world?
The pandemic changed the internet world a lot, but for me the change was subtle. My audience, or the audience that consumes games, has always been a regular consumer, so the change wasn’t that big. What I noticed was an increase in people who started to know more about live streaming, because they needed to communicate and work from home.
Now an important point for me as a content creator is that as people realized the importance of platforms like YouTube and Twitch, brands started to focus their campaigns on these companies, as they saw the potential reach creators on these platforms have. Many channels on YouTube and Twitch outnumber the big TV channels in terms of viewers.
You are both on YouTube and Twitch, what are the advantages and disadvantages of both platforms for you?
The advantage of being on those two big platforms is that I can explore what is good in each of them and learn a little more about the universe of videos on YouTube and livestreams on Twitch, in addition to diversifying my presence digitally as a content creator, in case some platform “shuts down”, if this ever exists, although I think this possibility is very remote.
Another advantage is being able to create different content for YouTube and Twitch, as it has formats such as extensive lives that Twitch is better suited to do than YouTube. On YouTube, video consumption leaves the public wanting something more immediate.
YouTube is bigger than Twitch and also has more advertisers. Also, YouTube allows more people to discover your content. Twitch on the other side has more options to get your public to get closer to you. I think that it is a matter of time before YouTube does the same as Twitch. On the other side, for Twitch it is harder to get known as a creator, since being discovered is hard for new channels. Both platforms have many good things and also bad things. It is up to a creator to find what suits better for you. But in general YouTube and Twitch are incredible. They allow me to show my work to a huge public and I am thankful for this. I really hope that more platforms bring more competition and do better things for creators.
If you could give any advice to yourself when you were just starting out, what would it be?
If I could talk to myself six years ago, I would tell myself to organize my schedule better for creating videos and lives and not to stay up too late working. There are times when I would spend most of the day working, which makes me happy, but at the same time, life is not just about working. We have to have a strategy with working hours as well as days off. This is something that I’ve been putting myself through recently and that I wish I’d done since the beginning.
“Ten years ago it was almost impossible to imagine that this industry would be this big.”
How has the creator industry changed since you started?
When I started creating content, there were many established channels that had been around for over five years that were already quite big. It wasn’t yet something that everyone consumed though.
Nowadays, consumption is massive and also the number of channels. Many companies nowadays invest a lot of money in the creator industry. Ten years ago it was almost impossible to imagine that this industry would be this big.
If starting creators could invest in one piece of gear, what should it be?
Microphone, no doubt about it. The most important factor is the sound quality, as it contains a large part of the message you want to pass in your video and livestream. People can tolerate occasional video errors or less quality and continue to watch the video and live, but if the sound is noisy and hissing, it makes people turn away.
There are now excellent microphones at very affordable prices and also free programs that improve your microphone and sound quality. Smartphones can work as cameras if you want to invest in a microphone first and save money for cameras after.
What would you say to a creator that is struggling to get views and sponsors?
Persistence and consistency are key. Every beginning is difficult. Especially if you’re just starting your channel. Most who already have some direction always have challenges in maintaining or growing their numbers. If your channel is having trouble getting numbers, try to diversify your content. Try to understand what your audience wants to consume. Research what they are looking for and deliver what they want without losing your essence.
Sponsorships come with time. When brands see that your channel has an audience that likes to watch you, and that you have worked consistently on your channel, they will most likely want to advertise with you. Matchmade helps a lot in this aspect by bridging the gap between the channel and the brands.
“There is still no ‘big union’ for creators, where we can talk about our rights and fight for them. That’s why I think we’re in the Industrial Age of content creation. “
What is the best and the hardest part of being an online creator?
The most complicated thing about being a creator is having to depend on platforms like YouTube and Twitch that can simply change some monetization system out of nowhere. If they decide to change their algorithm it can change all your work which you then need to adjust to without support. They are private companies that can change the way they work at any time, and we are dependent on their movements.
There is still no ‘big union’ for content creators where we can talk about our rights and fight for them. That’s why I still think we’re in the Industrial Age of content creation. This industry still needs to evolve a lot. When changes on the big platforms directly affect the creators, a union would be helpful. Creators could talk with them about big issues and the union could act as a spokesperson for the creators.
Another tricky part of being an independent creator is not having a monthly fixed salary. The income always varies since it depends on the performance of your channels and the partnerships you get for that month.
The best thing about being a creator for me is that I love what I do. I’ve always loved video games and being able to work on creating content makes me feel blessed. A philosopher once said: “Choose a job you like and you won’t have to work a day in your life”. That is completely true. I have fun while I work. And in the end, everything is balanced.
I’ve worked in companies before entering this creator’s world, but I’ve never really felt happy. Today with my channels, I work more hours a day than in other jobs I’ve had, but I feel fulfilled because I do what I like. If I can give a tip to anyone thinking of following this path, I’d say dedicate yourself as a creator, be strategic in your choices, and always stay true to yourself. Achievements will come as a result! In the end, the important thing is to be happy and feel good doing what you like.
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