It also represents a lucrative opportunity for Bodine to grow his viewership. His Twitch channel audience collectively watched 3 million hours of him in November as he engaged in a number of activities from playing video games, almost burning himself while cooking, making a valiant attempt to explain the plot of Death Stranding, and of course, struggling to stay awake. As of Dec. 4, Bodine had 880,000 followers on Twitch.
Bodine gained about 10,000 new paying subscribers to his channel, all of whom pay anywhere from $5 to $25 a month to support him. His total revenue, which also came from donations during the stream, totaled about $48,000. (Bodine also has not used mid-roll ads on his channel since 2012, a courtesy to his viewers despite cutting off that revenue stream.)
Because of limited amount of hours available in a month, Bodine minimized his sleep to beat the record, but that comes at the cost of health. Studies have shown that people with sleep restricted to 4 to 5 hours a night for up to two nights, including a weakened immune system, increased heart rate and blood pressure and slower response times, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
“There are infinite ways both easier and healthier to grow a channel. It really is up to the broadcaster to discover or create these methods, ” Bodine told The Post in an interview. "Waking up at 4 a.m. every day is not an easy feat when you go to bed around 12:30. Waking up on time was always a concern on my mind.”
Bodine took the record of most hours streamed in a month from Twitch user JayBigs, who streamed last summer for 569 hours, according to Kotaku, who first reported Bodine’s attempt. Twitch streamers often participate in marathons and challenges, posting times on their screen to be transparent to viewers eager to witness the next big record. Many streamers, including Bodine, have done these marathons for charity. This time, it was to topple the record.
To allow himself to move away from his computer, Bodine rigged his house with several cameras, creating a “Truman Show”-like atmosphere, where people could see him in almost every room, particularly his kitchen, where he often cooked and ate his meals on camera.
“I knew a good diet would be important, and a strange obstacle that I had to overcome was cooking all of my own food on stream," Bodine said.
Bodine was very well aware of the health risks of his pursuit, and it was something he talked about often as he was live. Through it all, he didn’t experience any alarming health concerns, so a doctor’s visit wasn’t necessary. He now says he feels healthy, and after a single night’s of rest, he’s returned to feeling normal.
As the streaming market gets more saturated by people looking to earn a living, streamers have to do more to stand out from the crowd. Bodine’s “Streamvember” marathon is just one of many he does throughout the year, but going for the record was an extreme circumstance he says he won’t be repeating next year.
“Big events are great for the right channel,” Bodine cautioned. “There is no one secret way to grow a channel. With so many streamers saturating the market you need to find a unique way to have fun with your community. Streamvember started last year because I wanted to stream more. We took it to an extreme level this year to see if it was possible.”
Bodine has been a streamer since 2011, first as a hobbyist, playing games he already enjoyed. He then worked on becoming more engaging, playing up his personality and growing his audience in the last eight years.
“My community has been a very supportive one over the years and has allowed me to pursue the dream of being able to stream full time,” he said. “I’ve been full-time for over five years now. I absolutely love streaming and can’t see myself doing anything else.”
The 3 million hours viewed in November is about 4.5 times more than he gets during a typical month, when he normally averages about 210 hours of streaming.
“That actual growth was about twice the normal hours watched, based on hours broadcast. Honestly that metric is extremely impressive when it comes to growth and something I’m very proud of,” he said.
Bodine won’t be reaching out to Guinness Book of World Records or any record-tracking officials to cement his legacy. He says there are too many variables on what counts as a full “month” that haven’t been fully established. And of course, there are some channels that stream 24 hours a day, although they’re not always manned. Besides, an official stamp might further encourage others.
“It’s a personal record and don’t wish to idolize this type of streaming style as something to be chased after,” he said. “This is not an official record of any accord. Just a personal record that I am proud of.”
His family doesn’t fully understand his career of streaming, he said, but they’ve been supportive, including during his recent marathon that took him through Thanksgiving weekend.
“They get the gist of it,” he said. “My grandma was very happy to be able to watch me on Thanksgiving make an apple pie.”