Are the “V-tubers” the new Net superstars?
Discover, every week, information from our partner L'ADN. Today, back to the box of these Japanese YouTubers who appear as an animated avatar
- “V-tubing” is a trend that consists of broadcasting live streams in the guise of an animated avatar.
- The use of these virtual avatars dates back to the early 2010s.
- First appeared in Japan, the phenomenon begins to settle in the United States.
In the family of virtual influencers, we must now bet big on “V-tubers”. Hailing from Japan and growing in popularity in the United States, these virtual streamers straight out of a manga are literally making their fortune on Twitch and YouTube.
Usually, it is in the flesh that the streamer Pokimane, a real celebrity on Twitch, appears in front of her approximately 6.7 million subscribers. But last September, it was in the guise of a 3D avatar that the young woman initiated one of her lives. For her, this is a first step in the world of "V-tubing", this increasingly popular trend of broadcasting live streams or YouTube videos through the features of an animated avatar.
wait so @pokimanelol commissioned real artists from the community, gave them full credit on her twitter, was overall super respectful about vtubing despite it being weird to many people still, AND gave multiple shoutouts to the community ... and some of you are still mad at her ?? pic.twitter.com/jvr2b9s2qx- Sero 🍒 VTuber (@SerotinaVT) September 14, 2020
“I feel more comfortable in streams without a camera,” Pokimane tells his community as his avatar mimics his movements with precision, “especially because sometimes it is tiring to receive comments on yourself. I would prefer people to comment on this cute little cartoon! "
New virtual idols
And his wish might just be granted. In recent years and in the wake of influencers and other virtual singers, the phenomenon has gained considerable visibility. “For some, it's fun to become a manga character; for others, it is a way of exploring their identity, tells V-tubeuse Liudmila Bredikhina to Le Monde, herself a researcher on the subject. There are those who want to roleplay and there are those who do it to become popular. There are as many reasons as there are V-tubers.In addition, real identity is protected, which allows keeping a private life."
On YouTube, content hosted by virtual streamers can get hundreds of thousands of views. Evidenced by the recent feat of the pastel pink-haired avatar Calliope Mori, still very young on the platform. On September 18, while she is broadcasting a part of the survival game Mad Father lives, her discussion thread is carried away and indicates that some Internet users are leaving her tips of up to $ 100.
"Within half an hour, at least $ 10,000 poured in, the pace only increasing as viewers struggled to donate," Polygon said. The more Mori protested, the more there was."
If Calliope is not real, her audience is indeed, just like the desire to put your hand in your pocket to reward its content.
A real business
According to the media specialist in the world of gaming, the use of these virtual avatars dates back to the early 2010s, the first known example is generally attributed to the British vlogger Ami Yamato, who launched her YouTube channel in 2011. In Japan, it is rather the manga aesthetic that prevails with the example of the very popular Kizuna AI and its 3 million subscribers.
Since its creation in 2016, several Japanese companies like Hololive and Nijisanji have embarked on the production of virtual idols. Faced with growing and more international demand, the Hololive studio has even announced the launch of its first team of English-language streamers, including a blonde detective capable of traveling in time and a mysterious octopus woman ...
In the United States, the trend is growing, so much so that it is already asking questions about intellectual property. Yet active on Twitch since 2019, the 3D avatar Melody, aka Projekt Melody, received a copyright infringement complaint last month.The reason? The artist who designed his body believes that it belongs to him. What complicates a little more the monetization options of streamers, "real" or "virtual", and their beneficiaries.
The original article was written by Margaux Dussert and published on the L'ADN website.