Jingle Jam

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Jingle Jam

Jake Dailey, Website Editor

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Every year for the entire month of December, an entertainment company called The Yogscast, streams on the platform Twitch, raising money for various charities which receive 100% of the proceeds. For the 2018 Jingle Jam, they raised over $3,000,000.

The Yogscast was started on July 8th, 2008 by Lewis Brindley and his friend Simon Lane, and has since grown into one of the United Kingdom’s biggest gaming channels on YouTube. They are based in Bristol, and have grown from their small start to a moderately sized company, as well as branching out into game publishing and managing their own multi-channel network. Even though the monetization of YouTube has all but gone in recent years due to its commercialization deeming non PG content almost completely unmonetizable, they have continued to use the platform full time, as well as using Twitch which supplements most of their income. The company peaked in 2012 and 2013 with its most popular videos receiving millions of views each, being the 4th most subscribed channel in January of 2012 and being the first channel in the United Kingdom to reach 1 billion views. The channel was originally producing content about the MMO game Warcraft, but its most popular content became their Minecraft videos as they branched out in 2011. Undeterred by the channel slumping in recent years, the Yogscast still push on with their dedicated fan base on YouTube being around 250,000 for the month of December. While YouTube is still a focus of theirs, they are mostly popular now for their live streams on Twitch.

Twitch.tv was a platform which was launched on June 6th, 2011, as a gaming focused spinoff of the general streaming platform Justin.tv. The platform went viral in 2014 with a stream that allowed viewers to input commands into the game Pokémon Red, with 60-70,000 viewers at any given time and 10% participating. The company grew big enough to attract the attention of Google, whose interest in acquiring twitch was first published in May of 2014 by Variety. Twitch has since grown quite large, being one of the most popular sites consumed by residents of the United States, and being acquired by amazon for $970 million dollars, after the deal with google fell through according to many sources.
The Yogscast have streamed every year during December for charities, an idea which began due to fans sending presents during the season, as well as money, which Brindley and Lane then, instead, insisted that it be donated to charity. Their first stream was started in 2011 with a goal to raise £60,000 through the fundraising portal JustGiving, for Oxfam’s Give a Goat program, to send goats to impoverished families. The stream exceeded its goal, reaching $102,987, and was named JustGiving’s most popular fundraiser of 2012. In December of 2012, the Yogscast again streamed, this time dubbed Honeydew’s Honey Drive (the in game of alias of Lane being Honeydew) with a goal of £60,000 again, and promising that Brindley would dress up in a female bee costume should the goal be reached. The goal was reached, and then some, totaling $387,934, yet again awarding the company the Most Popular Fundraiser, now for 2013. In December of 2013, the Yogscast partnered with HumbleBundle to now award games to those who donated, based on the amount they donated, paying $35 rewarded the donator with all of the available games in the bundle. Donations for this year were also different, as Oxfam was no longer the sole receiver; notable charities added on included GamesAid, Little People UK, Special Effect, and War Child. This new addition helped the Yogscast yet again top their previous record, this time raising $1,159,746.33. In 2014, the charity stream was renamed to the Yogscast Jingle Jam and featured the charities End Polio Now, Fauna and Flora International, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, and Special Effect. That year, donations totaled $1,104,882, with a total of 40,277 donations. In 2015 they continued with the title Jingle Jam and had the charities Cancer Research UK, Doctors Without Borders, GamesAid, Fauna and Flora International, Mental Health foundation, Oxfam, and Special Effect. Totaling slightly less than the previous year they had accumulated $1,052,881 from 40,201 donations. This year was noteworthy for its inclusion of YouTube personalities such as Adam Montoya (“SeaNanners”), Jordan Maron (“Captain Sparklez”), and Toby Turner (“Tobuscus”). The following year, 2016 saw the addition of a list of thousands of charities which donators could pick to donate to. Breaking their previous record and raising $2,577,801 from 86,578 donations by the end of the month, with the most notable charities being Cancer Research UK, GamesAid, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association, Mental Health Foundation, Special Effect, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. The Yogscast steamed ahead with 2017 being their biggest to date, raising $500,000 the first hour of the stream being live, $1,000.00 by the end of the first day, and surpassing their 2016 record within the week. This stream peaked with 60,400 viewers within the first week, and having a total of 2.5 million views of their over 700 hours of broadcasts. Totaling 6.8 million viewer-hours, or 779 viewer years watched, it made the Yogscast the most viewed channel for the month of December on Twitch. Raising a grand total of $5,245,772 from 148,853 donations, to notable charities such as Cancer Research UK, International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association, Mental Health Foundation, Special Effect, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. While not breaking any of their previous records the following year in 2018, they were the most watched channel on Twitch for the month of December, featuring more variety streams, with the biggest one being a collaboration with The Great British Bake Off  contestant Briony Williams. At the end of the month, they had raised $3.3 million for charity from 88,139 donations, with the headliners being Cancer Research UK, Call of Duty Endowment, Internation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Mental Health Foundation, Special Effect, Save the Children, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. As of January of 2019 they have raised $14.9 million in total donations. This all has gone to charities with the Yogscast receiving anything from the donations, and even donating their regular payments from Twitch for the month to the charities of their choice.

It is always a fun time, and entertains millions while giving it to those who need it.