STREAMING SMALL SHARED SPACES: EXPLORING THE CONNECTEDNESS OF THE PHYSICAL SPACES OF MICROSTREAMERS AND THEIR AUDIENCE
Keywords:streaming, livestreaming, streaming culture, streaming practices
AbstractThis paper examines how microstreamers either intentionally or unintentionally share their intimate physical spaces with audiences. While most streaming research focuses on larger and/or monetized professional streamers, there is emerging research on ‘microstreaming’—streams whose audiences are often as low as single digits—and their importance as smaller, more intimate spaces. Given their casual nature, microstreamers are much less likely to have invested in professional level equipment, or to have dedicated streaming-specific areas of their homes. Some scholars have argued that streaming from intimate spaces such as bedrooms can be considered performative, yet our current research questions the broad applicability of such findings, especially with respect to microstreamers. One way to understand these shared spaces is through the lens of place. Streaming represents an event in which the barriers around the “first place” are intentionally removed, and spectatorship invited. Professional streamers navigate this knowingly and intentionally whereas microstreamers may not – the shared spaces of microstreamers can be understood as an unintentional “leaking” of one’s privately held backstage, made available for consumption by unknown others. In our observations of microstreamers, we note that 1) their environments are multi-purpose, unstaged, and shared with others, 2) these others often interrupt or modify the content of the stream in ways that leverage the space in generating increased authenticity, and 3) these streamers mimic more professionalized streams in amateur ways that again produce a sense of realism and endearment. These elements coalesce to provide a unique sense of authenticity and charm to microstreamer content.
How to Cite
Phelps, A., Consalvo, M., Bowman, N., & Smyth, S. (2021). STREAMING SMALL SHARED SPACES: EXPLORING THE CONNECTEDNESS OF THE PHYSICAL SPACES OF MICROSTREAMERS AND THEIR AUDIENCE. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12224