NAIAD

NAIAD

Harry Levin

7 min read

Two Twitch Streamers Raise $40K in 70 Hours For Planned Parenthood

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it’s no surprise that NAIAD’s feelings were running wild.

She was stuck at home with COVID so her existential dread was grinding against bodily illness. She couldn’t march. She couldn’t support the women in her life. She was alone in bed feeling helplessness, rage, sadness.

At the mercy of her emotions, but not for long. As a victim of sexual violence herself, her thoughts soon shifted to other women who shared that painful experience.

“The thought of women going through that and not having autonomy over their own bodies—I had to do something,” NAIAD says. “It just popped into my head that I have a platform. I have friends. I have people who have voices.”

NAIAD’s platform is on Twitch, and through it she raised thousands of dollars for Planned Parenthood in one weekend, but more importantly she demonstrated the power one person has to make a difference, and she found the power of her own voice.

NAIAD is a DJ and producer based in Los Angeles who continues to regularly stream on Twitch alongside playing IRL gigs. Before starting her own channel she DJ’d on channels like Desert Hearts TV and was hugely impressed by the community she saw.

She started her own channel and fostered a community on the platform she never could have anticipated. One that’s helped her expand her own career as a DJ by getting her IRL gigs and meeting other DJs. Her Twitch community is also a reflection of who she is in her heart.

“Your community grows and evolves with you,” NAIAD says. “That’s why people stick around. It’s not necessarily the music or the game, they want to hang out with who they met and the community that’s been built around that personality.”

Some streamers create an alter-ego that is snarky or silent for their Twitch channel, but NAIAD’s personality is one that outpours love to her community of nearly 5,000 followers.

This community includes regular viewers who tune in from around the world to hang out with her and listen to tunes, but also moderators who volunteer their time to ensure her stream runs as efficiently as possible so she can focus on DJing. Not to mention her fellow streamers, some of whom have become dear friends even though they’ve only communicated online.

So when NAIAD felt the urge to do something in the face of Roe being overturned, she didn’t know what to do, but she knew who to reach out to.

“I didn’t have a clear vision of what I was putting together yet. I just needed action, and it became really clear that I was not the only one,” she says.

One of those people who also needed action is Mable, a fellow streamer and one of NAIAD’s friends who she has yet to see in-person.

Mable has been streaming since April 28, 2021. She never even DJ'd before starting streaming, and her experience on the platform started at what she calls her rock bottom.

On top of the pandemic, she’d just been let go from her job and she was dealing with major health issues that made it hard to move her body at all.

Twitch is what turned things around for her. Mable started attending the Zoom parties in the early days of the pandemic to dance and help her heal emotionally and physically.

Then the live electronic duo SOFI TUKKER made an appearance at a Zoom party hosted by a collective called Day Breakers. Mable followed SOFI TUKKER to their own daily Twitch streams.

“They were helping me move my body again, start to exercise and feel less helpless with my health issues. It was also at the same time that I was looking for a new direction in life and looking for a new career. There was just something that clicked when I watched them on Twitch,” says Mable dialing in from her home in Upstate New York. “I really liked the creative freedom they had. Something about DJing and transitions just made sense to me.”

Mable first connected with NAIAD a few months after she started streaming looking for advice on how to take her Twitch channel to the next level and begin earning some real money.

NAIAD already had a solid community around her, of which Mable was a part. So she reached out to NAIAD for advice via Instagram message. In return, NAIAD video-called Mable in an instant, and on top of solidifying their friendship, NAIAD provided two key pieces of advice for success on Twitch:

Longer streams and a consistent schedule from day one. Which Mable then implemented on her own channel.

“That’s when it went from feeling like viewers from random places all being together to feeling like unity,” Mable says.

These two tenants allow both NAIAD and Mable to treat Twitch like a career. Both of them stream between 12 and 18 hours per week, every week, following a specific schedule that works for their chosen genres. NAIAD plays a lot of melodic and progressive sounds while Mable goes into more funky and tech house (but they both switch it up all the time, too cause Twitch affords them that freedom.

They also study analytics to know when the specific genres they play earn the most money. For example, NAIAD wakes up at 5:30 am on Mondays because her melodic house and techno style does really well at that hour.

About a month after her call with NAIAD, following her schedule consistently, Mable went from earning approximately $300 a month to making a few thousand dollars a month, but both are sure to note that it takes consistent work to reach a solid place in terms of income from Twitch.

“It’s a hustle,” NAIAD says. “You might have a somewhat consistent average per month that you can count on once you get ramped up, but at the end of the day until you have established yourself—once you start making money don’t quit your day thing quite yet.”

“It’s truly an unstable form of income,” Mable says. “It’s all donation-based. One week can do really well for me and then the next week can be a really big drop off.”

Mable is now a Twitch partner, a Community Manager on LP Giobbi’s Femme House Twitch channel, and has an affluent community of her own, which is why NAIAD recognized that Mable was a natural choice to partner with her on what would become their charity stream called Your Body, Our Voice in support of Planned Parenhood.

NAIAD and Mable were originally hoping ten other streamers with similar-sized communities would participate. 28 different streamers ended up coming on board from the US, Canada, Japan, and other countries.

“It expanded from a one-day thing into a three-day thing,” NAIAD says. “We just had so many people going ‘I hear you’re doing this. Can I be a part of it?’”

The Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade on Friday, June 24. NAIAD started reaching out to people to participate in the stream on Monday, June 27.

By that Tuesday, June 28, the stream turned into three days, and by midnight that Wednesday, June 29, she and Mable finished the visual assets to send to all the DJs before the stream started two hours later.

NAIAD and Mable’s original goal for the 70 hour stream that started on June 30, was to raise $1,500. In the end they had raised $40,111.11.

But more than the money, the two of them recall the stream as being incredibly cathartic and supportive for all involved.

NAIAD and Mable watched all 28 broadcasts across the 72 hours in shifts to demonstrate how important it was to them as hosts. But they also stuck around because they didn’t want to miss any of it, and their communities followed them from stream to stream.

It became a safe space for the community to share their deepest thoughts and feelings about the Roe ruling or anything else on their minds. Viewers were bonding, some were even offering to bake or knit things for people who donated.

“It’s the most fulfilling I’ve ever done in my life,” Mable says. “It showed us the power of Twitch…”

“I think it showed us the power of our voices,” NAIAD says, finishing the thought. “For the first time in my life I am not afraid to use my voice publicly. This is the first time in my life that I want to actually fight.”

And NAIAD and Mable will continue to fight, on Twitch and beyond. They are already ideating a second charity stream that will be happening soon, and they don’t intend for their charitable activities to end there either.

Your Body, Our Voice showed NAIAD and Mable the strength of their communities, it shifted their careers in a more philanthropic direction, and it gave them even more faith in themselves as individuals, and it all started on Twitch.