The Mexican government’s press conference from the Palacio Nacional on Wednesday looked like it was part of a late-night comedy skit. Standing behind a podium with the government seal, an official proudly announced that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had been named the top streamer in Mexico in the first quarter of 2023. The announcement wasn’t a joke, though.
López Obrador shocked the streaming world this week when he suddenly popped up in sixth place on a list of the top 10 list for the most-watched Hispanic streamers for the first quarter of 2023. With 13.2 million hours watched on his YouTube channel, according to streaming data provider Streams Charts, López Obrador beat out Mexican Twitch megastar ElMariana (who ranked eighth with 9.43 million hours watched), Colombian Twitch streamer Juan Guarnizo (ranked ninth with 9.18 million hours watched), and Spanish streamer elxokas (ranked tenth with 8.57 million hours watched). He was the only politician who earned a place in Streams Charts rankings, and he wants you to know it.
During the government’s Wednesday morning press conference, Mexican government official Elizabeth García Vilchis spoke excitedly about López Obrador’s new streaming credentials and projected the Streams Charts rankings, circling the president’s channel for those watching in-person and online.
The Mexican president’s YouTube channel has 3.72 million subscribers and has become very active in recent months. It livestreams the government’s daily morning press conferences as well as López Obrador’s activities and policy updates. In the first quarter of the year, the Mexican president’s channel live streamed for 208 hours and 10 minutes.
“We’re so proud to see that so many Mexicans are experiencing success on social media, including Juan Guarnizo [Guarnizo is Colombian but resides in Monterrey, Mexico], ElMariana, and of course, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” García Vilchis said.
The other top Spanish-speaking streamers of the first quarter, none of whom presides over a country, appeared to be both flabbergasted and amused that López Obrador was being considered a top streamer. Spanish Twitch streamer Ibai Llanos, one of most famous Spanish-speaking streamers who ranked first on the top 10 list with 21.48 million hours watched, on Tuesday responded to Streams Charts on Twitter and expressed his disbelief over the Mexican president’s ranking.
He later suggested that López Obrador could win an award for his streaming prowess. “If the Mexican president wins an ESLAND award someone’s going to have to explain it to me,” Llanos tweeted on Wednesday, referring to the biggest streamer awards for the Spanish-speaking community hosted by TheGrefg.
El Rubius, who was ranked seventh after López Obrador with 9.70 million hours watched, also responded to the Mexican president’s ranking on Wednesday. The streamer referred to López Obrador by his nickname, AMLO.
“I knew that going to Japan for a month was going to cost me, but I didn’t know it would be so much,” Rubius said on Twitter.
Nazar Babenko, a product manager for Streams Charts, told Gizmodo in an email on Thursday that while López Obrador’s appearance in the rankings was unique, it wasn’t the first time a politician had infiltrated streamer territory. Babenko explained that in October 2020, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York made headlines when she streamed herself while playing Among Us. Nearly 439,000 people watched Ocasio-Cortez’s stream simultaneously, and she currently holds the record for the female streamer with the highest peak number of viewers.
The Streams Charts product manager also highlighted the YouTube channel of Indian President Droupadi Murmu, which topped the charts of most popular YouTube Live channels at the end of January. On Jan. 26, Murmu’s live broadcast of the military parade for Republic Day, a national holiday that celebrates the enactment of the Indian constitution, drew more than 242,600 simultaneous viewers.
Babenko said that although Streams Charts ratings had always been very popular, the platform never expected a response like this. He added that streaming gives politicians an opportunity to be closer to their voters, and that they should have fun.
“I would like to see more game streams rather than news info broadcasts. Just imagine if the president of the country is playing Fortnite with top streamers?” the product manager stated. “Or if he [was watching] another season of the Kings League? I’m sure politicians will come around in the future, as it opens up new opportunities to interact with audiences between 18 and 34 years old.”