YouTube Briefly Suspends Game Livestreamer Ludwig Ahgren for Copyright Violation, a Day After His Exclusive Deal With the Platform Kicked Off

Ludwig Ahgren - YouTube suspension
via YouTube

UPDATED: Ludwig Ahgren, an esports commentator and pro gamer who had amassed a large following on Twitch, inked an exclusive livestreaming deal with YouTube Gaming that commenced Dec. 1.

Then, on Dec. 2, YouTube abruptly suspended Ludwig’s livestream.

The YouTube block came Thursday in the middle of his second exclusive broadcast on the platform — displaying a notice that the content violated YouTube’s policies. Ludwig immediately stopped the livestream.

After YouTube suspended his livestream Thursday, Ludwig tweeted a screenshot of the “Stream unavailable” message and commented wryly, “you could say the switch has been going well…”

In a video he posted on YouTube shortly afterward, Ludwig — clearly amused — said YouTube’s suspension kicked in as he was reviewing 50 of the most popular “vintage” videos on the service. According to Ludwig, YouTube’s Content ID copyright system evidently triggered the ban on his livestream when he played a few seconds of Pinkfong’s viral hit “Baby Shark Dance,” the No. 1 most-viewed video on YouTube (with 9.77 billion views and counting).

“I am pretty sure the corporate overlords who own Baby Shark have, like, an iron fist on YouTube. And so they took me down,” Ludwig chuckled. “Apparently DMCA is going to be a little bit more of a concern than I thought,” he said, referring to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which lets copyright owners take down videos that infringe their content.

“If anyone from YouTube’s watching this — hey, I’ll be good from now on. This is like a one-time thing,” Ludwig said, adding that he expects to resume his YouTube livestreams on Saturday (Dec. 4).

Unbeknownst to Ludwig — who in YouTube lingo is a relative “NewTuber,” unfamiliar with all the platform’s nuances — the duration of YouTube’s suspension would have lasted only as long as the copyrighted material was detected. In other words, if he had stopped playing “Baby Shark Dance,” the livestream would have resumed. According to YouTube, he did not receive a “strike” or any other penalty for the infraction. (Ludwig, for what it’s worth, has vowed to never play “Baby Shark Dance” again.)

Asked for comment, a YouTube rep pointed to Ludwig’s video about the livestream suspension.

Ludwig began streaming full-time on Twitch on Feb. 16, 2019, and became one of the biggest streamers on the platform with 3.1 million followers. This spring, he famously hosted a 51-day “subathon” event — to urge people to pay to subscribe to his Twitch channel — and he wound up setting the record as most-subscribed Twitch streamer with a peak of 283,066 on April 13.

On YouTube, Ludwig currently has 2.18 million subscribers for his channel. In addition to livestreaming gaming content, Ludwig also hosts game shows, competitions, a podcast, and more across his various channels. Ludwig is also known for his work as an esports commentator at various Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments.

In a statement issued earlier this week about his move to livestream on YouTube Gaming exclusively, Ludwig said, “Growing my YouTube presence has been a focus of mine since I started streaming, and I’m excited to bring everything under one roof now. I want to continue making dope content and I think YouTube Gaming is the best place to do that.”