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German grandma proves hit with YouTube bedtime tales

A German retiree and her grandson have gathered over 115,000 subscribers with their videos of fairytale readings. The "Jam Grandma" says she wants to provide comfort - and to keep fairytales alive.

Helga Sofia Josefa defies expectations of what an internet star looks like: the German grandmother has found fame on live-streaming service Twitch and the video platform YouTube.

Every Saturday, the retiree reads from classic stories requested by viewers, such as Snow White or Hansel and Gretel, on Twitch, a video streaming platform usually popular among video game aficionados, who watch others play their favorite games and explain their tricks.

Josefa, whose online alias is "MarmeladenOma" ("Jam Grandma"), provides viewers with slow-paced entertainment with a nostalgic charm.

In a recent interview with German TV show "heute," Josefa said that many people wrote her to say that her videos calmed them down and could even help them drop off to sleep. "That's our intention. And also that these fairytales aren't lost," she said. 

The 85-year old's YouTube channel counts 115,000 subscribers; her videos have over 3 million views. But Josefa does not use the term follower in her videos - instead, she refers to her loyal followers as her "grandchildren."

One of her actual grandchildren - teenager Janik - came up with the idea for the "MarmeladenOma" channel and runs the channel with his grandmother. Their first videos only had a few hundred viewers, but then popular German video game livestreamer Gronkh noticed. When the blogger introduced Josefa to his 640,000 followers in a video, the popularity of her videos exploded, reaching at times hundreds of thousands of views per video.

In early March, Helga and Janik were nominated for the German web video award for the best livestream. Whether they will take the award home will be decided at a ceremony on June 1.

mb/rc

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