Why check the video streams are big business

VS Media

A woman puts the chicken in a bowl, another of the twists, her hair and pouts, one more chew on the noodles. Sometimes nod off.

Welcome to the world of mobile live streaming in Asia, where the video feeds provide a window into a world you’re probably not very interested.

But it is a great business. Companies are hunting to cash in on hundreds of millions of young people, to socialize, documenting their life via your smartphone.

Asia is particularly profitable, thanks to its huge population of young people, who outspend the rest of the world on in-app purchases. Last year, the China live streaming market alone was said to be worth about $5 billion (£3.8 billion).

Kenneth Tan, chief executive of Believe, Singapore streaming site launched this year, says the execution of mundane tasks for an online audience is the way in which the young users to connect.

“It’s like when someone is with you while you do something,” says 150,000 or so users of the platform, “Is chilling and hanging out.”

While the nature of the streaming content varies, sites like BeLive and its biggest rival Bigo Live – with about 150 million people, mostly Asian users appear to be dominated by young people, broadcasting their day.

BeLive & Bigo Live

“I am very narcissistic. It’s really strange…people fall asleep,” says Bigo Live spokesperson Cherylene See, adding that viewers tend to fall away if the person they are assisting to drift off.

“There is room for improvement in what can be transmitted,” he says. Talent show

Not all water courses are trivial. Both i BeLive and Bigo Live, along with many other platforms in Asia, are well served by the musicians, entertainers, and lifestyle bloggers.

Among them is Jason Lee Byung Jun, a 21-year-old classical music student from Singapore. One of Believe most popular streamers, Mr. Jun has evolved from singing covers to hosting a weekly music, entertainment, Performing Robin, with local artists on his stream.

He is a natural in front of the camera, drawn to the live stream for the “real-time interaction”.

“I am a person spontaneous. The public can get an immediate response and instant reactions to what they comment on-screen,” he says.

Bigo Live

Specialized streaming platforms in Asia aim to distinguish itself from YouTube-style channels you want to add interactive features such as live-call and the virtual, the expenditure for the feeding of a need for immediate connection.

“Most users of YouTube do not have the opportunity to meet the star, or interact with them. We are 24/7, showing all of these viewers what life is like on the screen and also behind the scenes,” he says BeLive streamer Mr Jun.

It is a sentiment shared by 25 years, Charis Koh, who has started the streaming of “on-the-go”, through the Bigo Live a couple of months ago.

“People will stop my stream, say hello, and after a while you become friends,” she says. The potential in Asia

There are many reasons why live streaming in Asia and China in particular – has taken off. In the first place, the majority of young people lives in the region. About 717 million people aged 15 to 24 years living in Asia – Pacific – or the 60% of the world’s adolescents – according to the UN.

Asia is also home to more than half of the world’s mobile users – especially in China and India – the mobile trade group GSMA said.

And spend more money.

Mobile analytics consulting Appsflyer found that in 2016, the global average spent $0.50 for each app that has provided the purchase of options. From region to region, with Asian users spent more than $0.70. The europeans spent just $ 0.26.

That the tendency to spend supports a part of the way of streaming platforms to monetize, enabling viewers to pay for virtual coins which are used as currency on the platform. Viewers send these virtual gifts to a tape, that – once the platform takes a cut – can cash them in.

Still, for Singapore, the Believe, the level of virtual shopping remains rather low. Chief executive officer Mr. Tan tells me that in the course of a period of 90 days, most users spend $4.

But in China, according to tech consultancy IDC research has a live streaming base of about 300 million euros, the industry is more professional and top streamers can draw a salary from the pastime.

Some seek to grow their audience and bank balance could look to join a talent agency as a VS Media, which represents about 1,000 of the more Chinese “content creators”.

The company offers streamers, which for the most part broadcast lifestyle content, access to production facilities and an in-house study, resulting in a waterproof product to other matters, streaming applications.

VS Media

Here’s how to make money: The company has revenue sharing agreements with platforms such as YouTube, or the Chinese Tencent. In the case of YouTube, you pay 55% of the revenues achieved for the VS Media, and of that amount between the 50% and 90% is paid to the content creator.

Chief executive Ivy Wong says that monetises flows in other ways, such as the production of content, or through product placement – extract more dollars out of its stable of talent. Traffic problems

Still, while many streaming platforms have cropped up in China, some start-ups that have struggled to find an audience.

American gaming entrepreneur Jared Psigoda, who has worked in China for the past decade, set its streaming service Livestar in 2016. Says a rush of new mobile services hit the scene in recent years, but many without an established audience base faltered, burdened by the need to pay huge funds on advertising to attract users.

The successful projects were those related to the established social media platforms such as Weibo and MoMo, who has made about $300 million of revenue in live video from just, according to its most recent quarterly results. Singapore Bigo Live is supported by the social media giant AA and expects $300 m in annual sales this year.


“It’s very difficult to make money,” says Mr. Psigoda, who also runs the Chinese listed firm R2Games. “It is more difficult than I thought it would be the beginning.”

In an attempt to compete has added new features to the Livestar platform, including a Facebook-style news feed for sharing images, and group chat. And despite the difficulties, he is excited about the potential and plans to stick with the live streaming.

“It’s fascinating, a lot of people are meeting through the application and taking those relationships offline. We’ve had people get engaged through our app,” the 31-year-old says.

“Live streaming is a fantastic way for people to connect,” he adds.