Gone were the days of text messages when we all relied upon to convey. Now, it’s the turn of a new age technology called Live Streaming where users can share real time messages in video format. With growing internet penetration it has the potential to be a game changer. LiveMe, a live broadcasting app and streaming platform by Cheetah Mobile, is trying its fate with the same in India. Johnny Wu, Regional Director for the Indian and European market at LiveMe interacted with My Mobile on this venture.
The real-time content sharing can also be done over Facebook and Twitter which have much larger base. What makes people be active on LiveMe? How is it different from the major live streaming players?
LiveMe is a live entertainment platform. What makes us different from other major players in live streaming is our approach towards providing platform to talented artists to perform. Our top most rated artist also gets opportunity to host our live shows and earn a good amount. We encourage our artists to set up their career with us or in their field.
What are the precautionary measures LiveMe incorporate to stop nudity, fake content and pornography?
For apps like LiveMe that is open for user based content, has a huge responsibility regarding the kind of content on the app. We are focusing on the sensitive issue of cyber-security and to ensure the safety we use algorithms to screen profile names and photos and manual screening of content posted to the app. With a help of a big team based out of Delhi, that is dedicated to monitor the content uploaded and control quality of content on the app. We identify the sensitive Indian keywords in both English and Hindi that would block and report users posting unsavory content. We keep on doing campaigns on our social media, where our registered hosts block the users using app for incorrect trading by creating their video.
Has India emerged as the potential market for LiveMe and what are the reasons for it?
India is the second biggest market for LiveMe after the US. We are quite popular among millennials from metros and non-metros receiving 80% of users from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The increased per capita spending on digital entertainment in the Indian market signifies enormous potential for the development of the live-streaming industry. The top most cities from where we receive traction are Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Surat, Lucknow and Jaipur. We are excited about the possibilities that the Indian market holds. Primarily we are targeting the demography of active online users between 16-34 years.
The network bandwidth could be a problem for LiveMe in India. How will you address it?
The average internet speed in India is much lower than that in most developed countries but, in recent past with easy availability of smart phones, Wi-Fi and technology this is expected to improve. A linear relationship between the internet speeds and video consumption is observed across the countries. In India, an increase in the internet speed is bound to increase the video traffic in India. We are also focusing on building our technology team to improve the quality of videos.
Why people are shifting from text messaging to gif and now live streaming?
With growing digital age and easy availability of smart phones people have shifted from text messages to gif and now live streaming. Text messages on provides information but the expression or content is lost. Live streaming allows one to watch the news, shows or talk to a person ‘live’. One can comment or response ‘live’ and thus there is less chances of the message and content being distorted. The internet has also been made available at a reasonable cost thus making live streaming a better option of communication.
How do you see the growth and popularity of Live streaming apps in India?
On-demand entertainment services led by audio and video content are at the cusp of inflection point in India. Though the traction towards both on-demand download and streaming of the content has just started, a very promising supply side ecosystem is evolving for streaming with multiple players launching their digital streaming platforms. Therefore, with the faster growing internet penetration and access to multimedia devices, more and more time is being spent on consuming digital videos.
What are the reasons which attract millennial to live streaming platforms?
In line with global trends, the Indian consumer is increasingly consuming the content on live streaming platforms. This trend is observed for all type of content including news (text), music (audio), or video. Increasing internet penetration and mobile device proliferation and convenience of consuming the content anytime, anywhere are the key drivers for this trend.
What type of content do Indian masses prefer and how is it different from other countries?
Indian consumer prefers both long form as well as short form videos online. Within content categories movie is the most preferred, irrespective of age, gender, and region and enjoys a high willingness to pay even subscription fees. Moreover, fresh video content especially, recent movies enjoy a premium over other content. While Indian women prefer music videos as their second option, men are mostly inclined towards sports and games.
Some of the niche video content categories within infotainment were found to be preferred across age, gender, and regions in India. Being a large and diversified country in terms of demographics and languages, India has specific regional demand for localized content. A few content categories like Hindi TV programs, Reality TV, Travel, Fashion, and Cookery are preferred more by women as compared to men.
Cash is also an attractant in case of LiveMe and few more platforms like this. Is it a viable option to go for the long run or its just promotional and for the time being?
Users have shown willingness to pay for premium services / content and convenience to use that make better value proposition for them. Players are coming up with hybrid models that provide access to large content catalogue for free and some of the premium content and services are provided only to subscription users. The traction generated by free content is monetized through ad supported models while subscription fees are levied for premium services.