Michelle Phan, Ryan Higa, The Ming Thing and Tree Potatoes. Don’t know these names? Well fix that, because this is Generation Youtube, and the celebrities it has created are a big deal.
Furthermore, in the last year or so, in order to keep up to users’ expectations, live streaming video is becoming increasingly important, with 2017 forecasting an even greater growth in live video streaming.
One of the main drivers of this tremendous growth is mobile video, with companies like Ericsson predicting mobile video traffic to grow by around 50 per cent annually through 2022. This is hardly surprising, as live video streaming mobile applications are making it easier for anyone to become a broadcaster. Snapchat is king of the West, but in Asia, China is seeing entire industry flourish.
Recognising that the future of interactive online entertainment lies in live video, the Asian mobile social company Asia Innovation Group (AIG) and its newly acquired subsidiary BIG CAT are launching a new live video initiative in Southeast Asia.
Named UpLive, the mobile live-streaming video app is officially launching in Vietnam after finding success in Taiwan, Japan and the Middle East.
The two companies are addressing different aspects of the live video ecosystem. As an entertainment company AIG has the distribution network, while BIG CAT specialises in content creation.
The two companies believe BIG CAT can address a major challenge of live streaming, which is streaming high quality content. Anyone can point a phone to their face and talk about politics, but the videos that really take off require care and thought; something BIG CAT has a history of accomplishing with its popular Youtube channels (they have topped over 1 billion views).
Already the fastest growing live video app in Taiwan, Japan and the Middle East, UpLive addresses one of the challenges of live streaming video, which is high-quality content. UpLive has become popular because of its highly curated broadcasting model, assuring viewers of the best quality.
Furthermore, the UpLive model plans to have an offline component, allowing the audience to directly participate in shows. UpLive will now give BIG CAT an interactive platform for its roster of online stars as well as a more direct connection to the fans.
As for long-term growth of the live video ecosystem, AIG and BIG CAT are also addressing the discovery of new content producers, through the launch of the first online star academy in Southeast Asia, called A.T.I.S. (A Talent International School), and the first online casting call in the region, starting with Vietnam.
A.T.I.S. will allow potential talent to network with BIG CAT’s team of instructors, celebrities to help guide the trainees. In an interesting strategy, the team will use the virtual gift based revenue model to help trainees learn in front of a live audience and generate some income.
Get a hair cut. Go on a run and put on that fancy outfit, because AIG and BIG Cat are announcing an online casting call in Southeast Asia (starting in Vietnam).
People interested in seeing if they have what it takes can show their skills via live casting on UpLive. BIG CAT professionals and selected superfans will be able to see the audition and from there will invite the finalists to Ho Chi Minh City for a final, in person, audition.
After that, who knows, red carpets maybe?