Despite the furious hurricane of live streaming tools that has swept the digital realm over the last few years, the live video space has seen few players claim their share of the market. Most applications have risen and sunk at much the same pace and there has only been a handful of live streaming platforms that have really stood out. The narrative for live broadcasting has largely been re-written by one prime player in the recent past; one who has capitalised on the digital youth movement in a big way. Live.me, a live video streaming platform built to envelop moments throughout the day has given rise to a brand-new communication paradigm for Gen Z. Its members use the live streaming software to broadcast life on the go, a far cry from conventional social media platforms geared towards chronicling special moments and memories. Live.me is a sharing tool that thrives on the essence of community.
What is Live.me?
Live.me is a live broadcasting platform that allows users to monetize live streams. The live streaming platform works in a gift economy where followers of a live stream can buy virtual gifts for stream owners as gestures of appreciation and acknowledgment. The philosophy behind this is that virtual gifts bought with money go above and beyond generic hearts and thumbs-ups. Live.me has also installed a new differential emolument feature that enables handpicked broadcasters to sell products in live streams. In the future, this feature will be extended to a greater set of streamers. Live.me works on a bilateral gift-giving model. While viewers can gift broadcasters virtual gifts, broadcasters can in turn hand out virtual coins to select viewers. The platform’s success has been largely attributed to the fact that it is not gated. Anyone can join the community, garner followers through live streams and earn on the go. Broadcasters with large followings are generating significant revenue from the live streaming platform. While Live.me has gained prominence in the digital entertainment arena, the advent of turnkey technologies has sparked myriad creative platforms. StreamNow, a superior framework developed by Streamhash, is one such example. The technology allows entrepreneurs to set up live streams quickly and economically.
Let’s Take an Example
Live.me is one of the most interactive forms of live streaming there is. Here are a few examples of communication sequences that broadcasters may favor on the platform:
Picking a random viewer for a live interaction when views touch 1,000
Promising a virtual coin drop if likes touch 100,000 within ten minutes
Promising a favor to whoever sends the highest virtual gift domination
Committing to perform, sing or dance if a certain number of viewers capture and share a stream on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook
What Technology Powers Live.me?
What Is Live.me’s Monetization Model?
Being just over a year old, live.me has seen exponential growth since its inception. While the live streaming platform spins a margin off virtual gifts within its economy, it is continually exploring new monetization models.
How Can I Build My Own Live.me?
Despite being a business rooted in China, Live.me’s largest market in North America, where twenty-somethings have taken a special shine to the application. This goes to show that a business model can be tailored to suit a specific geographic audience. In Live.me’s case, its makers have gone to great lengths to replicate trends from China in the American market. Regionalisation has worked wonders here. Live.me has also leaned heavily on influencer-led marketing, a trend worth emulating. Celebrities like Roman Atwood and Collins Key have become loyalists of the service, using it exclusively for all their live feeds. Live.me’s noteworthy collaboration with NerdHQ this year was spotlighted on various forums. The live streaming platform supported a fundraising campaign at Comic-Con San Diego where celebrities were interviewed backstage before or after their panels. Virtual gifts sent to celebrities were sent to Operation Smile, an organization supported annually by Nerd HQ. Live.me is a brilliant model to follow if you’re gravitating towards a career in live streaming. Work on a regionalized strategy for your brand and pick one or two key spokespersons who can reinforce your message to your audience. Influencer messaging is a valuable medium to leverage.
Live.me has come a long way since its birth in early 2016. It had become the highest grossing streaming app on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by September 2016, a considerable feat for such a new platform. Live.me is a robust, positive business model to draw inspiration from. To build a similar live streaming platform, pick a stand-out turnkey technology. StreamNow is our top pick. Next, scan trends in your region that you could stitch into your gift economy. Infusing your ecosystem with known, recognized facets can draw users in. With a skillful marketing strategy and a sturdy streaming service, you’re already halfway to the finish line.
What is Netflix?
Netflix is a well known American Entertainment Company. It is a leading company in the field of providing streaming and video on demand services- both online and DVD by mail. On 29th August, 1997, Netflix was founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in California. Though it started its business with DVD sales and Blu-ray rental services, it ventured into vod services in 2007. In 2017, this vod platform explored into the content-producing industry with “House of Cards” being its debut series. Since then, it has released more than 126 original movies and television series under its banner “Netflix Original”.
Netflix has emerged as the largest video on demand platform in the entertainment industry. Streaming on Netflix is available in 190 countries, which clearly shows its wide reach. As of July 2017, Netflix had a whopping subscriber base of 103.95 million worldwide, which includes 51.92 million in the United States only. As of 2016, revenue generated by Netflix is around $8.83 billion, and its net income is at $187 million.
Netflix Business Model:
The highlight of Netflix Business Model is that it categorizes its users based on psychographics and not on demographics.
Users have been segmented into 3 basic groups in terms of psychographics:
Users who are busy and don’t want to go out for movies
Users who love watching movies and rent them to watch
Users who want to save their money and want to have the best
The Netflix Business Model is based on the following points:
- The initial step is to purchase the commercial rights or acquire a license of the streaming content from their original production houses.
- Managing and maintaining a smooth platform which can be used to broadcast the acquired content seamlessly.
- Offering various kinds of attractive offers such as a free one-month subscription to lure new users to join.
- Providing satisfying service to the users so that the new users convert into paid subscribers, and existing users become recurring subscribers.
- Updating the platform with new and exciting content regularly so as to maintain the subscriber base.
How Netflix makes Money:
For the video on demand business, Netflix offers 3 different membership plans for the subscription which is based on streaming quality and screen count for accessing the content concurrently:
Standard Definition Plan: It allows streaming of content in standard definition quality on a single screen at a time.
High Definition Plan: It allows streaming of content in High Definition quality on two screens concurrently.
Ultra-high Definition Plan: It allows streaming of content in Ultra High Definition quality on four screens concurrently.
The subscription fee for these plans varies from country to country.
In the DVD rental services, the membership plans differ by the number of DVDs a subscriber possess during a specific time and number of discs per month. In order to enjoy streaming on high definition Blu-ray discs, in addition to the standard definition, subscribers have to pay additional amount.
Cost incurred by Netflix:
The profit generated by Netflix cannot solely be assessed by considering the membership plans. For that, various expenses incurred by Netflix have to be considered. These are explained below:
In order to achieve a legalized platform for streaming series and movies, Netflix has to invest to acquire license and content which varies for different content.
Content Acquisition Cost:
Content Acquisition is an essential component for vod business in case of Netflix. This involves procuring streaming and DVD content from distributors, studios, and other mediums, which are done through direct purchases, revenue sharing agreements, and license agreements. For delivery of streaming content, Netflix takes the help of its own content delivery network (known as Open Connect) and third party content delivery networks. For delivery of Discs in the United States, there is a network of shipping centers for delivery and returns of DVDs which are also managed by Netflix.
In 2013, Netflix started its own online library of films and television series under the brand name “Netflix Originals”. This strategy not only helped Netflix to promote its own exclusive streaming content but also helped it to evade licensing costs. However, the production cost for the Netflix Originals content requires very high expenditure.
With the emergence and acceptance of vod services, many more video streaming players have joined the bandwagon. This has increased the competition and there are major players as well as new players who are giving Netflix a tough competition, such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc. To get the edge over its competitors, Netflix has to invest a huge amount for its marketing. The marketing cost involves payments to affiliates, expense on advertisements and expense incurred on device partners. Besides that, the company has to also bear the first month expenses for every new subscriber as the first-month subscription is free for new users.
Research and Development Cost:
Research and development sector is an essential sector of any industry, and this is applicable to Netflix also. This department is responsible for determining the growth of an industry in the future. Netflix invests a high amount of money in ‘Netflix Inc. Research and Development’ department. Netflix Inc.’s research and development for the three months ended in Jun. 2017 was $267 million. Its research and development for the trailing twelve months (TTM) ended in Jun. 2017 which was $965 million.
Technology and development Cost:
Netflix has a huge subscriber base of millions and they may stream content on Netflix at the same time, which will increase the traffic on its server. So, in order to provide hassle-free and smooth streaming experience, Netflix has collaboration with many ISPs to reduce the load on its own server, by using the embedded deployments of Open Connect Appliance. The company has to bear heavy costs for the collaboration. Technology and development costs also include expenses involved in designing the application for all the latest devices or updating the application for the existing devices, streaming delivery technology costs, and other infrastructural costs.
General and Administrative Cost
These costs include payroll and other expenses for the corporate personnel. These also include professional and partnership fees related to administration of the company.
Besides the above-mentioned costs, Netflix has to bear other costs such as payment processing fees, the cost for dispatching of discs, and distribution of costs for the streaming content library, etc.
How StreamView can be used to replicate Netflix
Streamview is one of the best movie streaming softwares. With the help of Streamview, one can easily launch a Netflix-like venture. You will get Netflix clone script which will help you in starting your own video streaming site. Streamview will provide you video on demand platform which is highly scalable and can easily be customized as per your needs and requirements. You can modify the UI, add features to the mobile app, and modify its front end and do much more. Apart from this, you will get all the features you are getting from Netflix and the executives will work with you so that you can make all the changes you want in the design, development, hosting, deployment, and maintenance.
Features of StreamView:
Have a look at its amazing features
- Nginx Server: Stremview will convert the HTTP format into RTMP and HLS format for your website, iOS, and Android. This will enable the user to watch the video without waiting for the buffer time. You will feel the difference yourself.
- Upload Videos: You can easily upload unlimited number of videos and can use any channel to do so. Some of the channels supported are Amazon S3 Bucket, YouTube link, Website Link or Normal uploads. Steamview supports all.
- Subscription: You can upload trailers for your videos. Allow users to watch them without any fee but to watch the whole video let them subscribe to your platform or let them pay for it. It is the best way to earn.
- Pay Per View: Some users might not be willing to pay for the whole month as they are surfing other channels as well. So, with Streamview, you can allow them to pay one time for the video. Use the Pay per view feature of Streamview, which you won’t get anywhere else.
- SEO Optimized: Streamview provides the best digital marketing features. You will get all SEO settings which you can set as per your need from the admin panel. It will help you in getting higher ranking in the search results.
- Banner Videos: You can use featured videos on the banners to get more clicks and to make more money. You will get more subscriptions via this feature.
Streamview has some of the amazing features which you won’t get anywhere else. That is the reason it’s getting such a high demand in such a short time. Use it to witness the difference yourself.
If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights on video on demand services. Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about various VOD business models. My best wishes are with you and your video streaming venture. Cheers!
Who knew that a location-based relationship app in China, set up to let millennials find like-minded partners in their vicinity, would eventually end up raking in 80% of its revenue from live streaming? Nobody. But Momo, an app that lets members connect through social posts, live videos, chat windows, personal and video posts, has done just that.
The Momo Growth Story
Momo was started in 2011 in China, with an aim to unite people within the same geography. For instance, if you had the Momo app downloaded onto your phone, and you happened to be in a restaurant, café or park, you would be able to trace people nearby. It is more specific than your average Tinder, because it boasts a unique radius, ensuring that the matches you receive are virtually within walking distance of you. The company has demonstrated tremendous growth since last year, as chronicled in its annual report. Having grown by 524% in the first quarter of last year and then topping it off with an annual revenue hike of 313%, Momo is going places. But Momo hasn’t always had it hunky dory. After its initial wave of popularity way back in early 2015, it witnessed a trough, a trend the company attributed to a slump in smartphone sales and a setback in software updates. It was with the onset of new business initiatives, like the introduction of live streaming software on its platform, that Momo regained its momentum.
The Role of Live Streaming in Momo’s Success
So, we have established that Momo is doing phenomenally well. But what was the turning point for this Chinese homegrown venture? In late 2015, the company added live streaming on its app, a feature that users lapped up from the get go.
Live streaming apps aren’t unusual in China, but it was even more relevant for Momo to integrate the service into its platform because it enabled users to virtually connect with others before arranging a physical meeting. Live streaming has brought in exorbitant revenues for Momo, adding up to $194. 8 million in the third quarter of 2016 alone. Today, live streaming is the largest revenue stream for the company, composing 80% of total revenues.
Many small firms today, are dabbling in live video streaming, thanks to economical platforms such as Streamhash. The good news is that you needn’t overhaul your existing technology stack to introduce live streaming to your platform. You can purchase a readymade framework. Streamhash provides a turnkey technology that lets you do just that. Just plug and play, and you’re ready to go in just two days.
Momo’s Monetisation Model:
Momo has established three primary revenue streams as part of its monetization model:
Momo’s initial revenue approach revolved around paid membership subscriptions. Of course, anybody was free to use the app, but a membership unlocked exclusive benefits such as premium logos, refined search options, offers in the emoticon store, more features in a group chat and a window that allowed users to view the visitors that had visited their page of late. Today, the membership stands at $2 per month, which is further discounted, if a user chooses to lock in a higher tenure.
Sale of Digital Content:
In 2013, Momo started showcasing digital content, like value added services that nest within games, and business marketing services. In 2014, Momo started Dao Dian Tong, a feature through which ventures had the option of setting up accounts that users could follow, a bit like Twitter or Facebook.
We spoke earlier of how live streaming has become Momo’s key revenue driver. This is mainly because there has been a tremendous rise in paid users of the live video streaming service. The platform includes gifts that viewers can send to broadcasters, to catch their attention or as a token of gratitude. Then, Momo takes a small share of the worth of the gift and gives the rest to the broadcaster. By September 2016, the number of live streaming users had touched 1.3 million! Users employ the platform to project anything from beauty tutorials to music countdowns. Momo doesn’t see the live video as purely a revenue play. Live video represents a new generation of netizens who use the internet as a creative outlet, as a medium of expression, and it is this growing trend that Momo intends to capitalize on, by turning existing users into users of live streams. It’s little wonder that a growing number of small and medium enterprises today are following suit, by employing live streaming platforms, the likes of Streamhash.
Mobile Game Revenue:
Momo lets you game your way into forming a new friendship. By adding a suite of games to their app, all developed in-house, the company saw a spike of 45% in revenue in the last quarter of 2016.
Momo’s Positioning and Marketing Strategy:
Momo has been inventive in the way that it has marketed itself since its birth, using simple, easy techniques to position the brand. In the summer of 2014, Momo launched a slew of outdoor advertising vehicles, from hoardings to street signages, to communicate its value proposition. The brand laid emphasis on its novelty. It also resorted to newspaper advertising to promote itself as a social media app. But what it did in the merchandising space was a masterstroke. Momo penetrated retail spaces and stuck badges over displays for toothpaste, detergent, and other household items. Their intention was to ingrain the brand in the minds of consumers.
Building Your Own Momo:
Businesses like Momo are composed of intricate layers of technology, constituting a fair share of the company’s total expenses. Regardless of the industry that you are in, there are a few leaves you can take out of Momo’s entrepreneurial book, to make your business successful.
Integrate Live Streaming:
Live streaming, for one, has served as a fantastic growth engine for the company, proving that users are drawn by the power of video and that a friendly face can make all the difference. Even if you start out small, tools like Streamhash can help you gather users quickly.
Use Subliminal Advertising:
Momo has also displayed great success in employing subliminal advertising tools, by reaching the user in unlikely places like the grocery store, or the post box. If you’re contemplating how to market your brand, a combination of these tools, as well as social media promotion, is an ideal starting point.
Video and novel marketing techniques can steer a business towards new horizons. Try the Momo approach in your business!
In the summer of 2015, Buzzfeed, a social news and entertainment company headquartered in New York introduced a novel Facebook-only cooking platform and named it Tasty. If you’re a social media buff, you’ve probably come across Tasty’s super-short recipe snippets, featuring a pair of hands spiritedly moulding ingredients into the most lip-smacking treats ever.
By September 2016, a year and two months after the launch of the sensational video channel, Tasty had become the third-most viewed video account on Facebook, having garnered close to a whopping 1.7 billion views. And by the last quarter of 2016, the viewership for a single video sat at an average of 22.8 million; no mean feat for a company whose original specialty was spread across a variety of formats. Today, Tasty contributes to more than 37% of total video views on the Buzzfeed network, powering a large part of the Buzzfeed machinery.
How Buzzfeed is Diversifying Through Tasty
Impressive? Very. But there’s more. Tasty’s success story wouldn’t be so inspiring if it weren’t for all the cross-promotion it has delivered for Buzzfeed’s umbrella brands. Buzzfeed isn’t a food brand, it’s a technology brand, and through Tasty’s reach, it has nimbly marketed its other platforms, such as its healthy food network, Goodful, and its DIY network, Nifty. Plus, it has created six regional variants for the Tasty brand for various markets, including Proper Tasty for the UK, Bien Tasty for Spanish audiences and Tasty Miam for French viewers. With all the spinoffs it has created, it has kept the content strategy standard and simple: fast-motion videos featuring hands putting together something wonderful.
Buzzfeed’s Revenue Model
While the marketing sounds great, you’re likely curious about Tasty’s revenue model. Tasty collaborates with brands, creating made-to-order brand elements in a recipe video. It charges advertisers a price to feature at the end of a video and stitches the theme of the brand into the video. Consider this video, that Tasty has made for Bank of America, emphasising the value of savings throughout. This is how Tasty charges advertisers:
Cost to Advertiser = Upfront Fee + Cost Per View (price per view on the videos).
Most publishers on Facebook favour this monetisation model, making it the leading revenue generator for digital publishers.
The barriers to entry in the fast-motion video space are low, despite the technologies that one would need. So, it’s no wonder that a slew of new entrants has tried to plant their flags in the space in recent times. TipHero, 12 Tomatoes, LittleThings, Cooking Panda, and Get in My Belly, are just some of them.
How Tasty’s Competitors Are Raking In Revenue
Most insta-recipe brands prefer to collaborate with sponsors for branded content on their platform, much like Tasty. Because these brands are driven by volumes, this monetisation strategy works well. Cooking Panda has sealed deals with smaller advertisers like BumbleBee Tuna and Star Fine Foods, which have been renewed at the end of every term. Most platforms believe that maximum money can be made through branded content.
Tastemade is employing branded content as part of a much broader monetisation strategy. It had already tied up with Hyundai for a 14-episode branded series on its platform. It has also established a revenue stream on Instagram by selling product integrations to food and beverage advertisers. It is now considering featuring food and beverage advertisers in its Instagram Stories, although no deals have been signed yet.
How New Entrants In Fast-Motion Video Are Employing Technology
Not all of Tasty’s competitors have taken the same technology route as Buzzfeed. Investing in a stack like Buzzfeed’s would take several months and heavy capital investment. Many video startups prefer to purchase turnkey frameworks that would allow them to get started with their platform in just a few days. Streamhash is a popular option amongst enterprising millennials, kick-starting a video platform in two days flat.
How Upstart Cooking Brands are Differentiating Themselves
A valid question here would be, with the rise of so many upstart overhead cooking video pages, where’s the differentiation? It seems like each brand is melting into the next as you scroll through your Facebook feed. Sound familiar? Brands are realising the need to branch out before the clutter becomes irreversible.
Cooking Panda Is Exploring New Video Formats
Cooking Panda, 80% of whose videos are centred around cooking, is dabbling in alternate formats. For starters, it will launch a cartoon series titled Adventures of Cooking Panda, and a travel show called Wanderlust. And though the popularity of these two new offerings is no patch on the 45-second recipe videos it has become known for, the brand recognises that it needs to try something new.
Twisted’s Travel and Lifestyle Series
In a similar strategy to diversify, a London-headquartered food page called Twisted, is showcasing quirky, out-of-the-box recipes that haven’t been attempted yet. Tastemade, probably Buzzfeed Tasty’s biggest rival, is focusing on travel and lifestyle-related series, and has added Facebook Live as a permanent bullet in its marketing ammunition. Most platforms know that overhead cooking videos will lose steam about a year down the line. And they are exploring alternate ways to captivate audiences.
Differentiation Through Technology
You won’t find a significant difference between the interfaces of LittleThings, Cooking Panda and Buzzfeed Tasty. They’re largely clones of each other, and the only differentiating factor would be the content that they make available for users. Therefore, for upcoming startups, investing in a readymade technology would prove more prudent. With a technology like Streamhash, you’ll avail the same features you’re used to on your favourite video streaming site, and its fluid design will enable your users to consume videos irrespective of the device they are using. Smartphone, tablet, laptop, whatever.
Read – Video Streaming Business Models that Could Make you a Millionaire
Most budding entrepreneurs are torn about the most effective technology they could use. Of course, there are various options in the e-market. If you’re considering technologies for your video platform, it’s always important to have your basics in place. Make sure you have a quick and easy way to upload videos to your site, separate servers for web pages and streaming to reduce redundancy, and a script that is fool-proof. Frameworks like Streamhash already have these features worked into their product.
How You Can Set Up Your Own Insta-Recipe Platform
The opportunity in fast-motion videos is limitless, because you can localise content to a city-level, and still find a sizeable audience. Food preferences vary every hundred kilometres, and with a localised content strategy, you could expand your network to create multiple channels, each featuring recipes from a different region. Then, there’s language. Notice with the videos on Tasty, there’s always text printed in bold featuring ingredients, thrown in through the video. Tasty has already customised its approach for a handful of world markets, but there are several markets that remain untapped. Asia, for example has not been explored at all. Nor has South America. As an entrepreneur, pick your content format, your market and a turnkey technology. With a localised approach, you can work magic with video anywhere.
You could also look at building layers on your platform. Perhaps you can offer a basic free viewing version and then top that with a premium video layer, that you can monetise through a Pay Per View model. You can also think about introducing live cooking sessions by adding a live streaming feature to your platform. Streamhash allows you to integrate live streaming with the features of a Video on Demand site, so that you can enjoy a variety of video options. Think about pricing these sessions as low as 50 cents, to attract users, as a penetration strategy. You could showcase unusual, fresh-from-home recipes that will create a buzz online.
How Effective Technology Powers Buzzfeed Tasty
It’s amazing how Buzzfeed continually produces such immersive video content on its Tasty platforms. Needless to say, its technology stack has an enormous role to play. Tasty’s tech stack is made up of a vast number of technologies, including Apache for its web server, Amazon EC2 for the storage of media files, Django and Backbone.js.
With readymade frameworks, your job of curating your website becomes a whole lot easier. Streamhash, for example, comes with built-in themes that you can apply with the swish of a button. Also, with a ready-to-use framework, much of the backend optimisation has already been done for you. Streamhash’s SEO-optimisation feature and trusty admin panel allow you to get started immediately.
There’s so much you can do in the insta-recipe space, and so much you can innovate.
With the right technology and a localised content approach, replicating Tasty’s entertainment game can lead you to a potential goldmine!
The sheen and glitter of Netflix’s fanciful offerings aren’t currently tailored for India’s vast regional populations. Aside from the country’s content-guzzling urban dwellers, Netflix hasn’t appeased most Indians. And unless it tweaks its media basket, it likely never will. Add to that, the fact that only about 15% of Indians have access to internet, and not necessarily high-speed internet, and you have yourself a problem.
It’s this gap that Vinay Pillai and Tanay Desai identified. When the idea struck them, both aspiring entrepreneurs were working as consultants for Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C., and they knew right away that they had a worthwhile idea. They decided to act on it in the March of 2016. They called their endeavor, Dekkho, meaning watch in Hindi.
The partners started Dekkho as a platform to provide diverse over-the-top content to Indians. In a proposition similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime, Dekkho was designed to let viewers watch, subscribe, share and rate content. When they started, Pillai and Desai knew one thing: that Indian audiences wouldn’t pay for streamed content. And so, they created an advertising-led revenue blueprint that allowed users to view free content. In a YouTube-esque model, the company draws its revenues from advertisers, who broadcast their ads before or during a video. Dekkho works out a fee based on the length of the advertisement. Effectively, you have happy advertisers, happy users and happy content partners. Everybody wins. The founders have hinted, however, that paid content is a possibility in the future. The pair commented that premium content services were viable for products with a superior user experience, content variety and content novelty.
In a country where most citizens do not have access to high-speed internet, Dekkho has a functional solution. The platform offers an offline video facility, and the company insists that the bandwidth consumption is lower than on other media providers.In a bid to win the hearts of Indian viewers, Dekkho has sought to establish partnerships with content providers such as MissMalini, All India Bakchod, Times Group, Sony Music and ScoopWhoop, all media producers that primarily produce content targeted at the youth segment. Dekkho also claims to offer an uncluttered, choice viewing experience.
As Netflix and Amazon Prime, along with an assortment of Indian media players like Reliance Jio, Hungama, Hotstar and YuppTV, take the Indian market head on, Dekkho has its work cut out. But Pillai and Desai have conviction in their brand. The entrepreneurs know that content providers need seasoned aggregators to deliver their content. And with the collective over-the-counter experience that the Dekkho team boasts, the platform would be an ideal choice. Having invested time and effort in gauging the pulse and preferences of the youth in India, Pillai and Desai are confident that Dekkho will soon become the preferred choice for online video content across a range of devices. The brand already reaches out to a whopping 2 million users monthly, a reflection of its expanding reach.
The Video on Demand (VOD) niche in India has seen Netflix and Amazon Prime, amongst other players, plant their flags in the past year. And to differentiate itself, each brand’s approach has been unique. Netflix is closing more local and regional deals, and Amazon Prime has partnered with indigenous authors, writers, directors and producers as it ventures into its own original series. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime are tailoring their content for the Indian market. With competition becoming fierce, the key to growth is locking exclusive long-term partnerships with production companies.While old films are usually covered in these agreements, VOD firms are also clinching deals where they will be able to premier movies on their platform before they hit the television.
In the recent past, there has been a slew of collaborations between production houses and VOD platforms. Hotstar has signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Disney India, to showcase the production house’s movies on its premium variant. Hotstar is growing its international content on Hotstar Premium, while keeping its basic version more local. Similarly, Netflix has partnered with Red Chillies Entertainment (RCE), an Indian entertainment studio owned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. This will give Netflix viewers access to a huge library of RCE films. And taking a cue from local VOD platforms, the brand is producing a local series called ‘Sacred Games’. Amazon Prime is focusing on a diverse array of content, in several languages. The service also promises to feature movies just three weeks after their theatrical release, much before their television premiere. In addition, it has closed exclusive deals with Dharma Productions, Vishesh Films and T-Series, three of India’s top production houses.
If you want to start a business like Netflix, India is a great market to target. In 2016, the smartphone user base in India grew 18% to reach a staggering 300 million users. The global smartphone user base, in comparison, grew only 3%, making India the leading smartphone market in the world. In light of the fact that 46% of videos globally are consumed on mobile handsets, the video streaming business model seems more lucrative than ever.
Netflix employs public clouds such as ec2 and AWS and NoSQL-based persistence solutions like CAP Theorem. The Netflix Cloud Platform forms a layer composed of services, tools, frameworks and technologies that lie on top of ec2/AWS.
As a new business owner, these technologies are obscenely expensive, and for most, unattainable. That’s where technologies like Streamhash come in. Streamhash lets you start your own VOD site in just 2 days, at a reasonable cost. Armed with fantastic features and a responsive design, the product can whip up a fabulous Netflix clone for you. Its fluid design also ensures that users experience the same interface across device sizes and types.
Streamhash is also equipped with a selection of themes that users can apply to personalise their interface. Plus, it has an inbuilt SEO-optimisation feature and a user-friendly admin panel. Streamhash also comes with differential servers to support your site: a Nginx one for video streaming, and an Apache one for web pages. Most importantly, Streamhash is embedded with a noteworthy turnkey video sharing script that lets users divide videos into categories instantly.
Streamhash is backed by Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) technology, a free, open source extension module that is linked to the Nginx web server. You’ll find other technologies that do the same thing as RTMP, online. And while they’re all awesome, they’re all expensive. RTMP is a multifaceted, pocket-friendly platform. RTMP also lowers latency, ensuring that content flows seamlessly to even a user with a low bandwidth. A lower latency also facilitates real-time conversations with your viewers, and reduces buffering.
In terms of monetisation, VOD platforms follow a gamut of models. Amazon Prime, for instance, charges an annual subscription fee of Rs. 999, discounted to Rs. 499 as an introductory offer. Netflix has differential pricing models depending on the package that a user picks. Its packages range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 800. Hotstar doesn’t charge for its basic platform, but it does follow a pay-per-click advertising format with its advertisers. It also has a variant called Hotstar Premium, that features primarily international content. For this, it charges Rs. 199 per month with an option to cancel any time. Likewise, Hungama’s monthly subscription is pegged at Rs. 249 per month.
Netflix launched a digital campaign last year called #LifeWithoutNetflix, highlighting the benefits the platform offers. This was followed by more digital ads, featuring some of India’s well-known comedians, which did the rounds on social media. Their campaign for the new year got 3.2 million views in just 6 days. Amazon Prime is employing several arrows in its marketing quiver. Other than digital and social media campaigns, it is trying conventional formats like hoardings, print and television for their regional content launches. Amazon tweaks its strategy depending on the market. Voot, an Indian VOD player owned by Viacom18, leverages television ads on its partner’s channel and saw 20 million downloads in just six months.
The VOD ecosystem in India isn’t composed only of VOD platforms. With the growing potential it is showing, a spate of complementary services have arrived through various brands. JustWatch, a Berlin-based startup, offers users a search engine to find legal versions of their favourite movies and television shows, online. Using the engine, users can compare content on Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Hungama, amongst others.
The Indian market is highly fragmented by language. And this gives rise to immense opportunity to VOD players to bring out a range of content across languages. For example, VOD brand Vuclip, announced the launch of its original production series, titled ‘Originals’, in regional languages. The series will debut in Telugu, followed by other languages. The brand is the first in India to offer VOD content in local languages.
It’s a great time to consider entering the VOD market in India. And with several companies having set a successful trend, there’s proof that there’s money waiting to be made.
Who knew that one day, a business owner in the Australian outback would be able to draw an investor from Sub-Saharan Africa, to invest in his enterprise? Who knew that not only would these unlikely parties be bound by a compelling internet platform, but that they would one day, be able to interact virtually for live broadcasts, question-and-answer sessions and even product demonstrations. So what if they were separated by several thousand kilometres and the Indian Ocean?
Thanks to Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding platform that has provided impetus to numerous start-ups across the globe, geographical boundaries have evaporated to produce abundant business opportunities and seamless communication networks. The organisation brings business owners and artists together with potential investors in a bid to provide funding for viable ventures. Since it started, it has witnessed $1.9 billion in pledges from 9.4 million bidders, and it has clocked 257,000 projects.
In November 2016, Kickstarter launched its live streaming platform, Kickstarter Live, an interactive streaming tool that lets users raise funds in real-time. And to help build their newest offering, they turned to Huzza Media Inc, a Vancouver-based firm that specialised in user-led events and live streaming.
Amazingly, Huzza, started by Justin Womersley and Nick Smit, wasn’t started as a platform for burgeoning businesses. Oh, no. It was started as a virtual forum for musicians to reach their fans through live video. Womersley and Smit, both South African émigrés, had originally started Huzza in Silicon Valley. Following Canada’s Startup Visa program that promised business owners permanent residency in Canada if they managed to attract an investment from a venture capitalist, the pair shifted the company’s headquarters to Vancouver. A chance meeting with the CEO of one of Canada’s foremost venture capital firms, and they had landed themselves a deal.
Huzza knew it had a winning product, when Womersley and Smit saw the impact that their platform had, pulling the music community closer. The product imparted a sense of personalisation and poignancy, cutting through the cyber clutter that vanilla websites often tend to impose. Live video was the way to go.
Womersley and Smit soon discovered that Huzza’s application was universal. It could work for dancers, entrepreneurs and entertainers just as well. Huzza was an interface, and it was agnostic to who was on either side of it. Womersley and Smit leveraged the opportunity.
Huzza, on its part, has collaborated with a number of crowdfunding platforms in the past, with Patreon, being one of the best-known apart from Kickstarter, of course. Last year, when Kickstarter partnered with Huzza to create Kickstarter Live, hundreds of users sought the new live video feature to create online fan circles that catapulted them to cyber centrestage. But that’s not all. The fact that Huzza allows audiences to explore an artist’s personal space, delve into the creative process and experience what happens before the curtains fall, makes it more exciting. It allows fans to feel like they’re part of the artist’s journey. In turn, creators can garner maximum support in the earliest, most nascent stages of their business. Kickstarter has revealed that on average, a user spends approximately 16 minutes on a stream with its creator. And those users that employ streams profit from a 74% success rate, twice that of businesses with no streams.
Internet platforms, whether for video, news journalism or other media, make it difficult for users to separate fact from positive rhetoric. Live streaming engages users like never before, providing validation that the creator is authentic. It lends genuineness to the process.
In January 2017, Kickstarter witnessed an outlandish campaign on its platform; it was a product called Adoptly. The product, a bizarre mishmash of features inspired by Tinder, was an adoption app that worked just like Tinder. Swipe right for yes, left for no; with only a snapshot of a baby’s face for consideration. The app was a market for babies, a crude way of turning an adoption campaign into a superficial pageant. While the campaign was not eliminated from the Kickstarter platform on ethical grounds, there was scepticism surrounding the campaign, with many raising an eyebrow about its legitimacy. Nobody knew a thing about the creators, and there was no way to know.
Now, close on the heels of the success of Kickstarter Live, Kickstarter has announced the acquisition of Huzza. With this, Huzza becomes Kickstarter’s first office outside the United States. Huzza’s erstwhile company headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, will now become Kickstarter Live’s primary base, where Womersley and Smit will grow their talented team of designers, coders and engineers.
It hasn’t been an easy decision for Huzza to join Kickstarer’s growing empire. While the acquisition certainly celebrates Huzza’s success story, the deal has come with certain conditions. For starters, Huzza has been asked to dissolve its creator-facing platform, one that was tied to the Huzza brand. Nevertheless, with the Huzza team’s foray into the Kickstarter family, there will be no dearth of opportunities in leading initiatives related to developing the creator interface.
Huzza has set a precedent in one of the biggest acquisitions in the live streaming niche. And yet, there’s still so much potential left. While Kickstarter Live will capture the sentiments of investors and entrepreneurs, there are a multitude of other industries that can be penetrated in a similar way. Think cooking tutorials, beauty tutorials, video exercise guides, live dance lessons. Once you prove that there’s something there, attracting investors will be much easier, and your brand may even be considered for an acquisition. Plus, you can get started in a matter of two days, with Streamhash’s turnkey framework. With Streamhash, you needn’t invest time or money in starting from scratch. They’ve done it all for you. Visit their website at www.streamhash.com to know more.
Kickstarter is following a novel trend led by the likes of Facebook, Periscope and Twitch.tv in the recent past. For crowdfunding, streaming is an effective way to gain the trust of followers. When backers are invited to witness behind-the-scenes goings on, gaining trust becomes a whole lot easier. Thus, potential investors may see a tangible return on investment.
As Huzza pulls its own shutters down and moves into the Kickstarter family, it’s interesting to look back at its journey. From an unlikely start-up that followed its founders from country to country, to a flourishing business that was ultimately acquired by Kickstarter, it has come a long, long way.
If you look at the larger picture, Huzza is a microcosm of the massive online video streaming community. There has been a number of businesses in the past few years that have successfully adopted video streaming as a tool for engagement. For example, Experian, a finance engine, uses live streaming to connect users with experts who give advice on student loans, credit, debt and market risk. And they use the hashtag #creditchat to create online buzz amongst users and non-users alike. LiveList, a virtual performance app allows performers and entertainers to connect with fans around the globe, enabling followers to keep up with events, dates and even local performances.Then there are quirky enterprises that use live streaming to showcase media that hasn’t been ventured into before. The MoonWatcher, for instance, is a platform that plans to launch the world’s first private satellite with a cutting-edge camera, to provide stellar images of the lunar surface. Of course, when it comes to live streaming, you can start anywhere, and the investment is minimal if you opt for a turnkey platform like Streamhash. Every industry has the scope for video streaming; it’s up to you to plug it in.
Did someone say business opportunity?