Business / Industries

Quality beyond beauty is key to real-time fun

By Ma Si (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-28 07:58

With eyes glued to her smartphone screen, Wang Liming, a 22-year-old college student, is busy sending digital lollipops on, a leading Chinese live streaming platform.

Her goal is ambitious: to send out 1,000 virtual lollipops within 10 minutes. If Wang and thousands of fans like her meet the target with joint efforts, they can ask a popular entertainment star who live-streams a concert online, to do five push-ups or sing more songs.

YY's online show thus succeeded in engaging users for protracted periods. Such a strategy is part of the Beijing-based company's broad efforts to grow the supply of quality content on its platform.

The stress on quality follows the realization that the live streaming market in China is getting increasingly crowded.

These days, online platforms offer a chance for everyone and anyone to showcase their talents. This has spawned a large amount of user-generated content.

But to thrive and differentiate one from the other, shows and programs produced by professional agencies will be key, industry experts said.

"In the long term, beautiful faces alone won't be enough to lure audiences," said Zhou Jian, general manager of YY's entertainment business. "Whoever controls quality content will be the king of the entertainment industry. This is a thumb rule, and it applies to the nascent live streaming sector as well."

Last month, YY partnered with professional content producers including TV stations, film companies and talent agencies to expand its portfolio of quality content and to counter mounting competition from new entrants.

The company will team up with Zhejiang Huace Film and TV Co Ltd, a leading film producer on the mainland, to live-stream a drama's production process in the second half of this year.

It will cover many aspects, from writing a script, shooting, post-production to behind-the-scenes marketing.

"Through YY, audiences can get involved in the whole production process. They can interact with our producers and express their views on aspects like casting," said Cui Chao, vice president of Huace's entertainment business.

"Live streaming shortens the distance between audience and movies, offering a far more interactive and interesting experience," Cui said.

YY and Huace have already organized nearly 100 live online activities, one of which attracted as many as 300,000 viewers at one moment.

Live streaming also offers audiences a window on talent agencies' methods of cultivating stars. YY will join hands with Hunan TV, one of China's largest broadcasters, to stream how popular entertainment shows take shape and how celebrities behave off stage.

"TV stations have a strong pool of popular shows and easy access to celebrities. By partnering with YY, we can offer real-time interaction and reach new audiences," said Li Zhihua, vice president of Hunan Mango Entertainment Limited, an affiliate of Hunan TV.

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