Business / Industries

Streaming silver now, not gold

By Meng Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-28 07:58

Despite the market of smartphone apps sizzling with live streams, there is still sometime to go before you could label it a gold mine-that is the consensus among leading industry players.

Fu Zhengjun, chief executive officer of Hong Kong-listed Tian Ge Interactive Holdings Limited, one of the two listed live streaming companies in China, said he values the market between 10 billion yuan ($1.49 billion) and 20 billion yuan. "It is more of a silver mine or perhaps a bronze mine rather than a gold mine."

Fu's view finds echo in Lin Yanting, chief executive of Beijing-based, one of the major live streaming platforms in China. Vhall provides its services to users who hook up online for training, conferencing and such events.

Lin said the market for individual users cannot sustain as many as 200 apps in the long run. "First, the user-generated content provided by such apps is so similar in nature that it is almost impossible to differentiate between them. No matter which app you open, you'll find dozens and dozens of thin, long-haired female hosts with big eyes and pointy chins. And all apps operate on a similar business model-they and their hosts split the virtual gifts sent by users."

Lin predicted a consolidation in the industry shortly. Only a handful of major players will likely survive, he said. "Bubbles will burst. Such bubbles will have a positive impact though. Without so many live apps, how can we educate users and nurture the market in such a short period of time?"

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