36kr Research Institution | Overseas Streaming Industry Research Report
What are the Chinese overseas streaming platforms?
Our report focuses on overseas live streaming platform, which are overseas live streaming platforms operated by mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan). Currently, the main players include Uplive, Bigo Live, Live.me, Kitty Live and MOGO Live etc.
Overseas Live Streaming Platforms
Main Promoting Regions
Team / Main Investors
Taiwan, Hong Kong, Middle East, India, Indonesia
Asia Innovation Group Co., Ltd. (AIG)
Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America
Southeast Asia, Europe, Others
Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia
Hong Kong, Macau, Southeast Asia, South Asia
Korean, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe
SIG Asia Investment
North America, Taiwan, Japan
Why have overseas streaming platforms gained popularity?
There are many reasons for overseas streaming platform’s success, analyzed from development motive and development advantages, the main reasons are as follows:
1. Overseas streaming platform development motives:
In terms of capital investment, overseas countries are very friendly to Chinese investors and invested largely towards Chinese capital;
In terms of communication tools, Chinese mobile phone manufacturers have brought various cheap and high quality smart phones to different countries, enhancing the popularity of smart phones internationally, especially in underdeveloped regions;
In terms of data cost, network facilities around the globe are developing rapidly, mobile 4G networks became more common, data costs are also lower;
In terms of mobile payment, mobile payment has engaged in multiple application stages in the past 2 years, promoting the rapid development of this industry. Local payments software, as well as China’s overseas Alipay and WeChat has provided direct and effective monetization channels for live streaming hosts and users.
In terms of technology and business model, since live streaming has developed maturely in China, Chinese live streaming enterprises have strong advantages when expanding overseas. Moreover, most founders of overseas live streaming enterprise that originates in China have experience in operating within China’s live streaming industry.
2. Overseas streaming platform development advantages:
Popular regions for overseas live streaming platforms relatively rich countries, such as Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, the United States, South Korea, Japan, etc., local consumers have strong purchasing power;
Many countries where overseas live streaming platforms are located have great economic development potential, large population and relatively developed network infrastructure;
Several overseas countries’ government are promoting digitalized policies, encouraging more media organizations and content creators to promote digital transformation of traditional content forms through emerging mobile Internet platform;
With the implementation of China's ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (B&R) national strategy, countries such as Southeast Asia have received large amount of Chinese investment, which currently is a favorable opportunity to invest in overseas live streaming industry.
What are the characteristics of overseas streaming platform?
In terms of content, short video products generally have localized operations, content interaction and content creation guidance etc., which can enhance fan user stickiness through enhancing PGC or PUGC users;
In terms of profit model, virtual gifting and various forms of advertising implementation increases profitability, forming a combination of two major profit models of gifting and advertising;
In terms of product form, several live streaming platforms are gradually implementing short videos functions, while various live streaming + format have increasingly matured;
In terms of technological progress, CDN technology breakthroughs have decreased data pricing;
Lastly, for extending oversea, it is suggested to ensure stable business and income in China before extending globally. Small business may have greater risks if extending overseas blindly. Current market’s BAT layouts for overseas industries mainly choose to invest in local enterprises than taking the initiative to start a new overseas business.
The application of technologies on live streams such as Blockchain and live translation is Uplive’s unique advantage
Uplive is an overseas live broadcast company operated in China, which is a product under Asia Innovation Group Co., Ltd. It is also one of the head players of overseas live broadcast platforms. The differentiation of Uplive's product features is one of its highlights: the gamification and social live streaming, and Gifto, a mass-market Blockchain project. In addition, multi-language live translation breaks the boundaries of space and languages, assisting global users to reduce communication barriers.
Gifto, a Blockchain entertainment ecosystem collaborated by Uplive and Blockchain enterprise, has eliminated the space boundary of gifting and solved the risk of credit cards fraudulent through global gifting and giveaway model. Users no long have to worry about the circulation between different currencies, especially in Japan, South Korea, the United States, China and other countries, increasing the degree of usage of cross-regional gifting. Large amount of cross-border gifts and interactions also enhance the bond between users. Gifto's Blockchain application scenario has been deeply integrated into Uplive applications and is acting as the key element for Gifto token’s more than one million global users.
Moreover, the game streaming function developed within the app also provides an important content supplement for Uplive users. Users can exist in an innovative way, the game experience is enhanced through watching live streams and playing games simultaneously. This is also one of the important responsibilities for generating users and revenue for Uplive.
Uplive's localized technical team enhancing its products’ popularity among local users
Additionally, Uplive cooperated with Google to design live translation functions for multiple languages for global users, which can convert hosts’ speech into users’ native language subtitles, vice versa, users’ comments can be translated into hosts’ native language. Live translation can weaken users’ communication boundary, benefiting cross-gifting thus increasing platform profitability.
In terms of operational data, Uplive was launched in June 2016 and has 14 offices abroad. Currently, it operates mainly in five regions, covering most countries and regions in the global live broadcast market, including Greater China, East Asia / Southeast Asia, Middle East and North Africa, India, the United States, etc.
Uplive has a technical team of 200 engineers, mainly from Internet companies such as Google, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba. In addition, Uplive employs a team of former Baidu and Hao 123 engineers from the Middle East and North Africa. Product content formats are thus designed referencing domestic taste and culture, attracting local users and hosts, in result expanding towards the global market through localized considerations.
Uplive's profit model includes gifts, games and advertising. User’s diversion pathways are also diversified
In addition, supervision and public opinion are one of the factors with significant impact on the live broadcast platform in different countries. Uplive’s backstage has a complete set of video recognition + manual identification process and punishment system: Uplive established an operation center in Hunan and has set up backstage video surveillance in order to identify inappropriate and illegal audio and video through porn identification technologies, and thus quickly end streams within 5 seconds when necessary. Moreover, there are network police patrols to conduct manual identification for inappropriate content and pursue liability afterwards if required. Punishment method mainly includes three categories: mute, temporary account suspension and permanent account termination.
With support from above aspects, Uplive's revenue has been growing steadily. Uplive's business model and operating model are also enriched
Uplive’s business model includes the following three types:
1) Income from virtual gifting through providing social interactive entertainment;
2) Includes game element in streams, which originates from its own platform’s development and third-party content. This is considered an additional profit direction;
3) Advertisement revenue including brand adverts, screen adverts, banner placement adverts, endorsement through hosts etc.
Uplive currently has more than 40 million registered users, with a monthly income of 10 million. The amount of daily broadcasting hosts exceeds 20,000 and the average online time per user is more than 30 minutes. The division model is flexible and divided into 50%-60% of the total revenue according to the international and regional differences. The profit sharing method of contracted host is base salary plus commission. In order to reduce the cost of attracting potential consumers, Uplive is diverted from a variety of pathways to the platform, such as Facebook, Google, App Stores, local operators etc.