Home / Technology / News /  Short video apps eye live streaming market

Indian short- form or short video apps are eyeing a pie of the growing live video market, after successfully filling the void left by TikTok. Apps such as Moj and Bolo Indya have launched live video streaming, a feature that had also made China’s Bigo Live popular in India.

While a few just added the feature, others have switched to the format. “We are building live streaming capabilities on Moj, and it will be a major focus area for us in the next few quarters. This will be an immensely effective way to monetize for creators, with their followers and fans sending them virtual gifts during live streaming sessions," said a Moj spokesperson. Moj is owned by Mohalla Tech, the parent company of Sharechat.

Bolo Indya, one of the first to introduce live video, even rebranded to Bolo Live. While it still offers short-form videos, the focus shifted to live videos since October 2020. “We have been witnessing an upward trend in preference among users for live engagement that happens in live streams as compared to passive engagement in short videos for quite some time," Varun Saxena, chief executive and founder, Bolo Live, said. “Our platform’s core proposition of enabling monetization for content creators brought in more value in live streaming due to the diverse gamified earning opportunities for content creators in the format," he added.

While India has a 400-500-million target market for live video streaming, there are over 1.5 billion users across emerging markets in South-East Asia, Saxena said .

InMobi-owned Roposo and DailyHunt’s Josh, which also compete in the short-video market, refused to comment.

The launch of live video, the companies are looking to add other social commerce features, a technology that combines e-commerce and social media. “We believe this would not only help our creators monetize, but also help them to interact with our user community across the country with more relevant and engaging content. This feature has been recommended by our creators, and we are hopeful they will love it," the spokesperson from Moj added.

Social commerce plays a major role in live streaming, said Saxena. “We are already seeing many platforms coming up only for social commerce live streaming, or short video platforms introducing a section for live streaming just for social commerce. Live social commerce is set to redefine e-commerce for Bharat in the next 3-5 years, and we are already seeing strong signals from investors and founders of social content apps," he added.

According to a March report by Ficci and EY, the user base of short-format video apps grew by 65% year-on-year in the last two years. “Apart from typical short videos, investments into occupationally generated content like gym, music, art, cooking — instructional videos and live streams drove reach and time spent," the report said. It estimated that over 50,000 creators on these apps had a following of over 100,000, each, and over 60% of content comes from outside metro cities.

The development comes at a time when homegrown platforms are vying to take advantage of the ban on Bytedance-owned TikTok, which boasted of over 200 million monthly active users in India—a void that has not yet been filled by any one app.

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