Can Live Streaming Pay Off?

Written by Lalaine Ignao • Photography by Scott Barbour / Stringer, Getty Images • December 30, 2016

YouTube first paved the way for creators to get paid for their popular video posts. But now, Taiwan-based startup Next Entertainment wants to do the same for live streamers.

According to TechCrunch, Next Entertainment’s app is called MeMe, and “it allows users to build a following, connect with viewers and make money through ads and digital gifts.”

This could create a big opportunity for music artists and fans. Live streaming is an increasingly popular way for artists to engage with their fans. The recent release of Instagram Live is making it even easier for artists to live stream to their followers. Instagram is, after all, the best place to reach music fans.

“90% of Instagram users stream music and are twice as likely to pay for streaming than the general population,” says Digital Music News, quoting a Nielsen survey. “Instagram users also spend 30% more time listening to music in a week compared to the general population.”

That said, Next Entertainment’s MeMe could give Instagram Live some competition, as MeMe’s digital gift feature makes it possible for fans to support their favorite artists. Imagine you’re watching your favorite up-and-coming music producer while she works on a new beat. If you like it, you can directly support the music she is making by giving her a digital gift in the app. She can then use those resources to make more music and keep your ears happy.

Next Entertainment was incubated by Inke, a “live-streaming giant” in China. The Inke app is the predecessor to MeMe, a live stream app with a chat room-style experience where users can interact and talk to each other during broadcasts. Think Google Hangouts or a Skype call that other people can watch. It introduced the virtual gift feature allowing users to buy and give gifts to each other or their favorite streamers.

Next Entertainment says it “aims to export and mirror the success of its predecessor Inke beyond China.” MeMe isn’t available outside of Taiwan yet, but when it gets here, it’ll be interesting to see if it catches on.

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