It wasn’t long ago that live streaming app Bigo Live was dominating the Apple and Google Play charts.
While live-streaming can bring about some of the most wholesome posts we’ve seen in recent times, Bigo Live’s appeal seemed to have more disturbing foundations.
A quick Google image search of the term “bigo live” reveals less than savoury screenshots from the app, many of scantily-clad girls and their…assets. (We’ll just leave it to you to check it yourself.)
Personally, while the app was pretty intriguing in how voyeuristic it is, I was quickly bored by the streamers because there wasn’t anything particularly interesting about them, save for the streamer who happened to be a chef (phone propped up on a kitchen shelf and all), or the other who was a tattoo artist live streaming from a tattoo fair.
Soon, not wanting to clutter my home screen, I deleted the app, submitting to the mindset that I didn’t, and never will get the phenomenon of live streaming.
More Than Just Mundane Murmurs
Fast forward to last weekend, and I realised that my friend was engrossed in watching what seemed to be a gaming stream on his phone.
“Nope, it’s Bigo Live.”
Taking me a while to realise that it was the same Bigo Live that I gave up on previously, I immediately downloaded the app to see what I had missed.
A significant enough amount, I must say.
Opening the brand new app, there are now 2 new sections/channels that users can browse – Music Live House for aspiring musicians to show off their chops, and their Gaming channel for gamers to stream their gameplays.
For Aspiring Singers: Music Live House
It’s easy to mistake a stream from Music Live House to be any other Bigo stream – front camera quality videos, users sending gifts, streamers interacting with comments – the works.
But the difference lies in how the Music Live House channel only features one individual at a time – so think of it as a virtual stage of some sort.
While anyone can sing on their live stream (and do whatever they like actually – until they get reported), Music Live House gives aspiring Adeles and Eds the chance to have a spotlight on them.
If you think about it, it’s a more effective way of getting people to notice you as compared to simply posting up a cover on Youtube.
But of course, if having your boo-boos and off key notes exposed isn’t your thing, this is probably isn’t for you.
Live House’s appeal lies in how inclusive it is, and how it gives the chance to anyone to take up the mic and have that a good 30 minutes of fame.
As of today, there’s a steady average of 3,000 or so viewers on the Live House at all times.
For Gamers: Gaming On Bigo
This is perhaps the one I’m most excited about.
For gaming live streams, Twitch has long been the platform of choice for gamers (or those simply interested in games), but it looks like Bigo Live wants a slice of that pie as well.
According to stats (as of February this year), Twitch has 9.7 million daily active users and over 2 million broadcasters, and while they do have a mobile app for watching on-the-go, most of its users access it via desktop.
With gaming now made available on Bigo Live, it does appear that they’re intending to be the go-to for gaming live streams on mobile.
More than simply having streamers broadcast their games from their phones, Bigo Live also gives them to chance to broadcast directly from their computers, so as to ensure crystal clear quality and an optimal streaming experience (imagine holding your phone as you game).
The viewership for these streams are still far from Twitch-level, peaking at a few hundred each, but there is no doubt that there will be room for growth if more publicity is directed to it.
Bigo Live Is Building Their “Global Entertainment Brand”
More than just a platform for anyone to live stream their shenanigans, it does look like Bigo Live is now not only branching into more specific verticals, but recruiting and identifying those with a knack for it as well.
By having more of these semi-professional live streamers in the long run, users of the app will be promised more quality content (and thus, better retention of casual viewers like myself), and there would be higher chances of monetising the business of live streaming as well.
Think: using live streaming for the publicity of new games, holding mini concerts where artists can perform for fans, and streaming launch events that might not be open to public.
Bigo Live definitely seems to have more tricks up its sleeves, so I’m going to keep it on my phone.
For now, at least.