Live-streaming apps have been flourishing in China since last year. Emerging apps such as Ingkee, has gained ridiculously high popularity among the youth of China. Ingkee is a one-year old live-streaming mobile app, but it has paved the way to China’s reality show era. Anyone who has a smartphone with internet could log onto Ingkee and start live streaming whenever they want to; these people are called the “anchors”. Some anchors talk about what’s going on in their lives, some anchors dance or sing. But one thing they have in common is that, all the contents in Ingkee are user generated. Audience could use the keyboard on their phone to chat with the anchors. Fictitious gifts are available for audience to purchase online and give to the anchors they like. About 30 percent of what the audience pay for those gifts would automatically fall into the pockets of the anchors who receive the gifts. And the rest of the profits (about 70 percent) belong to Ingkee Company. It’s hard to imagine that there would be people who are willing to give their money away to complete strangers online. However, Ingkee tells us that there are people like that indeed.
I have played the part of the anchor on Ingkee for a period of time. And what I did was basically playing piano for my audience while live streaming. I gained hundreds of followers over a small period of time, and also received some gifts. I’ve seen anchors who use Ingkee to make a living and earn over $10,000 a month, simply by chatting with audience, or even by staring at the camera and doing nothing at all.
Ingkee could be regarded as being extremely successful due to its enormous popularity in China, but live-stream media usually face challenges, especially government restrictions. Apparently companies like Ingkee have made great efforts to fulfill their users’ growingly big appetite, and at the same time, to offer only contents that stick to the laws.
Flickr / Photo by kris krüg.