Kamcord develops a new monetisation mechanism inspired by how fans interact with their favourite gamers
San Francisco-based game streaming service Kamcord, which also has a presence in South Korea and Japan, today announced its new virtual goods-based monetisation model.
This model enables game streamers (‘creators’) make money from the game session they stream via the app. Kamcord has cerated a virtual gifting feature, through which viewers will be able to buy virtual gifts and send them over to their idol (creator). The viewers then get a simple recognition from the idol. Kamcord then gives this money to the creator.
“We have talked to many creators, including the people who posted videos on Youtube, and we found out that the driving force and the end goal of their action is basically to make money,” said Adithya Rathnam, Co-founder of Kamcord.
And Rathnam believed that viewers will be attracted to the concept after observing how they interact with their favourite creators.
“When someone famous broadcasts their session, fans would shout and mention him to say things like ‘Please say my name, I’m your biggest fan!’ or ‘I’m your number one fan, I pressed the heart button a thousand times!’ …
They are looking at mobile game streamers as bigger idol than Taylor Swift, and they want to get their attention,” explained Rathnam.
The mechanism is believed to impact content quality, as creators are encouraged to put out more good shows and get more virtual goods, while viewers are buying more to get the attention.
After it was first released to the public two weeks ago, the mechanism has been receiving positive reviews.
“There is a creator from the UK named Ufro, a random dude in his 20’s. The most expensive item available in the platform is a Mega Star at US$80, and some users actually gave him four to five Mega Stars within five minutes. He literally screamed because he just made US$4,000 by streaming games for five minutes,” Rathnam said.
The company also took the opportunity to announce its new Kamcord Partner Program, which gives opportunity for partners to get a revenue share of monetisation on Kamcord.
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Kamcord was first launched in the US about six months ago, followed by the opening of its South Korean and Japanese operations. The company aims to revolutionise live game streaming by enabling users to do it with only one Android device, without the need of a desktop computer as previously. Their app is currently one of the top performing apps in South Korea and Japan.
“This is relevant because the younger demographics in the world don’t have or use computers … For the first time, all you need is an Android phone, tap a button, then you’re streaming and people come to watch you. [You can] make money from it,” Rathnam explained.
“Most Silicon Valley companies don’t add monetisation six months into their product life cycle … It typically distracts from the viewer experience, takes away from it. But we knew that if we can add monetisation in the right way, without hurting the viewer experience, then it’d be awesome,” he added, explaining why the company decided to take this move early on.
Rathnam cited South Korean live streaming show Afreeca TV and Chinese live streaming show YY Inc, who also implement similar business model, as inspirations. The company’s attempt to implement the model were received by critics.
“Skeptics have been saying, ‘Yes, it’s big in Asia, but that won’t happen in the US.’ That’s also what they’re saying about messenger apps years ago,” said Rathnam.
“Cultures are different but there are things in common that we all share … People are willing to go the distance for their idols, waiting in long lines, trying to get backstage, because maybe they’ll get a selfie with Taylor Swift. That stream of emotion is what will hopefully drive people to stream in Kamcord,” he added.
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Talking about the future plans, Rathnam said that the startup is going to enter Europe, China and Southeast Asia aggressively.
For a startup which has been in the market for less than a year, wouldn’t this be a little early?
“Our model is to grow, grow, grow. Because if you take too long to grow, waiting for things to be perfect, by that time there are already competitors and imitators, and it’d be too late,” Rathnam answered firmly.
The startup then said translation, local content, and influencers as part of its localisation strategy.
“We had a top Clash of Clans player in Indonesia to sign up. Within just one day, there are 30 more people signing up right away, without us promoting the platform,” he ended.
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