Editor’s Note: Internet celebrities or webcast stars are huge in China at the moment. This article alludes to the fact that the most famous online celebrities are usually attractive women making barely legal videos for huge numbers of users. Like in the West, online celebrities can make a living in China by hawking products online. The article recognizes the huge potential for the fast-growing market that revolves around webcast stars in China.
Webcast stars are a huge phenomenon in Mainland China. These celebrities, mostly female, are hugely popular online. Chinese webcast stars often earn their small fortunes by marketing products during live broadcasts. This new medium has created a number of business opportunities for online stars.
Making a Living from Being Pretty
Taiwan’s China Times published an article on June 23 titled “Can you make a living just from being pretty? The Mainland market for webcast stars is extremely hot!” The article asked: what kind of people are actually online celebrities? Online celebrities are ordinary people with certain special characteristics or strong points. They become popular through the Internet through a combination of voyeurism, the need for stimulation and entertainment, attraction, and worship.
Online celebrities generally make videos and broadcasts by talking out loud and filming themselves with a cell phone camera. In Mainland Chinese, the celebrities who make these videos are often called “online anchors.” China’s Webcast Star Economic White Paper reported that these type of online celebrities can earn more than one million RMB making videos. 82.5% of them are attractive women.
Fan Gifts vs. Marketing Stunts
Many enjoy making online videos for reasons of vanity rather than commercial interests. However, there are many online platforms that let viewers send cash gifts to their favorite online celebrities. The online anchors then receive about 30% to 40% of the gift after the platform takes its cut.
The best way for an online celebrity to earn money is to hawk a product online. Businesses will make deals with webcast stars and pay them to use their product in a video in order to influence their fans to buy it. Through this business model, online celebrities earn an average of 20,000 RMB per month. The most popular online celebrities are able to rake in tens of millions of RMB every year.
An Expanding Platform
Aimei Consulting reported that in 2015, there were nearly 200 online broadcasting platforms in Mainland China, and the market for webcasting was worth about 9 billion RMB. That year, there were 200 million live broadcast platform users, and the market continues to grow. In 2016, the market will be worth a forecasted 10.6 billion RMB.
In all, webcasting in China has become a huge alternative market to sell consumer products. Chinese think tank Yi Guan wrote in a recent report on online celebrities that the market is currently based on selling women’s clothing and cosmetics. However, more categories will become popular in the future, including maternal and children’s products, home goods, sports equipment, and more.
At the same time, a lot of live broadcasting features content that is almost illegal. Despite this, the enthusiasm for the genre does not seem to be slowing down. It will be interesting to see if webcasting in China can transition to appeal to a more mainstream market and become a more legitimate industry.
Source: QQ News
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Keywords: China online celebrities China webcast
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