Bigo Technology, the Singapore based company which owns Bigo Live, a live streaming app, Likee, a short-form videosharing platform, and imo, a video calling platform popular in low data reach countries including India, is betting big on India, and plans to invest 100 million dollars in the country by 2021.
The Singaporean company, whose majority of the users come from India, will keep focus on the Indian market in near future. The company will promote online safety and digital literacy in India, under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) measures.
“Bigo Technology has already announced a $100 million investment in the country by 2021. Our key strategy for expansion in the country would be to generate more localised content that incorporates the diversity of India,” said Mike Ong, Vice President of Government Relations, Bigo Technology.
The company, which launched its flagship product- Bigo Live- in 2016, attracts more than 2.2 crore monthly users around the world. Since its launch in 2016, Bigo Live has notched over 21.9 million monthly average users around the world. Combined with Likee and imo, the company has 30 core monthly active users in 150 countries around the world. According to Mike Ong, India is brimming with talent, “In India, many broadcasters are from tier-2 and tier-3 cities and enjoy the socio-economic mobility that our platform has provided them. They work hard and we wanted to recognise their efforts,” he said.
Recently, Bigo Technologies hosted the first ever BIGO Gala Awards 2020 for talented broadcasters in Singapore. The event recognized and felicitated live-streaming hosts who have performed exceptionally well on Bigo Live over the past year.
The awards ceremony was held in a grand fashion with a red-carpet affair, which was attended by some of the biggest names on Bigo Live. Many broadcasters flew in from all over the world who were joined by hundreds of their top fans who showed up in support. More than 75 broadcasters were awarded at this ceremony bringing the total number of attendees to close to 1,000. The 4 categories of award winners were “Top Regional Broadcaster”, “Top Regional Family”, “Top Global Broadcaster” and “Top Global Family”; indicating the best of the best in both the regions and across the globe.
Live-streaming has become a worldwide phenomenon, as millennials feel the need to be constantly connected, and such platforms such as Bigo Live, allow them to stay connected, meet different people and share new experiences.
In the last few years, India has witnessed an exponential rise in the number of users of video based platforms TikTok, Instagram, Bigo, Youtube and so on. With the dirt cheap data prices after the entry of Jio in late 2016, the data consumption has risen exponentially in the country. People have started spending hours on social media platforms consuming video content. This has not only fuelled the rise of social media video content, but also the OTT apps user base. The OTT apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Alt Balaji registered exponential rise in the hours of content consumption.
Another video sharing platform, TikTok, previously called Musical.ly, a social network where users create and remix short videos set to music was purchased by Chinese company ByteDance in 2017, and it has gained huge popularity among the Indian youth. The US and India have emerged as the largest markets of the online platform, TikTok.
In the last few months, the company has improved its content quality and put various types of filters. Any user who broadcasts problematic content is banned within minutes. Unlike the Chinese video sharing or broadcasting apps, which intentionally do not filter the problematic content, as that is more popular among users, Bigo is trying to make the platform more sophisticated like the American tech platforms.
It is trying to promote good quality content and inspirational stories, like Youtube. From the content strategy of Bigo, the company is trying to compete with YouTube and not with the cheap Chinese apps.