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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Upmesh launches mobile cross-platform streaming app

Singapore – Live commerce enabler Upmesh has announced the launch of ‘Upmesh Live’, a cross-platform live selling mobile application which is a first in Southeast Asia.

Upmesh Live allows sellers to create personalised overlays in their live streams without the need for any prior technical knowledge, allowing them to integrate customisable branded content such as customizable graphics, brand imagery and professional content tools within minutes. 

Through the app, sellers are now able to further achieve virality and engage with their communities on top of real-time order management provided by Upmesh.

The Upmesh Live application is only compatible with Android 8.0 and above as well as ios 11.0 and above

Sellers go live on social media platforms such as Facebook Live or Instagram Live, and Upmesh captures orders through a merchant’s live stream comments and incentivises the buyers to share through discovery, giveaways and drip messaging.

“Upmesh is committed to constantly launching new engaging and interactive features that aim to enable live commerce merchants to reach their full sales and creative potential through multi-channel discovery and sharing to unlock value and virality,” the company said in a press statement.

Wong Zi Yang, CEO and co-founder at Upmesh, said, “While there is much more work to be done, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of the ever-changing retail landscape that we are in, and we’re thrilled to be expanding further to help live sellers across SEA grow their businesses and create a new future for e-commerce through innovative products such as Upmesh Live.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesian game streaming platform GOX partners with Tencent Cloud

Jakarta, Indonesia – GOX, an Indonesian game streaming platform, has announced a partnership with Tencent Cloud, the cloud computing service of Chinese entertainment conglomerate Tencent, to bolster its live streaming and esports solution offering. GOX said this is part of their aim to become an integral part of the burgeoning entertainment market in Indonesia and Asia.

The four-year collaboration will allow GOX to leverage Tencent Cloud’s streaming service and content delivery network to offer low latency, seamless and stable gaming content to millions of viewers in Indonesia and Asia.

Jack Lontoh, founder at GOX, said that with their collaboration with Tencent Cloud, they are confident that they can accelerate the growth of GOX while maintaining the highest quality of streaming services.

“When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, the number of GOX active users has grown more than 16 times, benefitting from the social restriction, as more people started to go online. GOX has positioned itself to take advantage from the early wave of people turning to streaming as a full-time job. As the pandemic continues and the gaming industry further grows, GOX will solely focus on making streaming a ‘sexy’ occupation to have,” Lontoh said.

GOX will continue to look into deeper collaboration with Tencent Cloud in terms of more interactive platform features and gaming resource collaboration, to benefit both viewers and streamers.

Meanwhile, Poshu Yeung, senior vice president at Tencent Cloud International, commented, “Tencent Cloud highlights its commitment to address the ever-evolving demands of people around the world, and how global enterprises can cover all their needs. Through our collaboration with GOX, we look forward to empowering the local entertainment business, particularly in the field of e-sports and game live streaming, via our high-quality, high-performance, stable and secure technology.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Wattpad takes a new digital format as it partners with PH’s live streaming platform kumu

Singapore – Within the recent period that digital has seen a surge in adoption, the format of live streaming has proven to be a powerful channel in offering audiences a new and exciting way of engaging with brands. The most prominent being is the emergence of live streaming specifically in e-commerce. This time, we see another brand take on the trend and probably a one-of-its-kind – Wattpad, the global platform for user-generated stories that we’ve come to love, has partnered with kumu, the fast-growing live streaming platform in the Philippines.

Kumu is a live streaming platform that is rising in popularity among Filipino viewers. Aside from presenting creators and performers opportunities to be a live streamer, the platform also runs game shows where users can win cash prizes. Through the partnership with the platform, Wattpad looks to diversify its stories into exciting digital formats such as live streaming, audio streaming, and social commerce. 

Facilitated by marketing agency Culture Group, the partnership will give some of Wattpad’s most popular influencers the opportunity to connect with their fans in the region, developing a slate of interactive social streaming content exclusive to kumu. 

Starting 16 July, exclusive Wattpad live streams will be held at the official @WattpadPH account on kumu. Through this, fans and aspiring writers can come together to discuss their passion and appreciation for all things storytelling. Every Friday at 7pm PHT, viewers can tune in to join the ‘Write With Me’ livestream series, a special live show where fans can meet and interact with Wattpad stars.

According to the two platforms, the tie-up is also their answer to the digitally-savvy Gen Z consumer.

“The Gen Z community on Wattpad is passionate and highly engaged, and we’re excited for this new opportunity to connect readers with their favorite indie writers,” said Chris Stefanyk, head of brand partnerships at Wattpad.

Meanwhile, Angelo Mendez, co-founder and chief of content at kumu, added, “Wattpad is a big part of Gen Z Filipino culture, and this partnership will allow us to broaden our audiences by giving them an opportunity to foster authentic connections with their favorite Wattpad stars and new ways to enjoy their favorite Wattpad content.”

Kumu will also be allowing audiences to send virtual gifts to their favorite Wattpad stars. Furthermore, the partnership will be enabling social commerce, and will see upcoming opportunities for ticketed events, merchandise, and apparel in the near future. Said other initiatives will be unveiled in the coming weeks. 

According to Wattpad, it now records 90 million readers globally where more than 6 million are in the Philippines. A number of original stories from Wattpad have already been turned into films in the country such as She’s Dating the Gangster, Diary ng Panget (Diary of the Ugly), and Just The Way You Are, which featured some of the brightest stars in the country. 

Just recently, kumu announced a new type of event hosting in its platform – the kumu ‘Live Events’. The new platform aims to replicate the real-life live events and concerts complete with being ticketed and gated as well as coming with post-show engagements. This is in contrast to the standard kumu live stream shows that are open to public viewing.

MARKETECH APAC reached out to Michael Patent, founder and president of Culture Group, who shared exclusive bits on the upcoming engagements of Wattpad on kumu, including a fan-centric mega event in the future that would involve kumu’s ticketing, social commerce, and social streaming features.

MARKETECH APAC: What makes this partnership different? Was there a specific rise in demand for stars and fans’ engagement?

Patent: We (Culture Group) recognized that Wattpad and Kumu play a critical role in the creator economy; Wattpad on user-generated content and Kumu in the formation of creator-driven communities. We knew a marriage of the two would lead to greater exposure for creators and greater engagement for the Wattpad fandom. It’s a first of its kind between a live-streaming platform and a creator platform.

The success of the partnership is rooted in the behaviors of Gen Z in Southeast Asia. They are the ‘creation generation’, and this partnership allows both brands to engage deeper with their community. The intersection of content, community, and commerce allows Wattpad’s fandoms to support the creators they love.

MARKETECH APAC: How will this specific engagement go about on kumu? What must users and fans do in order to be part of this? 

Patent: Wattpad’s leading stars will have a presence on Kumu with unique content formats such as ‘Write with Me’, ‘Wattpad Fan Quiz Show’, and ‘Ask me Anything’. This means there is a deeper level of engagement, never previously seen before for kumu fans. The fans will have more control over the narrative. What makes this great is that any member of Wattpad’s fandom can log into Kumu and engage with their favorite writers through social streaming. 

There’s also a significant ‘gamification’ of the program. This means fans who engage with Wattpad Stars can now win unique prizes and access. This is a key feature and is available via Kumu.

Highlights of the features include: 

Write with me Livestream: While writing, the Wattpad Star will ask viewers to vote on specific choices to determine what happens in the story. Imagine being able to decide what the character is wearing, where the scene will occur, or even the time of the day for a critical location. 

Fan Quiz Show: Fans will play a quiz with their favorite stars on their stories. The host will have the ability to ask fans to send as many virtual gifts (VG/diamonds) as they can while they play music. When the music stops, one of the hosts will take a screenshot of the stream to reveal a winner. They will be gifted signed books and other Wattpad merchandise.

MARKETECH APAC: What other upcoming projects can we expect in line with this new initiative? 

Patent: There’s a fan-centric mega event planned that involves Kumu’s ticketing, social commerce, and social streaming features. There’s also the possibility for capsule collections of merchandise and apparel from Wattpad IP to be sold on Kumu. 

Recognizing the power of fandoms and communities, I think we’re likely to see much more from Wattpad and Kumu, two of the hottest engagement platforms for Gen Z consumers in the Philippines.

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Technology Featured South Asia

OTTera names director of business development for India

Los Angeles – OTTera, global white label OTT service, has announced the appointment of its director of business development for India operations, seasoned media and communications Sumit Rastogi

The appointment comes at a time when on-demand and live stream videos are at their peak demand with audiences looking for digital channels of entertainment in the middle of lockdowns. 

Headquartered in Los Angeles, OTTera provides an all-in-one platform for content developers with solutions for cross-platform development, distribution, and monetization. It allows companies to launch highly customized OTT services at speed, one that would normally take several years and a massive investment to build. According to the company, it currently manages over 70 linear channels and more than 50 OTT services globally.

Stephen Hodge, co-CEO and chairman of OTTera, said that the appointment of Rastogi, who has built a broad leadership and network within the country, will help the company accelerate its growth and tap the many opportunities in the Indian sub-continent.

Rastogi boasts of over 18 years of experience in the area of media sales, content acquisition, and content syndication, and most importantly, in partnerships and affiliate business. Prior to joining OTTera, he was general manager at U2opia Mobile and has also worked for Times of India, Locovida Digital Solutions, and 9.9 Media & Dainik Jagran.

For his new role, Rastogi is charged to grow OTTera’s client base and operations in India. He will be exploring business opportunities from Indian content creators to showcase their content diaspora on leading connected TV and OTT channels and platforms globally.

Rastogi commented that the OTT viewership in India is at an all-time high now and has become the primary mode of entertainment for consumers across Tier II and III cities.

“Regional content, gaming sports, fitness, education will be key drivers in India’s OTT growth and I realize that I have a big opportunity to introduce OTTera services to all the OTT players [and] linear channels and content creators in India. I’m thrilled about working with the talented & experienced OTTera team,” he said. 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s Kumu brings live concert experience to users via new ‘Live Events’

Manila, Philippines – To keep Filipinos entertained amid the pandemic lockdown, local live streaming app Kumu has officially launched its ‘Live Events’ platform, which aims to be the biggest virtual stage in the Philippines to offer its viewers live concert experiences, festivals, and parties from the comfort of their own homes.

The new ‘Live Events’ will primarily be hosted on kumu.live website, and just like any public concert or exclusive event, it will be ticketed and gated, which is in contrast to the standard Kumu live stream shows that are open to public viewing.

Mariel Bitanga, the head of Kumu ‘Live Events’, said that they hope to bring the party experience to the live stream community, and provide them access to their favorite artists in fully produced events through the new platform.

She further shared that the Kumu ‘Live Events’ would still have Kumu’s usual engagement features, and in addition, will have special features lined up, such as private post-show engagement features, replicating the ‘after-party’ experience in live in-person shows.

“As a company, Kumu always strives to elevate our users’ experience within our Kumunity. And Kumu ‘Live Events’ is definitely an exciting addition to offer our users another avenue to enjoy, engage, and connect within our space,” added Bitanga. 

More details on Live Events’ ticket selling, sign-ups, and musical performance line-up to be announced available within the month of April.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s Kumu gathers comics for #KumedyWeek to beat pandemic blues

Philippines – To keep the Filipinos’ spirits up during the global pandemic, local live streaming platform Kumu has launched the ‘Kumedy Week’ series, a lineup of comedic shows that aims to give Filipinos some consoling joy as people continue to ride the wave of lockdowns.

The ‘Kumedy Week’ is a special Kumu-wide effort to promote Filipino comic talents, while also keeping the viewers’ sanity in these trying times.

The series started rolling on 5 April, with the first two shows putting ‘Vavaeng Valvon’ and ‘Amazing Betong’ at the forefront. Today, 7 April, Kumu app users will be able to catch Rufa Mae Quinto, followed by ‘Cromczik’ on 8 April, and ‘I am PJ Pascual’ on 9 April, as well as Zaragine on 10 April. All these upcoming shows will start at 9 pm PST on Kumu’s @SpotlightChannel.

Meanwhile, on Kumu’s @fyechannel’s, viewers will be able to catch shows, still under the series, such as ‘For Your Improvment’ with improv theater group Spit, which will be every Tuesdays at 9:30 pm, as well as ‘Kwentong Macoy’ with popular comedic content creator Macoy Dubs every Wednesdays at the same time, and ‘Lakas Tawa’ with stand up comedian Alex Calleja, which will stream every Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 pm. ‘Lakas Tawa’ will also be on @seenzone every Tuesdays at 10 pm.

The series will also include ‘The Fumiyam Show’ with former finalists of Pinoy Big Brother 8, Fumiya Sankai and Yamyam Gucong, every Wednesdays at 12 pm PST on @StarHuntABSCBN.

Kumu encourages the app users to follow their hashtags #KumedyWeek and #KaSummerAll for more announcements this April.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TikTok SG to host series of all-women sessions ft. homegrown entrepreneurs

Singapore – In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), TikTok in Singapore has announced that it will be hosting a series of exclusive live stream sessions, featuring an all-women lineup of inspiring entrepreneurs of homegrown brands in the country.

The event, which will uncover different stories of female entrepreneurs and business owners, aims to showcase “women’s voices, strength, and creativity.” The event will be streamed live on the TikTok app from 4 to 10 March 2021.

There will be a total of six speakers. Among the hosts will be Felicia, the founder of Oyo Beauty, who will share her philosophy behind creating handmade beauty products. Founder of Whoaa!, Apphia, will also join the live stream series to talk about the journey of her brand’s humble beginnings. Meanwhile, musician-actor-filmmaker Annette will also be gracing the event to show viewers the ropes of telling tales through music, film and even comedy. Felicia’s will be on 6 March at 8:00 p.m., Apphia’s on 7 March at 8:00 p.m, while Annette’s live stream will be on 10 March at 9:00 p.m, all in Singapore Time. 

TikTok believes that the app has been a great platform for women around the world to entertain, inspire, educate, motivate, and use their voices for change. With initiatives like #WhenWomenWin, the app encourages the community to empower more women “to own their voice, rise up and make positive steps” towards achieving gender equality.

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Platforms Featured South Asia

JL Stream, a homegrown social live streaming app in India officially launches

Mumbai, India – JL Stream, a proudly India-made social live streaming app, has announced its official launch, enabling users to stream their talent, get discovered, chat, and earn.

The live streaming app carries a unique feature called ‘Keep It Simple Streamer’ or K.I.S.S., which gives the users the option to share a short video of their talent along with their introduction and to connect with an audience. 

The ‘earn’ feature of the app refers to streamers’ ability to be paid by viewers, where those using the app to watch talents can purchase coins in-app and pay streamers via virtual gifts during the live sessions. Streamers can withdraw their earnings instantly via multiple digital payment options.

The app currently has 100,000 downloads. Its CEO Raj Kundra has noted that in the last five years, India has seen a substantial amount of growth in the way locals consume data and watch content.

“Jaldi Live is a major part of the new internet culture giving every person with any talent a platform to become a star. We have crossed 1 Lakh installs already. I am proud to say that the app is made in India and will be available worldwide,” Kundra said.

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Platforms Featured Global

Instagram doubles down on live streaming, upgrades feature to now accommodate four streamers

California, USA Instagram launched a new streaming feature for creators, ‘Live Rooms’, which has been upgraded to now enable up to four streamers to run a broadcast session. 

With the update, Instagram aims to provide more creative opportunities for the users, such as starting a talk show, hosting a jam session or co-creating with other artists, or to simply hang out with friends. 

Furthermore, the platform’s Live Room was also recently enhanced to give creators more means to build a business and earn money, as viewers can now purchase badges of their favorite creators and use other interactive features like Shopping and Live Fundraisers. Instagram said that in the coming months, users can expect more interactive tools, such as offering moderator controls and audio features.

To start a Live Room, hosts will have to swipe left and pick the Live Camera option. Afterward, they must add a title and tap the Rooms icon to add the guests. People who have requested to go live with the host will appear. While the hosts can also search for guests to add. Guests’ followers can also be notified to increase the live stream’s reach.

Instagram also assures that the new update was designed with safety in mind. Users that are blocked by any participants in the Live Room will not be able to join the live stream, as well as guests who have had their live access revoked because of violations of the Community Guidelines.

The current available features for Live Room hosts include the ability to report and block comments and apply comment filters.

Instagram said the updated Live Rooms will soon be available globally.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

PH telco Globe’s SME brand runs e-bazaar on Lazada

Manila, Philippines – Philippine telco Globe’s SME service myBusiness will be running a “Gift Local” e-Bazaar on Lazada, creating an opportunity for select SME merchants to do live-selling.  

The e-bazaar will take place from November 27 to 29, and aside from Lazada, shoppers can catch the live-selling on Globe myBusiness’ Facebook page every 6 PM during the duration of the e-bazaar opening.

The virtual event is in line with the telco’s ongoing Gift Local campaign, Globe myBusiness’ campaign to promote SMEs in the spirit of Christmas shopping.

“The Gift Local campaign is all about supporting our local entrepreneurs by encouraging Christmas shoppers to buy local products. But this bazaar is unlike any other, because it incorporates the newly launched Globe myBusiness’ Unli Internet Plans, which brings the bazaar experience online for unli enjoyment,” said Alyssa Gil, Globe myBusiness’ segment marketing manager.

Aside from the ongoing e-bazaar campaign, Globe myBusiness is pledging support to the Ayala Foundation’s Brigada ng Ayala by donating 100% of the merchants’ joining fee to the foundation to provide help to disaster-affected areas as well as provide connectivity to public school teachers and students.