iQIYI charges into the battlefield of live streaming

Video streaming site iQIYI launched its live streaming app Qixiu on Friday, with the slogan “Making your superstar dream come true”.

“Last year we saw two major trends rising up; one is VR and the other is mobile live streaming,” said Gong Yu, founder and CEO of iQIYI. Although many competitors have entered the live streaming field, Gong believes that the features of iQIYI’s Qiuxiu will make it stand out.

The slogan of “realizing your superstar dream” has two meanings: on the one hand, superstars can interact with their fans via live streaming, a feature also offered by other live streaming platforms like Ingkee; on the other hand, Qixiu will discover talented streamers and help them become superstars–iQIYI also introduced at the launch event its team of mentors to that end.

According to Gong, Qixiu positions itself as a live streaming app working to produce contents with the following keywords: happiness, sunshine, energy, and positivity. He believes that Qixiu’s advantage lies in iQIYI’s resources accumulated over the past six years, which will be integrated with the live streaming business. “One plus one can be greater than two,” said Gong.

For example, iQIYI’s variety show Shisanyi fenbei, or “1.3 Billion Decibels”, is to debut on Friday evening with a live streaming version, showing interesting sidelights that are not available in the show itself.

The launch event of Qixiu, iQIYI's live streaming app (Photo from iQIYI)
The launch event of Qixiu, iQIYI’s live streaming app (Photo from iQIYI)

With a user base of 600 million, iQIYI is a platform that covers movies and TV dramas, animations, variety shows, literature, gaming, and VR. Qixiu will build upon these resources, and its live streamers will be able to stream 360 degree videos at Qixiu with equipment provided by Qixiu’s partners such as Insta360.

Statistics show that there are currently 116 live streaming apps in China. This includes the likes of big companies such as Tencent, an investor in Douyu that claims to have 120 million monthly active users, and Alibaba, which acquired Chinese video streaming giant Youku Tudou and its live streaming site

According to iQIYI co-president Xu Weifeng, iQIYI has invested heavily into its live streaming business, though the detailed amount was not disclosed.

(Top photo from iQIYI)

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