Online digital entertainment network #fame has launched its live video entertainment app today, where users can create and broadcast live content across its user base.While the #fame app is the first of its kind in India, Saket Saurabh, CEO of #fame, believes the company’s ‘talent first’ strategy further distinguishes it. “We currently have 3,000 content creators which we hope to scale up to 50,000 by the year-end,” says Saurabh.
Saurabh believes that this substantive increase in the company’s talent pool will come primarily from the 10 million potential users of the app, which it hopes to garner in six months. “It is not just about downloads but also about the engagement we build through the platform, which is where content becomes important,” says Saurabh.
“This is content made by mobile users, for mobile users where anybody can go live,” says Puneet Johar, MD of TO THE NEW Ventures (TTN Ventures). #fame raised $10 million from TTN Ventures in January this year, which was in addition to the $3 million investment that TTN Ventures made when #fame began in 2014.
In a live streaming app, misuse of the service is a major concern for service providers as the content is not pre-screened. “There are three steps of moderation—manual, machine learning and community-level moderation,” informs Johar. However, he concedes that there might still be misuse. “Through these (moderation) steps we plan to scrub it clean and remove objectionable content.” #fame has a 10-person moderation team that will be monitoring the content that goes live.
The year 2015 has seen a global shift towards live video streaming with the Meerkat app and Twitter-owned Periscope, both vying for the top spot in the live streaming space. “We have launched within six months of Meerkat’s and Periscope’s entry,” says Johar. “In the history of technology innovation, I don’t think India, or even Asia, has developed a technology so close on the heels of a US company,” Johar adds. Meerkat and Periscope, unlike the #fame app, use Twitter as their platform.
“While Meerkat and Periscope are great platforms, we feel our app is differentiated because we are adding the content and curation layer,” says Saurabh. “It is not just tech innovation but tech-plus content.” This is what #fame believes will drive consumer engagement with the app.
#fame, as a digital network is often confused with MCNs (Multi Channel Networks) like PingDigital and the Shekhar Kapur, AR Rahman and Samir Bangara-backed Qyuki. Its promoters disagree with this classification. “MCNs are into aggregating channels for other people and that is not how we work. We work with new talent and give them a platform,” insists Johar.
The #fame digital entertainment network itself spans across several platforms including YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp among others.
Correction: We had earlier identified #fame as India's first live-streaming app. While it is the first of its kind, #fame is not India's first ever live-streaming app.