After the rise of live music, YEMA Live, invested by Wang Feng, came into public eyes. Their idea is that “live music is everywhere” and it provides live music for audience both at home and abroad. In July, CMBN reported news about YEMA Live’s Pre-A financing, led by Nine Ventures, with Wang Feng being the co-investor. At present, YEMA Live has finished a dozen of small concert tests, finding answers of who to bid and how to bid at the first stage.
Li Hongjie, the founder of YEMA Live, is a famous music festival curator and also the founder of Zhangbei Grassland Music Festival. At the end of July, Zhangbei Grassland Music Festival was streamed by LeTV Music and YEMA Live. They spent more than 2 million Yuan on it and used aerial video technology to bring an audio-visual feast to the audience. Now, the playback is still available. In terms of content on YEMA Live, the amount is not large. It chooses a way of “boutique” products.
The following content is collected from what Li shared on a saloon:
When people are saying making content on the Internet, it seems a little bit playful. However, in
this day and age, especially ten years after 2001, no one can get rid of the Internet. But I always feel that the Internet is like water or electricity. It is a medium. Therefore, what we are doing is still music. Though I’m no longer working for magazines or print media, I’m in music business. I only use the Internet to present content to more people.
I began to prepare for YEMA Live in the second half of last year. From magazine to label to music festival, I consider one issue: there are ten thousands of audiences in Zhangbei Grassland Music Festival. But when you see your friends, some would say that they cannot go to the festival though it’s fantastic.
I did some data research before. When there are 100 people at the venue, there must be ten times of audience who want to see the show but cannot come in person. So I want let those people enjoy the rock show. One of my friends introduced an angel investor to me. We chatted and he agreed that my idea can be realized through the Internet.
I first got the idea in the second half of last year and we made the first version at the beginning of this year. Later, because Wang Feng and Yin Liang initiated a paid live show last year, he had his own ideas about music industry. He soon joined in. This was our beginning. Though we are doing the Internet, I insist on taking a long-term view and make a ten-year plan. We need time.
It is impossible for two people to have the same result of doing one thing. There must be differences, because their taste and aesthetic are different. Though in the same kind of product, there are differences from UI to interaction and logic. So Baidu cannot copy what Google is doing.
In YEMA Live, we’ve been emphasizing on two aspects: one is the quality of contents and the other
is the abundance of visual angels. I believe that we will focus on them in a long time. The quality of contents is not equal to the amount. Different people have different standards of the best quality. But the standard must be consistent with one’s artistic and aesthetic taste.
As for the abundance of visual angels, people would understand the term better if they watched the
Zhangbei Grassland Music Festival live. You can choose different visual angels such as the backstage, lead singer, the guitarist or audience. This is the first stage.
Next, we will make the interaction more interesting. Though you are not in the site, but when you use YEMA Live, you’ll find it more fun than that in the spot. For instance, you cannot enter the backstage when you are in the concert. However, now you can watch musicians chatting and eating. It’s more interesting. I think this is the so-called differentiated features.
We cooperate with S.A.G this year, working for industry-standard sound quality. Many ideas might be realized according to various stages. But the interaction with musicians will be achieved in version 2.0 or version 3.0.
We may not touch hardware in a short time. Our sound and picture are highly qualified, but it cannot be presented in the best quality on some audience’s devices. How to solve this problem? It’s impossible to let S.A.G to drive for small shows, so how to improve the sound quality of the whole industry? This is what we have to consider.
Though we may not make hardware speaker, we plan to establish a YEMA Academy to co-work with S.A.G. No matter it is in picture or sound, we need lots of talented people. But there is no industry standard in China and few people know it.
When live is linked with capital, money is a tool and the means to achieve goals. With money, we can make business model quicker and figure out more and better contents. But money won’t change our aim essentially.
Optimistically estimated, if payment is settled and experiences from all aspects are good enough, live video market can reach to billions. There are more than 700 million smart phone users in China. From 4G to 5G, cell phone traffic may not be a problem any loner, but these two hardware environment should be improved. The next is lifestyle. From the time when we wake up to the time when we sleep, we use smart phone. So the market of billions can be reached though we don’t know the exact time.
As for content differentiation, if Modernsky’s content is not available on YEMA, it might turn out to be our advantage. It will open our eyes and we are able to discover more talented musicians that haven’t been signed by Modernsky. But this is not always true. Many artists that we streamed this year are under Modernsky. Though Shen (the founder of Modernsky) won’t tell his employees that their content can not be broadcasted by YEMA Live, we should respect their decision and choice.
In fact, doing concerts business is similar to doing festivals. If there are only one or two companies, the industry cannot grow. Every year, there are around 200 festivals in China. If more people are doing this, the market will be larger. Therefore, I think competition is good for the market and industry. Generally, there are malignant competition and benign competition, and the latter is god for the industry.
The live of Zhangbei Music Festival is produced by LeTV and S.A.G, which set a standard in the industry. If later live do not have such sound and picture quality, the company will be humiliated. When in Strawberry Music Festival, we’ll produce live with better quality. Only in this way can users feel our determination. No matter for free or paid, it is good for the music industry to have content of high quality.
Now, tips and visual gifts are very popular. They are very successful in terms of business model. Several days before, we watched a live streaming App, which streamed a kid eating dinner. The video earns ten thousand per day. But our musicians haven’t earned 500 Yuan. Though it is live, it differs from live music. Our goal is concert and festival live. There won’t be any problem for letting fans pay for the content that he or she loves, but we are not sure whether it works with tips or other means.
Some musicians think that receiving tips in the show makes them feel like they are street performers. They are not happy with this. However, as for a business model, it brings users fun and make they pay for music.
Fans support their idols. To be frank, money is more direct than claps. For example on Momo, there are tens of millions of active users. Such model may help music industry to find new ways. There are some people in other countries that put a notebook computer and sing with the guitar. If there are people watching him, he gets tips.
(Translator: Ellie; Editor: Chuqian Li)
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