Yuki He, Founder and CEO of LiveMe, shares her thoughts on how live streaming is disrupting and bolstering the creator economy. Before launching LiveMe in 2016, Yuki was the leader of the Clean Master team at Cheetah Mobile, which became a flagship product with over 300 million monthly active users and a key revenue stream for the company. She has over 15 years of experience in China’s Internet industry and has been a top product manager at Kingsoft and Tencent.
Yuki He says, “The most important thing is that [LiveMe’s] timing and the technology were among the pioneers in real-time audio and video technology in social products. I think we are the first group, so this innovation was a game changer.”
How Live Streaming Is Impacting The Creator Economy With Yuki He, Founder And CEO Of LiveMe
Creating Relevant, Natural Brand Partnerships
Yuki He explains that the most critical thing for collaboration is that it is natural and relevant to the creator’s audience and content. For example, a beauty YouTuber collaborating with a makeup brand is very natural, but this can also extend to live broadcasting platforms like LiveMe, which allow the creator to talk to their followers live while doing their makeup.
Transparency and creator independence within the collaboration are vital to maintaining authenticity with their followers.
Yuki He shares, “Any corporation should not force creators to change their voice in the venues… If they [the creator] can maintain the content they previously produced, then they will have a long-term relationship with their fans.”
Yuki stresses that content creators should retain the rights to their content regarding the editorial decision, while the brand should step back and not dominate the natural creative process.
These steps lead to better-performing, more authentic content that the audience will enjoy, benefiting both the creator and brand partner.
The Biggest Challenges in the Creator Economy
Creators face a massive explosion of information and content online, making capturing an audience’s attention more challenging because they have so many platforms and creators to choose from.
The second biggest challenge is maintaining a united audience over time.
She explains, “That is a challenge to the creators for how to make every group of fans satisfied with your content. I think that is also a challenge and on the monetization – the decline of monetization and the effectiveness of transitional monetization, like ads, has declined year by year.”
As a result, many creators struggle to form sustainable revenue streams. Another issue is the increased production costs, as viewers expect higher quality content and a frequent publishing schedule.
How LiveMe Addresses Common Creator Challenges
While everyone can be a creator, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and some money to invest in production to stand out.
Yuki He says, “If I could change one thing about the creator economy, it would be to provide the creator with more revenue sources and monetization ways and a model that can improve their productivity and efficiency, help them create better content.”
One of the ways LiveMe addresses these challenges is by giving creators more operational data and feedback. LiveMe’s intelligent analysis helps creators improve the quality of their content and find the right audience, allowing them to grow faster.
Other features like the fan group and community function give creators active ways to engage with their fans, allowing them to create a more united audience.
Live gifting tips and other monetization features address the struggles to create sustainable monetization as a creator.
Lastly, LiveMe’s newer social design features like voice video, multiplayer cohosts, and interactive games connect creators and their fans in novel ways, creating a deeper sense of community.
The Democratization and Exclusivity of the Creator Economy
Anybody can be a creator, which the ongoing push for greater diversity and inclusion supports. However, there is still exclusivity in the creator economy, particularly regarding platforms.
Yuki He explains, “This fosters the democratization [of creators] by encouraging the representation of various genders, cultures, and perspectives. But, on the exclusive factors, I think the platform control might be a very big part because there are some major digital platforms that still hold a market monopoly, influencing the visibility and the income distribution of the creators, so this might make creators feel excluded as they may struggle to enter the market.”
Intellectual property, copyright, and legal concerns are other barriers that may deter some creators from entering the market, along with the fierce competition.
Future Trends in the Social Media and Creator Space
AI technology is now accessible to everyday creators to help them generate their content, which is a massive disruption in the industry.
Yuki He also predicts that one of the most critical KPIs for creators will be audience engagement and loyalty. Do your followers engage with your content, buy products you recommend, etc.?
She adds, “There’s already a shift happening with nano and micro-influencers. Brands are realizing that the number is not [important.] It’s not all millions of followers if you don’t have the engaged community that trusts you and searches for your content and buys what you promote.”
A smaller influencer with a dedicated audience can reap the same or better results during a brand collaboration than a larger influencer with a less engaged audience.
Essential Lessons for Businesses in the Creator Economy
As a leader in the social media landscape, Yuki has come across many meaningful experiences and lessons.
She shares, “One is an issue of adjusting revenue share ratios with creators… At the very beginning of our platform, it was launched in the pure UGC model so everyone could go live and become a creator… The sharing ratio of users was constant and relatively high. The sharing ratio was more than two times higher than competing products at the time.”
This situation led to a much higher demand for social aspects than high-quality content.
Yuki He shares that if she could go back, she would prioritize more open communication with LiveMe’s creators. At one point, the team changed the revenue share strategy three times in a few months without communicating why, leading to lost creators on the platform.
Today, Yuki and her team prioritize ample communication, even for the most minor strategy or policy change. They also have one-on-one relationships with their biggest broadcasters, allowing them to ask for feedback about new features or modifications to the platform.
LiveMe’s New and Upcoming Features
LiveMe recently launched interactive games to help creators connect with their audience and boost engagement.
An upcoming feature is its AI-powered virtue anchors integration with its advanced language model. This improvement will make live streaming more like actual broadcasters.