During the Slush Shanghai event on Oct. 31st, we had the pleasure of speaking to Lu Jian, President of Hujiang CCtalk Cloud, the live streaming arm of online education platform Hujiang.com. This August, Lu Jian joined Hujiang.com from 360’s live streaming platform. This job move was seen solid confirmation that this would be another company prioritizing live courses.
“Within a year, more than half of the live streaming sites today will cease to exist, simply because none of them, not Inke, not Huajiao, have a successful business model”, Lu Jian tells us.
Live streaming platforms have voracious appetites for cash, with most of the expenses coming from broadband costs, which could come down to as much as 10 million RMB a month. But the trickle of revenue from these companies consist solely of the cut taken from“offerings” made to the KOLs, which come by a dime a dozen nowadays. Nevertheless, an exclusive contract with one of any degree of fame is still leaves these platform millions of RMB poorer.
In stark contradiction with all the ways these platforms are burning cash, the content they are producing doesn’t create much value. “One interesting trend is that once some of these platforms attract a large volume of viewers, they begin to seek ways to fuse live streaming with e-commerce,” says Lu Jian.
He believes that with the return to rationality, those who lack a feasible business model will have trouble finding capital when the come up for air in the next round, and many of these will be washed ashore after the frenzy calms.
Lu purports that the opportunities that are still out there are mainly for live streaming verticals, and predicts that there is ample room for imagination in medicine and health care, and of course, education. “These fields satisfy rigid demand,” he believes.
“Jiangsu’s course live streaming platform CCtalk was founded as early as 2012. Once a tool available only to paid subscribers. Now, it’s fully open to all and if there’s something you want to teach and share, you can live stream your own class.” Developers at CCtalk are working to introduce other teaching tools like slides, quizzes, and hand-raising mechanisms to live streaming, to reconstruct as much as possible, a physical classroom.
“Most importantly, our courses have value to to our customers, and they are willing to pay for the content. We have a distinctly profitable model,” Lu proudly emphasized to Technode. He is also proud of the free public welfare courses CCtalk is providing to rural schools, allowing students with little access to good teachers, audit classes in better school online.
“Live streaming is one way to bridge the inequality gap in education, ” he says, referring to the huge deficit in qualified teachers in China’s backwaters and rural areas.