INTERVIEW: LIVIT’s CEO Thomas Yu Talks Popular Live Streaming App + More

While Netflix and Disney+ and other companies are going toe to toe on this streaming war – has this being some of the case for social apps?

The difference between Netflix and Disney+ and us is that they are SVOD (subscription video on demand), whereas we are LC (Live Content). Social apps such as Instagram and Facebook have [albeit brief] history with live streaming, which many would view as competition, but we are very different from them since our content is gamified and curated. However, seeing these large social media companies incorporating live content on their platforms is a win in our eyes—proof of concept that live streaming is the future of social apps. We wouldn’t say this is “war”; instead, we think that this is an exciting beginning for the next generation of social apps.

After running successfully under a different name – what made you guys to actually change the name?

As with many aspects of any business, we have outgrown our past branding as the ‘edgy and provocative’ app; our evolution progress has led us to seek a new brand identity which properly reflects our core values as a company and as a community.  We are LIVIT.

From a marketing perspective – did you guys had your second thoughts?

Rebranding is always a long and tedious process, not to be taken lightly and definitely not something we intend to do again for a very long time; but it was a crucial next step, and we’re happy to report that the overall reception of the new branding has been outstandingly positive!

What did you learn from your success over in the Asian territory?

We are proud of our parent company’s amazing success in other regions, and we hope to emulate their path and build a supportive community that empowers America’s strong talents.

Asian and American culture couldn’t be any (more?) different – what were some of the new directions you guys choose to take for this new launch?

M17’s guidance was critical to help us get off the ground, but we also conducted a thorough due diligence before launching in the new market. For instance, we made significant changes to our app’s interface to ensure its relevance to US audiences. Design is another way that Asian and American culture differ, and that definitely affected the brand design for LIVIT. Our brand reflects a more minimal, 2D aesthetic than our peer regions in Asia, and also features a more vibrant color palette.

With a new name – what other new things can people expect?

This change communicates our commitment to evolve with our community. Our events will keep adapting to give our streamers the prizes that they want, and product features will continue to expand to give users the community they deserve.

How would the app work exactly? Just like Youtube been doing, people would be able to throw in some superchats and donations or it would be pretty much based on membership?

Our app is first and foremost a social app, so our priority is to build a community of loyal users. Anyone can join the app, watch content, and interact with streamers. There are also premium features accessible to anyone, such as direct messages, group chats, and competitions between groups. Users can earn badges and other features by completing missions and unlocking achievements. A user can buy points to give to their favorite streamers to help them win prizes, such as career-advancing experiences and gear, starring in ad campaigns, and more.

With AGT and The Voice still rocking the charts – did you learn anything from these competition series or you guys rather try to move away from their concepts?

AGT and The Voice are undoubtedly the gold standard for large scale talent competitions, so the scale and viewership demographics are similar to what we want to achieve. However, the format of our content creates an entirely different experience—the live social media platform allows for authentic, real-time connection between viewer and talent, and that’s something large television productions don’t have.

When and where can people get the app?

The app is in the app store under LIVIT. It is compatible with iOS and Google Play.

What else is happening in LIVIT’s world?

We just finished our biggest event yet, Trip ‘R’ Treat. This was our first time putting on an event that started as an in-app competition and ended as an in-person final competition. For the final, the top 30 streamers gathered at the W Hotel in Hollywood to compete for over $30,000 in prizes, including luxurious trips to Paris, the Maldives, Hawaii, Miami, and Las Vegas; travel items and gadgets; and cash giveaways. We enlisted a production team to stream the whole event to a global audience of approximately 10,000 viewers. There was a red carpet and full press coverage and a Getty photographer, and Insider attended and conducted interviews with our winners. The event was a great success and felt like the Grammy’s. You can see a recap video of it here:

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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