By Yu Mingfei
Chinese performers go live all the time online.
According to Sohu news reports, live performances in 2016 reached 15 billion viewers and may reach 60 billion by 2020.
People go live with everything on the internet: playing games, singing, dancing, drawing, chatting, doing makeup, eating, or not doing much at all but keeping the camera on.
Fei Zao, 28, whose internet ID is “Feizaojun|the kitty of Minmin|,” is a famous internet singer who has nearly a quarter of a million fans on her live platform, Bilibili.
“I do live entirely out of my own interest, so there is no fixed time and content,” she said.
Feizao is what is known as a “wayward” anchor; she merely informs her fans through Weibo and QQ group before each time of the live show.
“I like the real-time communication with fans,” she said.
Here is a video of Feizao: http://live.bilibili.com/78787
Many platforms like YY Live and Netease Live have invited Feizao as a full-time anchor, but she has rejected the offers. “Live is just a pleasure for me. My job paid me enough money,” she said. Feizao is a voice teacher in real life. She teaches high school students who plan to apply to art colleges. That’s why her fans call her “Teacher Feizao”.
Long Nv, 51, has worked on live platforms since 2006. “You can call me a veteran of this industry,” she said, “I used to live on UC Live, GuaGua Live, and now VV Live. There is always a more popular platform.”
Long Nv was laid off from her job in 2006. Her husband’s income was not enough to feed her parents and two children. So she started trying the live show. “My live show is always at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. because I need to take care of my family in the daytime. Most of the time I was a host of song conference or birthday party, and occasionally I was invited to sing,” she said. “Every month I have at least four live shows. It can be more when the customer is an acquaintance or is willing to pay more money.”
She has a fixed team; some are is responsible for contacting people who need internet hosts or to host parties or recitals. The revenue comes from the customer’s payments and the audience’s tips.
“The platform takes 5 percent. The tax takes 20 percent. I split the rest with my team. Usually, if the audience gave me ¥100 RMB tips, I can only get ¥40.”
Liu Puhong, 22, comes from Liaoning Province and is a devoted spectator of the events on Huya Live, which is the largest game platform in China. The professional gamers and amateur players live there to play online games, single-player games, or mobile games.
Liu watches the League of Legends live show almost every day; his favorite anchors are Uzi, EDG, and Milu.
“I pay ¥700 to ¥800 as tips to my favorite anchors every week; it’s about half of my living expenses. Mostly I give tips to Milu; she’s not only good at games but also beautiful. The female players are treasures.”
His payments are actually at the lower level from the live show audience. “Wealthy people, mostly rich second generation, usually pay more than ¥2 million a week to one anchor, and I’ve seen it many times,” he said.
Qi Xin said she is not addicted to live performances, but she only concerned about her idol’s show. “My baby, Wang Junkai, likes to go live, so I will support it. My comments can be immediately seen and even answered by him, and I know what he is doing without rehearsal or editing. That is what attracted me most.”