[Exclusive Interview] 75 Lakh Users On Bolo Live, India’s Hottest Live Streaming Platform! How This Happened?

Recently we interacted with Varun Saxena- Co-Founder and CEO Bolo Live, and asked him about their vision and plans for the future.

Bolo Live is a live streaming platform that allows its users to broadcast daily activities, habits, and online services to their followers., and recently they received a funding of $2.4 million from Orios Venture Partners and others.

Here are the highlights from the interview:

Where everyone is talking about short video apps and content commerce, what is your thought behind building a live streaming platform in India?

We pivoted to live streaming with the vision to democratize monetization for every content creator. Earning opportunities for content creators were limited to brand partnerships and affiliate revenues. We wanted to disrupt this by empowering content creators with direct fans driven monetization opportunities, and thus went for active engagement of live streaming.  Bolo Live straddles the unique amalgamation of live streaming, gamification, and consumer microtransactions. At Bolo Live, we empower fans to connect, live chat, engage with and build communities with their favorite live streamers in their preferred languages. The platform has crossed more than 5 million downloads on Google PlayStore, with iOS growing strong as well at more than 2.5 million installs. Besides this, the live entertainment app has received positive ratings, which stand at 4.2 stars out of 5 as of April 18, 2022. The app ranks highest consistently in the lifestyle category on Google Playstore, and amongst the top 150 apps across categories. 

Varun Saxena- Co-Founder and CEO Bolo Live
Varun Saxena- Co-Founder and CEO Bolo Live

Who are your competitors in the live streaming space? What measures are you taking to stay ahead of them? 

Our primary competition was from the Chinese applications which were operating into live streaming space. However, with the ban on them, we are currently the leading dedicated social live streaming app. Our only Indian competitor was earlier doing live social gaming and has just started to get into entertainment, and has all the data metrics at less than half of ours, as per different app intelligence platforms. In addition, while we are already generating revenue significantly, our only indian competitor is yet to start monetization.

We are focusing on strong gamification led engagement features and our own content IPs to continue to strengthen our leadership position,  including innovating on user scale so that more and more content lovers may get value created for them through the earning opportunities on the platform. Our content creators have already been earning over 1.5 million USD over the last 9 months, we are confident of continuing to strengthen our position with improved product and user experience in time to come.  Bolo Live has crossed 300K monthly unique users spending in March’22 (>85% from Tier 2 and 3), >90% of INR 10,000+ monthly purchases are from Tier 2-3 markets. Also, 50% of these users have been doing it for 6 months. The platform is making the revenue as big as any Indian content app today be it any short video app, without any ad revenue. We launched Content IPS, as a step forward in the direction to bring more live entertainment for all our users and getting them closer to their favourite entertainers. #BoloComedyClub , #BoloPrimeTime, #BollywoodLives, #BoloFitnessFactory are some of the Content IPs on our platform and are getting  over 18x engagement as compared to regular lives. 

What challenges do you foresee for live streaming to grow in India

The major challenge for any live streaming platform continues to be around moderation as there are far more real time variables associated with live streaming as compared to short videos. Platforms need to be proactive and have the right mechanisms enabled to ensure that these areas are regularly strengthened to ensure the trust and safety of both users and content. At Bolo Live, there are multiple layers of content moderation that go on the platform. This includes tech-enabled moderation, manual moderation, and community moderation, the combination of all three ensures ‘Clean Content’ flow on the platform. 

What are your plans and programs regarding Bolo Live for the year and future?

Our major focus area will be to further broaden the avenues on the app through which content creators may monetise the live interactions with their fans on the platform. There will be new monetisation streams launched for creators in the next couple of quarters.

In order to create more value for all the creators as well as users, we will continue to innovate by introducing social gaming, new ways for content creators to monetize through consumer spending as well as opening up the platform for brands to leverage the live streaming engagement. 

How do you describe your journey in developing India’s first social live streaming app?

It is both exciting and challenging. When we started to build Bolo Live with the vision to democratize monetisation for every content creator through video live streaming; there was a notion that one can’t build a large video streaming platform in India without sleazy content.

Bolo Live today has emerged as a platform that empowers users to upgrade their lifestyle through earnings on the platform, and the user stickiness has only increased pushing our momentum every day to a better pace, and now takes us to #1 in the category. We take pride that everything is being built solely on Clean Content, and with the domination of Tier 2/3 cities users who are not just viewing but transacting on the platform in high volumes.

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