The CreatorWorld Influencer Convention opened Thursday in Singapore, and panellists suggested live sales as a potential source of revenue in the coming year, even as fears of a recession and shrinking marketing budgets swirl around an industry heavily dependent on advertising dollars.
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Creatorworld is an event sponsored by the Singapore Media Festival.
Big Tech representatives pointed to the relative maturity of real-time sales in Asia, where consumers are already familiar with the practice of influencers showcasing multiple product showcases via livestreams, allowing customers to buy products from retailers in real time.
“Live streaming is an established phenomenon [in Asia]. You know, categories like electronics, fashion and beauty are very, very popular,” said YouTuber Gautam Anand. “An example from Taiwan: A team of writers called “Mr. and Mrs. Gao” celebrated reaching the 5 million subscriber mark with [live selling] five different versions of the t-shirt. And they had 90,000 people live. GMV (gross value of goods) was very, very attractive.”
TikTok’s Koh Weng Wai spoke about the popularity of the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag, with over 17 billion hashtag mentions, as proof of the platform’s cost-effectiveness and monetization potential for retailers.
Koch also mentioned the effectiveness of the TikTok Creators Marketplace, a sister platform that connects brands directly with TikTok creators, excluding many of the agencies that previously filled this niche as intermediaries. In one case study, he pointed out that the cost to acquire a customer is only $0.74 on average when brands use the TikTok Creator Marketplace.
The convention also revealed a broader, mature ecosystem of businesses revolving around Internet influencers. The mentioned companies provided services as varied as back catalog monetization, AI-assisted audio translation by the voice of the creator, and brand and personality relationship managers receiving mentions.
Singapore-based startup Nas Company also unveiled its new platform product, Nas.io, which allows creators to reach audiences across multiple platforms. The company, founded by video blogger Nuseir Yassin, closed an $11 million Series A funding round in 2021 to build the platform.
Despite being optimistic about new product launches and revenue streams, panellists and attendees were acutely aware of the threat of a recession in their industry.
“It is likely that if we get into a recession, the biggest budget cut in the first place is marketing. And it will affect creatives,” said Ollie Forsyth of venture capital firm Antler.
This view was echoed by Ho Jia Jian, founder of the Viddsee online platform. “The conversations we have [with brands]we see expectation [cuts to spending]we’re seeing some pullbacks, but the demand for content has grown significantly, so there’s still a lot of opportunity.”
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