Livestream platform eyes content creators

VumiCentral chief executive officer Wilfred Kinyanjui, [James Wanzala, Standard]

A new social media livestream platform Vumistream has been launched in the country.

The launch on June 1 follows a similar one in 10 African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Congo and Ethiopia and diaspora market.

The beta version of Vumistream.com, Africa's first live-streaming social media platform is focused on empowering content creators to earn from their livestreams.

The platform provides tools for content creators to earn from their livestreaming through tips, subscriptions, pay-per-view (premium livestreams), live e-commerce, and webinars.

A first of its kind in Africa, it delivers the best streaming experience to African content creators.

According to VumiCentral chief executive officer Wilfred Kinyanjui, the platform will be a disruptor in the market that is already flooded with likes of Instagram, Tiktok, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube among others.

"Our main goal is getting content creators paid. Our monetisation features are quite diverse and different for them to choose from,'' said Kinyanjui.

''For the above mentioned platforms, you can create content but you do not earn due to their strict requirement threshold to meet before you start monetising yet they are the ones who keep the platforms active,'' he said.

For YouTube for instance, one has to have 1,000 followers and 10,000 watch hours, which Kinjanyui says for content creators in Africa, it's a huge demand.

''This means you are asking them to buy or hire equipment and sometimes have to pay for locations to produce content and thus many young people give up due to what we call creative fatigue because the resources they put in is not commensurate with the reward they get,'' he added.

For the Vumistream, he said content creators will start earning from the content immediately for a certain period and after that, they will be required to do like five livestreams per month to be activated.

Kinyanjui said they will soon come up with a feature called live e-commerce so that a content creator can partner with a shop and if you promote that item on his or her platform and is bought, you get paid an affiliate commission.

Also planned for launch is another feature called content creator marketplace, where they will give brands a platform where they can be able to select the content creators to use to sell their product.

''This is will be after the client has been able to see content creator's data in terms of engagement analytics of their past content posted,'' said Kinyanjui, an entrepreneur who also started Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI).

According to Statista, Africa's live-streaming industry is projected to be worth over $124.49 million(Sh17.2 billion) by 2023.

This growth leverages the rise of mobile money and tech-savvy young Africans to offer new ways for people to earn a living where job opportunities are often scarce.

Content creators across Africa can request for early access on creators.vumistream.com to start live streaming and earning money from their content.

Viewers will be able to follow their favourite creators, engage with their streams, tip them, subscribe to their channels, and buy products promoted during livestreams.

Mr Kinyanjui said they anticipate seeing novel kinds of content, interactions, and business models arising from Vumistream as they keep developing features that satisfy the requirements of their rapidly expanding community of creators and viewers throughout Africa.

Vumistream, which is headquarter in United Kingdom(UK) plans to expand into more countries and continents by 2024 with plans to scale across the entire African continent.

It features a range of content including lifestyle vlogs(IRL), comedy skits, music, gaming, news commentary and more.

Creators can go live on Vumistream using their mobile phones or from a desktop using readily available encorders.

They will have access to its tools to enhance their streams, including real-time viewer statistics, virtual gifts and video effects.

The platform, he said, will also offer localised monetisation tools tailored to African content creators, including mobile money payment options like M-Pesa and detailed analytics to help optimise their streams.