BIGO, part of Chinese live-streamer YY, wants to sell “Broadcasting as a Service”

BIGO hopes to generate more revenue based on its technology.

Photo: provided to company with the press release

BIGO, the Singapore-based technology company that was acquired by China’s live streaming company YY earlier this year at USD 1.45 billion, plans to sell Broadcasting as a Service (BaaS) to any company that wants to have a live-streaming feature in its app, according to a press release of the company.

“By providing BaaS, we can empower our partners with the infrastructure, technology, and localized operation capability of broadcasting, and optimize their products with social and interactive elements,” said Jason Hu, BIGO’s president.

Currently, BIGO has already implemented this BaaS technology to run its own video conferencing app called IMO.

IMO’s mobile monthly active users reached 211.8 million on average in the first quarter of this year, accounting for more than half of YY’s entire user base of 400 million, KrASIA reported in May, citing Li Xueling, founder and CEO of YY.

Li said at the Q1 earnings call that the next step was to bring more features including short-video and live streaming into IMO to enable it to evolve into a super app.

BIGO said in the press release that it is expecting revenues of USD 1 billion generated by live broadcasting this year, adding that BaaS is the main driving force for achieving this goal.

BIGO’s parent company YY booked RMB 4.5 billion (USD 661.7 million) in live streaming revenue in the first quarter, accounting for 94% of its entire revenue.

Generally, live streaming platforms make money by taking a cut of tips and virtual gifts given by audiences to broadcasters while Tencent-backed short video and live broadcasting app Kuaishou has allowed broadcasters to sell goods as another way to monetize its user base.

BIGO’s BaaS concept is another approach to make the most of its core technologies to generate additional revenue but it will take some time to see which companies are willing to pay the bill for this service.