Three-year-old Hang w/ is competing in an increasingly crowded space, despite having gotten there first.
The live-streaming platform, which was founded on the idea that celebs needed a more authentic way of connecting with their audiences on social media (and get paid for it), is going to head-to-head with various apps, including Meerkat, Periscope, Facebook and Streamup, all of which rolled out after Hang w/’s launch in 2012.
But that’s okay, founder Andrew Maltin (pictured), told StreamDaily. He’s spent the past three years trying to explain to everyone what live streaming was, and why it mattered. The good news is, he doesn’t need to do that anymore.
To capitalize on the chatter around the new way of sharing video, Hang w/ is launching a crowdfunding campaign in the hopes of raising $2.5 million. The campaign, which invites people to invest in the platform, will run through until mid-December, said Maltin.
Though the money will be useful (and go towards marketing efforts to help continue to grow Hang w/’s subscriber base), one of the best things about the crowdfunding campaign is its ability to tap into its dedicated user base (now approaching eight million), who will, in turn, help evangelize the platform, which will help differentiate the brand from the pack of other live-streaming platforms, said Maltin.
Hang w/ works on mobile, and connects to various social media channels, where broadcasters can notify their audiences of the impending show. Users can create VOD packages or work directly with advertisers (through which Hang w/ gets a cut), or fans can provide “tips” for when they like the content.
Live streaming, of course, is an incredibly hot topic these days. Since August alone, Streamup brought on board Endemol Beyond USA’s Will Keenan to head its operations, Comcast announced its new live streaming service, e-sport hub Stage Ten kicked off its own platform and Facebook waded in with a service for celebs.
The appeal is hard to ignore. The platform helps recapture some of the water-cooler magic of linear television, pre DVR days: you never know what might happen live, so you have to tune in to watch. In turn, advertisers have increasingly been attracted to live events (on linear and digital channels), for that very reason – it’s hard to miss the ads.