Line App Launches YouTube-Like Video Streaming Service
Messaging app company Line has gone out of its conventional chat service to launch a YouTube-like video service in Thailand. The company, which holds 181 million active users worldwide, is planning to bring similar services in other markets as well.
Available via Android and iOS apps and web app too, ‘Line TV’ offers a range of TV shows, dramas and music videos from Thailand, Japan and Korea. Line has not specified the number of shows in its database, but a spokesman said it was growing by the day.
Line TV is integrated with Line’s messaging app. That means users can share content with friends via Line, while videos contain information about the actors within them, such as quick links to find and follow their official accounts within the Line messaging app.
Line is free to use and does not load the page with banner ads. So it is monetizing the service using pre-roll advertising.
Line has not said anything about a paid-for offering, but that does not mean it is letting go off any payments as it has its own in-app payment service, allowing premium content.
For the meantime, Line is sourcing content for the service in the following different ways:
- Paying content providers like GMM Grammy to license shows exclusively
- Sharing revenue with content providers to show older content
- Working on its own content like using characters from its stickers which are already featured in ads and cartoons.
Line claims that out of the 181 million users worldwide, 33 million registered users are based in Thailand, which is even larger than Facebook’s local user base. That’s why Thailand is becoming the testing country for other pilots like grocery sales and delivery. The company also introduced its own taxi service in Tokyo last month while exploring offline service opportunities.
Line TV is not the company’s first attempt with streaming services – it has previously provided a kids video service in Japan. However, Line TV is the first step towards international expansion.
While TV and video content is relatively new for the company, it has managed to set its reputation in the music arena. It created a joint venture focused on music streaming in Japan, and aqcuired MixRadio from Microsoft last year.
Mobile messaging apps have become mobile Internet platforms in Asia. While offering games was one way to keep the users engaged, the latest attraction is triggered by integrating offline and multimedia services that grasp high engagement levels from users.