Live-streaming app TwitCasting surpasses 2 million users, but founder is a little...

Live-streaming app TwitCasting surpasses 2 million users, but founder is a little distressed

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See the original story in Japanese.

TwitCasting is an app that allows you to stream videos from iPhone or Android handsets. The service was launched early in 2010, and there have been good numbers in terms of user acquisition: reaching 250,000 users in 2010, 750,000 in 2011, and 1.75 million in 2012. On Thursday, we had a chance to speak with Yoski Akamatsu, the CEO of Moi Corp., the company behind the app. He explained more about the services sudden growth:

I feel it rapidly shifted gears last November. Since the beginning of this year, we are acquiring almost 200,000 users a month. We may surpass 4 million users by the end of this year. […] The livecast channel has 200,000 to 300,000 visitors a day, and they usually stay for about 4 to 5 minutes on average. While I invented the service, I can’t really explain what has caused the recent rapid user growth. More than a half of our entire user base is people who are younger than 25 years old.

twitcasting_screenshot

He showed us a list of livecast programs, where thumbnail portrait of users livecasting can be seen for each one. As the CEO mentioned, they are pretty young – probably high school students, junior high school students, and teenagers. When we opened one program, it was explaining about how to put on make-up. Viewers then would leave comments on the video via Twitter.

[The sudden influx of] younger users might be caused by Atsushi Tamura, a comedian known for using the Twitcasting app on his TV show. Users visit our service with the expectation of making new friends online. They’re using it as a chat app.

The service is getting so popular so that has been featured in some magazines for teenagers, but it seems the CEO can’t keep up with this unforeseen popularity.

Compared to other similar services like Ustream or the live channels of Nico Nico Douga, the service pursues quality user communication. Instead of video quality, they are focusing on gaining real time capabilities like live radio programming, aligning the direction for the user community by adopting a real name-based membership system. But now that the younger generation shares a big portion of the user base, he has to intensify monitoring of video posts to ensure there’s no illegal activity involving minors.

TwitCasting was launched as a part of Yoski’s other startup, Sidefeed. It was spun-off in February of 2012 and incorporated as a new startup called Moi Corp.

They intend to monetize with advertising and paid-subscriptions, and currently revenue is roughly split between these two streams. The paid subscription from the Android app is showing good growth too.

The startup is now in talks with big companies exploring possible business partnerships.