Livelens believes that some fans will dish out money to watch live streams of their favorite artists and celebrities.
The Tel Aviv-based company launched today its iOS app and a redesigned Android app for streaming of live or scheduled video to your social media pages and directly to any connected device. The company has also raised $2 million in new funding from undisclosed investors.
Livelens aims to enable two things for its customers: Live streaming of planned or spontaneous events and monetizing those live streams.
“We’re excited to introduce this new platform of video sharing to the social media world, filling a void that was clearly missing in the social platform market. As the industry continues to evolve, transforming on what seems like a daily basis, we can now welcome live video into the mix,” said Livelens chief executive Max Bluvband in an official statement.
“Giving anyone the ability to easily share their moments in real time will also present the opportunity to create planned events where anyone can charge to view unique, behind the scene type content,” he added.
The company is hoping that people with a substantial social media following can hook their followers and fans into paying to watch their video streams and make money that way. Not surprisingly, the company’s revenue model rests on users doing just that, because Livelens plans on taking a cut from the money users make.
This model doesn’t seem totally convincing, however. I can only think of a few types of people who even stand a chance to successfully charge viewers: Music artists, actors, other performing artists, and other celebrities who have unbelievably loyal (read: obsessed) fans.
And even then, let’s look at the music industry. People don’t even want to pay for music anymore. Sure, there’s Spotify, but the services is only a small monthly fee to get rid of the ads, and plenty of people just deal with them because they refuse to pay to listen to music. These people will very unlikely pay to watch a video of anything.
Furthermore, even the king of video platforms, YouTube, relies on the ad model to generate revenue, and the only subscriptions partnerships it has formed are with major channels.
Finally, we’ve seen too many startups launch and fail with exactly this idea — connecting fans and the objects of their desire via live video. Things are not looking too great for Livelens, though how well this works out remains to be seen.
Livelens originally launched in 2013 on Android and is now also on iOS. This is its first institutional funding round.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition: Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.