HometechThe Rise of Live Streaming in Singapore: A Comprehensive Overview

The Rise of Live Streaming in Singapore: A Comprehensive Overview

1. Introduction to Live Streaming

The concept of allowing individuals to present themselves entirely in real time from anywhere to anyone is truly fascinating. Most people are familiar with the multiple ways live stream service occurs to varying degrees. The comments “Reaching your audience in real time” and “Broadcast anywhere” hold sway in the construction and viewing of live streams. Further technological development enabled a proliferation of content, which resulted in a macro shift that transformed conventional media companies. Today, more than one out of five Internet users watch live streaming Singapore. They do so for various reasons, not least of which is to feel connected to events as they happen or to feel excited with the potential they see with the passage of time.

Identification of the live streaming industry in terms of its varied sections and formation is very important in understanding this interesting form of digital content. The high level of technology involved in live streaming has given it the massive scale that it now enjoys. Live streaming would not have been possible without the use of technology and all the different types of software and hardware that work in tandem. There are many different companies, firms, and independent contractors who work separately, providing specialized services in different fields, making up the large but still tightly-knit live streaming industry.

1.1. Definition and Evolution of Live Streaming

In essence, today’s live streaming can be traced back to 1995, when ABC and NBC experimented with live streaming over the internet in the United States. At that time, just a few hours of TV shows and special programs such as the Winter Olympics were broadcast over the World Wide Web. In 2011, as the technology in live streaming matured globally, the use of internet broadcasting became increasingly diverse, including commercial applications. A British company gained a UK patent for advertisement insertion technology capable of detecting and replacing advertisements in live video streams in real-time. This marked live streaming’s complete divergence from television broadcasting. In 2016, major social media platforms announced the launch of live streaming capabilities. A report by MarketingCharts, stated that in 2019, the US online video viewership activity measured over 100 minutes per day with live content-making up a large proportion of the consumption time. It is expected that by the end of 2019, more than a million users would have been engaged in live broadcasting across different platforms, steadily increasing daily average watch time.

The definition of ‘live streaming’ can be inferred from its name. Colloquially, live streaming refers to the transmission of live video over the internet, usually after it has been captured. Live streaming services (LSS) can range from mobile applications with simple functions to sophisticated broadcast software that requires professional training to use. Regardless of their complexity, LSS generally consist of two parts: a device to record and broadcast the live content, and a live streaming platform through which the content can be viewed. Over time, live streaming has also given rise to other configurations, such as streaming within virtual reality. According to the Internet Live Stats website, as the world becomes increasingly digitized and as the use of live streaming for game streaming, webinars, browsing entertainment consumption, video conferencing, and more continues to increase, the global average mobile live stream time has continued to grow incrementally by around 0.5% each year.

2. Live Streaming Platforms in Singapore

The variety of live streaming platforms also provides opportunities for brands to realize their marketing objectives, and there are other Singapore-centric companies such as Active8me, GEMS World News, and Bigo.tv which collaborate with Malaysian and Chinese live streaming platforms like New2U, Taobao Spiral, Fish.live, and Huajiao.

In 2017, Mediacorp partners with YouTube unveiled the Toggle app, which provided both free and paid live streaming of UEFA Champions League Final to viewers on YouTube. Furthermore, Mediacorp also clinches a multi-year deal to stream BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore in 2015, 2016, and 2017 on a custom YouTube channel. In addition, The Straits Times has tested live-streaming video on Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube.

Toggle and The Straits Times

Singtel offers the platform OVGuide, a free live streaming app with live and catch-up content available for selected Singtel TV channels.

Singtel (OVG Singapore)

Platforms that allow live streaming and broadcasting.

YouTube Live and YouTube Gaming Live

The live streaming feature embedded in the Facebook platform allows users to broadcast live to family and friends in the newsfeed, post instantly, go live from the Facebook app for iOS and Android, and viewers and creators have an option of chatting during the live broadcast.

Facebook Live

Owned and operated by Jovio Media Pte Ltd, BeLive.tv aims to empower content creators with its features which are easy to use. The live streaming platform is a great option for small business owners, online entrepreneurs, and influencers who are not able to host engaging live shows or interviews on their own without studio gear and crew, and the paid features such as stream key and branding are a great way to monetize their streams. The dashboard data also provides a detailed breakdown of the viewer location letting users know where their content is most impactful.


Bigo Technology Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore-incorporated multinational Internet company operating in over 150 countries, and its application, Bigo Live, is a social live streaming platform. The increasing popularity of the platform brings the company to launch Bigo.tv, which is an online live streaming mall, providing users with trendy, fashionable, and high-quality live streaming products. Furthermore, Bigo.tv also streams diverse lifestyle contents to attract more viewers.

Bigo Live

Twitch, as a platform, is also a place for streamers who are local or foreigners living in Singapore to grow their audience and monetize their content with Twitch Bits and subscriptions.


As a result of the growth of live streaming across the globe, there are numerous live streaming platforms that have attracted a significant following in Singapore. There is no comprehensive compilation of the live streaming platforms that have made a foothold in Singapore until 2019. However, in 2017, it was mentioned that platforms like Twitch, Twitch-like platform such as BeLive.tv, and Periscope have a significant reach with the local content creators. Out of all the content that belongs to the “Just Chatting” category, 6.063% of the videos are about Singapore (N = 748).

  1. Live streaming platforms in Singapore

2.1. Key Players in the Market

– Finally, Dlive is a smaller but very noteworthy player as they are already known for using Blockchain technology to prevent data manipulation. They have very strong community support behind them.

– YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live are part of the other key international players in the live streaming market. YouTube is known to have the most number of users who stream video content. Facebook Live taps into the huge number of subscribers on the platform who use its live function. Instagram, while known for being photo-related, launched its live function concurrently in 2016. Influencers who already have a large subscriber base on the platform are able to make use of the live function to engage their followers and also allow their subscribers to ask questions or provide immediate feedback. It is observed that influencers are commonly found in Instagram key questions.

– Garena: This is a Singapore-based company that has expanded beyond its mainstay of developing and distributing engaging smartphone and PC online games. With a presence globally, they deviate from the gaming efforts of many popular content creators.

– Yizhibo: This is a China-based platform that streams to the world.

– Twitch: This is a global streaming platform with vast footprints in Singapore. It has popular personalities who stream live in their gaming efforts and other creative talents that stream non-gaming content. Many of these content creators also gain substantial income while doing so. However, Twitch is different because it leans more towards the aspect of interactivity between streamers and their viewers. There are a lot of tools within the platform that facilitate engagement and interaction. As a key player in the live streaming sector, it is pertinent that this platform is noted.

Several key players in the market of live streaming, both locally and internationally, have been determined. These key players act as live streaming platforms where content creators can stream, hold interactive sessions, and monetize their content from the viewers. Examples of these live streaming platforms include the following:

3. Impact of Live Streaming on Various Industries

The key purpose of this research is to transcribe a brief overview of live streaming in Singapore. Having viewed the numerous benefits live streaming has brought about, the public can now engage in live streaming being inordinately concerned about the presence of possible security loopholes.

At the same time, by using live streaming, businesses have a unique opportunity to interact with existing audiences. In a similar vein, live streaming can expand the reach of educational establishments and add value to existing customers. Promoting the school’s culture, imparting information to parents who cannot meet or attend briefings, parents can also become more involved in school operations through live streaming. As far as building or personal grooming professionals, live streaming may also be used as a tool for self-promotion. One of the simplest ways to showcase one’s work is to stream a sample hairdo or makeup being applied during an event. In light of the above postulations about the future of live streaming, it appears that the live streaming trend is here to stay.

Previously, the benefits of live streaming for the individual were discussed. However, live streaming has the potential to bring positive benefits to various industries too. These benefits may not only be economic but extend to changing traditional views and business models. The rampant popularity of live streaming has business owners excited by the potential to reach millions of potential customers. Gaining instant access to a huge audience has vastly expanded the marketing capabilities of businesses, in terms of being able to pitch their product tangibly to viewers. For one, product or service demonstration can use live streaming to its advantage. Because of fear of over-expenditure, luxury goods or extraordinary services (and sometimes ordinary ones too) are not easily purchased online. To view physical products or watch service demonstrations, buyers used to have to visit a physical shop. By incorporating live streaming into the marketing mix, this is no longer a problem.

3.1. Entertainment Industry

Live streaming appears most frequently now on Facebook Live. These days, a new type of media phenomenon has come into being. This is named “Live Screen Commerce”. It’s a new type of sales that uses live streaming. The merchandise seems to jump out from TV shops to the internet world and the public. Friends and fans can still make inter-promotion by clicking likes, direct comments, or typing shares on the Facebook Live screen. The promotion demonstrates significant interaction between the host and the audience. The audience, in fact, enjoys stars, singers, and performances. As for the host, talking a storm on the stage could bring about remarkable features and supplements of the merchandise. These communications are necessary to establish the relationship between the audience, host, and merchandise’s sale values. The structure should use the most suitable revenue acquisition model. Proceeds are provided by companies using Facebook Promotion in the form of a variety of resources. For example, to demonstrate and promote merchandise with various customer interactions, Hong Kong beauty blogger Sammy Info provided the audience with information for the purchase of their products. They were also able to contact the sales of the product for detailed information. Their customers could also purchase products directly in the Facebook Live event.

The primary focus area for the increase in live streaming usage would be the entertainment industry. With the innovative use of live stream, it has provided traditional tastes with modern and fresh options. Many companies used live streaming to launch their new products. “Try Before You Buy” was really useful and served as a reliable communication extension for customer relationship management. The trend is growing in developed countries like Hong Kong and America. Whilst most companies used event advertisement about 1-2 weeks prior to the scheduled event, a significant trend is that most companies prefer to use VIP memberships and high-value redemption as rewards. The use of Facebook Live now provides a real screen commerce platform via the internet. The trend of live screen commerce has several authentic trends. They include frequent but short periods like show time, the largest screen area of potential television replacements, pre-event exposure, multimedia extensions, and financial support from advertising rather than fee charging. The upcoming real screen commerce promotion formula could be Trial + Voucher + Multi-platform Live Streaming.

4. Challenges and Opportunities in Live Streaming

The live streaming industry in China is enormous and has a growing number of video streaming platforms, reinvented by the regional IT companies and facing the fierce competition from each other. The competition for the international market is brutal, dominated by big players such as Meerkat, which ranks fifth in China, Periscope (10th), and Smule (17th) based on a Yello Mobile report. Clearly, it impacts Southeast Asia as well as other countries’ video content industry. These first set of opportunities stems from the crowd-based culture that can open up a channel for donations and also lead to endorsement opportunities through sponsored content. At the same time, the way individuals view videos and consume content is also evolving as besides personalized video streaming based on the viewers’ requirement, the new form of future ticketing can be made effortless. By using smartphone apps, viewers can have a direct conversation with their favorite celebrities along with the entertaining and informative streaming of events, programs, and interviews.

Besides the many opportunities that people can have from live streaming, there are also many challenges that arise at the same time. There are different forms of challenges that we peer into in this sub-section. At the same time, due to the advancement of technology, many challenges can be resolved or reduced through solutions developed by either the experts or amateurs. We also study a few research areas that call for the specific attention of researchers in this field. As the sector continues to grow with the increasing number of live streaming broadcasters and advocacies toward live streaming with the setup of better infrastructure, the market for live streaming related activities and monetization is still far from maturity. Both regional and global applications have gained significant numbers of active users, particularly in China, Southeast Asia, and North America, among others. According to the 2016 Go-Globe reports, China leads the world in live streaming, estimated at 325 million of 433 million global users, which is 75% of the global responses.

4.1. Regulatory Challenges

It is unclear whether or how digital intermediaries engaged in the secondary distribution of broadcast content beyond platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which are alternative direct-to-consumer models of traditional television channels, indirectly come under the Broadcasting Act in Singapore. A modern and open regulatory regime must encompass not just the well-established and regulated businesses, but also firms that are blurring traditional industry and market boundaries. Moreover, the main broadcasting regulatory framework in Singapore, the Broadcasting Act, has not been extensively changed since the rise of digital intermediaries. The Act defines broadcasting to include any service offered to the public, for which a charge is made, granting access to information and consisting substantially of images or sounds. Much of the current Act seems tailor-made for analog broadcasting, so the question to be asked is whether ‘content creators’ are broadcasters under the Act and whether digital intermediaries come under the Act, since they are no longer ‘channel-based’.

While self-considered ‘content creators’ do have access to online platforms, for example, there seems to be a thin line between what defines codes of acceptable behavior of a broadcaster and the ‘wild west’ space of ‘content creators’ on social media platforms. This poses challenges for regulating acceptable behavior of broadcasting content in Singapore with live streaming. There is a strong case that broadcasting regulation should not be confined to those entities that have been granted a broadcasting license because of the rise of digital intermediaries, which, both in the US and Australia, have looked to live streaming to engage viewers on a digital media platform renaming as ‘content creators’ and not ‘broadcasters’. As these “explorer broadcasters” self-define in many ways by exploiting both the versatility of digital media platforms and the potential to engage niche viewers, not complying with broadcasting regulations in the same way traditional content providers do, mandates for good practice should still be given by these digital media platforms to the ones using their networks.

5. Future Trends in Live Streaming

With live streaming, the engagement between a live-streamer and an audience is immediate. The audience can direct the live-streamers, get themselves scrutinized by the live-streamers, or join in a vocal part of the broadcast. Unlike TV broadcasting where the scripting has been done and the experience is odorless to gamify, through live streaming, we can immediately live up to the desires of the audience and make them experience a personal connection. When the audience finds themselves able to cause an influence, they will be in a more rewarding experience. Event marketing in the form of public speaking, investor relations meetings, fashion shows, concerts, and even marriages can all be tuned into a live-streaming event. Without the need to erect physical barriers between a mirror and the audience, attendees are then able to participate from anywhere in the whole globe. The traditional brick-and-mortar boundaries of a classical event will soon no longer exist.

While live streaming is presently in an incipient stage in Singapore, the forecasted upward trending of average time spent on digital video consumption in Singapore, combined with the rapid development and exposure of the influencer industry, points towards a champagne-golden tomorrow of hot live streaming development. This paper outlines the latest development of live streaming in Singapore and provides a comprehensive overview of real-time consumption of digital video in Singapore. With both the development of consumer behavior and available technology in the current ripe time of the jelly, the industry is expected to turn into a butterfly in the near future. Corporate marketers across different industries can look up to this paper for a more in-depth understanding of the real-time consumer viewing behavior in Singapore and how they can be involved with live streaming in Singapore to excite and influence the Singapore millennial generation.

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