The income gap is huge, and the industry disputes continue

  Who is creating the virtual anchor bubble?

  Recently, news about virtual anchors has attracted much attention: overseas virtual anchor VOX's live broadcast debut in China, with revenue of 1.11 million yuan.

This makes everyone focus on the virtual anchor industry.

  How is this industry developing, is it really a blue ocean?

Will disputes between content creators, guilds and MCNs, which are common in the live broadcast industry, occur in the virtual anchor industry?

In this regard, the Chengdu Business Daily-Red Star News reporter contacted the relevant practitioners and chatted with them about the virtual anchors.

  The personality of the virtual anchor is very important

  The sound affects his popularity

  The so-called virtual anchor refers to a person who publishes videos or live broadcasts on video websites with virtual images. Since it originated in Japan, the current active audience area is relatively concentrated in the Asian region.

  One weekend in May, in the office of an office building on the west section of Fucheng Avenue, Xiaoxin (pseudonym) sat in front of two computers and started his live broadcast with a low and magnetic voice into the microphone.

On the screen in front of him was the image of a young man with fluttering long hair, named "Xianjun Qiangan".

Xiaoxin is a junior and a serious 2D fan.

It happened that he studied broadcasting and hosting. With the recommendation of a friend, after several rounds of interviews, he finally became a virtual anchor-strictly speaking, Xiaoxin is a "middle person", and "Qianganxian". Jun" is his "holster".

  Zhongren and holster are both terms in the virtual anchor circle.

Compared with real anchors, virtual anchors never appear as real people, but carefully prepare a moving image for themselves. This image is the so-called leather case.

The leather case is roughly divided into full three-dimensional simulated real person, three-dimensional simulated cartoon image, and flat cartoon image.

The anchor who is responsible for providing the voice, movement and expression to the leather case is called the person in the middle.

  The first live broadcast of "Qiangan Xianjun" was on May 27.

"You must have your own character design. Like VOX, the character design is particularly touching, so it will have so many fans." Feifei, one of the founders of the virtual label V1CUBE who selected Xiaoxin, mentioned VOX here a few days ago. A virtual anchor who just premiered at station B.

This Englishman from Japan is a member of Rainbow Club, a famous Japanese virtual anchor agency.

The British is his personality: in the live broadcast, he will use a British English to communicate with the audience.

Despite speaking English throughout, his pay rate on the night of his domestic premiere reached an astonishing 73.3%.

That is to say, for every 10 users who entered the live broadcast room to interact, more than 7 spent money for him.

  From the data point of view, VOX’s live broadcast has a total of 1.7 hours, and he has recharged “admiral” (the level of the live broadcast room at station B, the admiral is 1998 yuan per month) and “captain” (captain is 198 yuan per month). Thousands of people, revenue of 1.11 million yuan, nearly 40,000 people paying, and more than 50,000 people interacting.

At present, his number of fans has reached 991,000.

  "As we have always emphasized, the personality of the virtual anchor is very important. VOX is very talkative, and the content and style of the conversation are relatively mild. Many netizens commented on him as a 'gentleman' and 'high emotional intelligence'." Yang Shiqi, another founder of V1CUBE, told reporters , "The second is the sound. Whether the timbre is attractive or not has a great influence on the popularity of the virtual anchor. When contacting a virtual anchor for the first time, whether the timbre is pleasant and whether it is sufficiently recognizable is extremely critical." They chose Xiaoxin because of his His voice is captivating enough.

  Extraordinary wealth-gathering ability

  The income gap between the rich and the poor is huge

  The extraordinary ability of virtual anchors to collect money is indeed a bit surprising.

In China, involving the realization of virtual anchors, the 2021 annual report of station B pointed out that users can purchase virtual gifts in the app and give them to their favorite anchors to express praise and rewards.

Station B will share the sales revenue of virtual items generated by the live broadcast with the anchor and the guild. In addition, there are attractive rewards.

The annual report also mentioned, "We plan to sign cooperation agreements with more anchors in the future to attract popular anchors and further expand our live broadcast business." The value-added services (including large membership business, etc.) sector where the live broadcast business of station B is located, Revenue in 2021 will be 6.93 billion yuan, accounting for 35.78%, an increase of 80% year-on-year, and revenue in the fourth quarter will be 1.895 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 52%.

  Lv Luoyi, co-founder of Chengdu Jiguangshe Technology, told reporters, "At present, there are more than 160 virtual anchors cooperating with the company. On the top 100 list released by station B, there are 3 anchors in the TOP100 and 1 in the top 30. The monthly income range is between 300,000 and 1 million."

  In Lu Luoyi's view, the twenty-eighth effect is more obvious in this industry.

The reporter learned that in the three months from February to April 2022, taking 90 samples of the monthly top 30 of station B, the number of people with monthly revenue ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 is the largest, accounting for 64, accounting for 71%; monthly revenue There are 3 people who reach more than 1 million, accounting for 3.3%.

According to incomplete statistics, the top 120 virtual anchors at station B severely squeeze the income of other anchors, and the average monthly revenue of the remaining anchors only accounts for 1% to 5% of the top 120 virtual anchors in monthly revenue.

The phenomenon of polarization is quite serious.

  Another set of public data shows that as of August 18, 2021, among the 3,472 virtual anchors with relatively high attention at Station B, 1,827 had a monthly income of 0 yuan, and more than half of them had no income.

  According to data analysis, in April this year, among the top 5 anchors in the live broadcast time of station B, 2 people live broadcast for more than 700 hours, 2 people are about 600 hours, and 1 person is about 500 hours, which is close to 600 hours.

The reporter saw that the first-ranked "Wubi Crescent Moon" had a live broadcast time of 711.9 hours, but his income was only 6 yuan, and there were only 3 people to give; , the income is 61,600 yuan, and the hourly revenue is about 0.01 yuan.

If there is such an exception, there is a high probability that Zhongzhiren is not online, but just hangs the leather case in the live broadcast room. Without performances and interactions, naturally no one pays attention and rewards.

  The reporter learned that the salary structure of Zhongzhiren and live broadcasters is similar, and they are divided into two parts by basic salary and reward.

Since the industry has not yet formed a unified norm, enterprises are free to decide whether to adopt a piece rate system, an hourly salary system or a monthly salary system, so the basic salary gap between different enterprises is relatively large.


  "The Soul of a Virtual Host"

  do not receive equal treatment

  Virtual anchors have won more and more attention with their huge ability to attract money. On the other hand, some contradictions have gradually become prominent.

The focus of the controversy is the huge gap between the low income of the middle man and the high income of the leather case.

  "We are a little different from other companies. We don't give the people in the middle a basic salary, but directly share the income of the running water, and we will make it clear when we sign the contract. The general income commission of the people in the industry is 4.5% of a live broadcast. We It is 5%. We have to invest a lot of resources in the early stage of the role, and we will also give us some help and support when we sign an agreement with the trade union, so that the virtual anchor can quickly realize the benefits. Another point, we do not want to give one of the middle It feels like a 'part-time job', but let's do this together." The founder of V1CUBE admitted frankly.

  In this regard, Xiaoxin said, "Maybe I am more Buddhist. In addition, the company gives me a share of the current income, which is gradually increased in the follow-up, up to 20%. As long as my ability can keep up, I can actually earn more. Money." He sees himself as a part of the company and believes that he is working with the company to create virtual idols.

"Although the audience sees that the virtual idol is very bright and beautiful, Zhongzhiren has also put in a lot of effort behind, so the conflict between the company and Zhongzhiren will really make Zhongzhiren very chilling."

  Industry insiders told reporters that although the company provides all-round support for virtual anchors, this does not mean that people in the industry can enjoy the same treatment as virtual anchors.

"Even if fans believe that Zhongzhiren is the 'soul of a virtual anchor', Zhongzhiren has no special status within the company and is even subject to stricter labor control."

  It is understood that many people in the company have to bear the expenses incurred in their work by themselves. "Rent and transportation expenses account for the bulk. Secondly, finding vocal music teachers for training, buying computer equipment and game cards... These are very expensive. "The person in the middle Haruno (pseudonym) revealed.

"The industry usually uses two contract methods to create virtual anchors, business brokerage contracts or labor contracts. The common goal of Zhongren and the company is to maximize the content of virtual IPs. In the process of this role-based output, fans What I like is not only the leather case, but also the emotional connection and interpretation of the people in the middle. The roles of the two complement each other. People in the middle will have needs at different growth stages and some plans for their future. In fact, these There will be some variables. Regardless of the details of the facts, just from the point of view of termination of the contract, in fact, these events also occur in Rainbow Club from time to time, so at the beginning of the contract and the creation of virtual IP, these variables will be considered, and try a few Don't change the holster, rotate the middle person), continue to output high-quality content, and continue to make fans pay for the content." Lu Luoyi bluntly said that it is quite rational for the industry to view these.

  Industry pain points need to be solved

  Otherwise it will be another bubble

  In any case, VOX proves that the virtual anchor industry is a blue ocean.

Previously, ANYCOLOR, the parent company of Rainbow Club, said that its listing application to the Tokyo Stock Exchange had been approved, and it was scheduled to go public on June 8.

According to the prospectus, Rainbow Club has set up five revenue modules for live broadcast, content sales, performances, advertising and other (mainly overseas businesses, etc.). Over the past four fiscal years, Rainbow Club’s revenue and net profit have grown. Rapidly, from the revenue of 16.62 million yen and net profit of -3.96 million yen in the April 2018 period (2017.5.1-2018.4.30) to the third quarter of the April 2022 period (2021.5.1-2022.1.31 ) with a revenue of 10.1 billion yen and a net profit of 3.132 billion yen.

  Will the IPO of Rainbow Club become a weather vane for virtual idol companies?

The reporter learned that starting from 2019, companies of the same type have sprung up like mushrooms after a spring rain, and they are involved in various segments.

Like station B, it is exerting its strength in the section of virtual anchors.

Earlier, at the 12th anniversary of Station B, CEO Chen Rui mentioned that from June 2020 to June 2021, a total of 32,412 new virtual anchors were launched, an increase of 40% year-on-year, and the total number of submissions exceeded 1.89 million, and more than 60%. The world-renowned virtual anchor started broadcasting at station B.

According to the 2021 financial report of Station B, value-added services (mainly live broadcast and major membership services) are still the largest source of income for Station B.

Relying on businesses such as live broadcasting and major membership, the revenue from value-added service business of Station B reached 1.89 billion yuan in the fourth quarter, a rapid growth of 52% year-on-year.

The annual value-added service business revenue reached 6.93 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 80%.

Among them, in the entertainment field, virtual anchors have become the fastest-growing category of live broadcasts at station B.

  Nowadays, more attention is paid to the resources of the leading manufacturers.

But in the virtual anchor industry, the majority are still small companies.

Yang Shiqi said frankly, "Although the growth rate is very fast, the base of virtual live broadcast revenue is very small, and it is not prominent in the total revenue of live broadcast business, so the industry scale is quite small." In Lu Luoyi's view, the category is generalized. In theory, for live broadcasts with high-intensity output and repetitive content, the subject may shift from real people to virtual ones.

"From the perspective of saving labor costs and protecting the health and safety of personnel, the use of AI and other technical means can solve the problem of ROI conversion rate to a certain extent, and use virtual people to repeatedly broadcast such content - such iterations may be good. . Because of the replacement, there will naturally be some new jobs created."

  But first of all, it is necessary to solve the problems in the short video and live broadcast industries, such as disputes between content creators and guilds and MCNs, which have repeatedly occurred in the virtual anchor industry; secondly, both virtual anchors and virtual idols are produced in high concentration of two-dimensional elements. How to break the cultural circle is also a big problem.

From the reporter's point of view, only by solving these two major pain points can the virtual anchor industry be able to ride the wind and waves.

Otherwise, it may be another virtual economic bubble.

  Chengdu Commercial Daily-Red Star News reporter Ren Hongwei

  Intern He Yanling