Livestreaming quiz applications are witnessing an explosive surge in China by drawing in a record number of participants in just a few days, making it the next growth frontier of the livestreaming sector in China.
The apps, which broadcast a live show, usually invite a host to ask questions of increasing difficulty. Players tap the handset's screen within 10 seconds to lock in answers. Those who can correctly answer all 12 questions will share the prize pool ranging from 100,000 yuan (,340) to over a million yuan.
The low cost, interactive mode of livestreaming, along with tantalizing incentives, have provided fresh impetus to the livestreaming sector that has often been stereotyped with routine shows and games.
"I found them really appealing as I can learn and play at the same time," said Chen Jie, a 31-year-old from Beijing, who downloads several livestreaming quiz apps at the same time. "Given that these are all free apps and I stand to win some money, why not take a chance?"
The rising popularity has prompted firms such as Zhishi Chaoren, Baiwan Yingjia and Chongding Dahui to offer higher incentives to attract users.
Zhishi Chaoren, backed by leading Chinese livestream platform Inke, is offering a prize of 1.01 million yuan for a single round at the peak, while its rival Baiwan Yingjia is giving a maximum of 1.02 million yuan for a single round.
Zhishi Chaoren has also roped in famous Chinese stars as hosts in a bid to differentiate from other apps and attract more users.
Industry analysts point out that such games also offer lucrative commercial opportunities for the companies that launch them.
"The advertisement opportunities are immense－be it in decorating the livestreaming room, choosing hosts or setting the questions," said Wang Chuanzhen, an analyst from consulting group Analysys.
Companies such as Zhishi Chaoren said they have already received expressions of interest from several companies wanting to place advertisements. It said it has already received 100 million yuan as advertising fees from Qudian, a Chinese fintech company.
With millions of users logging into the livestreaming apps at the same time, an array of challenges has also arrived, including the load-carrying capacity of servers and fluency of user experience.