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Behind the myth of sudden wealth, they are stepping on the pit.
By Li Xiaolei and Zhou Yifei
Source / Tech planet (ID: tech618)
With a loss of 1 million yuan, Zeng jingling spent two years in Changsha; with a loss of 2 million yuan, a Le spent only one year in Guangzhou; with a loss of 5 million yuan, Qingya spent less than 9 months in Anhui Province
Zeng jingling, alo and Qingshi are the founders of short video and live MCN. They have very different career paths and different cities of life. But the same thing is, they put the money in their pocket to the short video platform, all of which made them become the “leeks” of the times. Behind the crazy growth of cash flow data and cargo figures, MCN is no longer a tuyere industry that can easily make profits by entering the board hastily.
In less than two years, the short video team that rang changed five waves. In February 2019, it is the key time point when Zeng jingling’s short video team’s content is stagnant and the transformation is hindered. Changsha is still in the cold and humid weather in winter. When he rang the bell and touched his head, he found that a large part of his hair had fallen off.
He couldn’t sleep at 3 or 4 o’clock every day. Due to the pressure, Zeng rang the bell and was bald. For a month, his “hair almost fell off completely”. At the worst, he had “only a few hairs left” on his head. He had to wear a hat when he went out.
In this industry, like Zeng jingling, there are endless cases of “there is traffic but no money”, the failure of previous content entrepreneurship experience, the only way to watch others make profits, while they are constantly losing money. These problems are driving a large number of MCN founders into a “bald” state.
Myth ahead, hasty entry
Wang Shuo’s cousin made a live show on a music platform, and once won a prize of 200000 yuan a month. “It’s too fast to make money.” this experience stimulated Wang Shuo’s admission. We should know that the general monthly salary of undergraduate students in Jinan is only 5000-6000 yuan.
It is not difficult to build a live broadcast team.
For 2000 yuan a month, Wang Shuo rented a 200 square meter apartment near the University Town, with 3 bedrooms, 2 halls and 2 bathrooms. He went to the decoration team to partition the room and spent three days arranging the apartment into seven live broadcasting rooms.
Wang Shuo found the live background cloth in Taobao for more than ten yuan. Under the live filter, the scene was extremely lifelike, and he was very satisfied. What really costs a lot are live equipment, computers and sound cards. In order to reduce the cost as much as possible, he went to the education and training institutions near the university town and bought seven second-hand computers.
Wang Shuo arranged the office location of the live broadcasting company near Jinan University City. There were a large number of university students’ anchor resources, and the cost was extremely low. “The student anchor worked as a temporary worker or an hourly worker, and the hourly wage was about 10 yuan.”. According to Wang Shuo’s experience from post bar and Zhihu school, he can’t promise a base salary to a part-time anchor, but divide it according to the reward flow. “If you have a base salary, it’s easy to be a monk one day.”.
On the whole, the total cost is less than 20000 yuan. A small live broadcasting company that can accommodate seven anchors to broadcast at the same time is opened in Jinan University City.
Kwai Kwai and tiktok came to a real outbreak in the market in 2018. By the end of 2018, the DAU has been up to 200 million, and tiktok 150 million. At that time, there were no more than 110 million Momo daus since 2011. Many Kwai tiktok entrepreneurs are moving from video to text to short videos and live broadcast. There are also a large number of practitioners in traditional media or other industries, who are turning to potential nuggets and putting the entrepreneurial targets on the fast track.
A more obvious sign is that a group of “online celebrity trainers” who sell short videos and broadcast successful experiences or theories have become popular for a time.
At the beginning of 2019, he has been in the traditional media industry for 11 years. He has been a journalist, a photographer, and an online dramatist. Yan Yu “almost became a leek in a training class.”.
Yan Yu saw the prospect of the short video industry. At that time, a famous short video lecturer in Shandong Province was launching a course named “closed disciple class” with a price of 12800 yuan.
“At that time, I also wanted to make connections and learn professional knowledge. I was ready to pay the 10000 yuan tuition fee,” Yan said.
After learning that Yan Yu had film and television shooting experience, the lecturer offered to invite him to be a lecturer, and the two could cooperate to set up a live broadcast company.
One of the top three clothing dealers in Qingdao’s local market encountered a bottleneck when turning to build a live broadcasting business, so he once paid the “experienced” lecturer for consultation. Three days and two nights of training courses, the dealer boss spent 50000 yuan.
The real situation is that the lecturer organized a small team temporarily, explaining the operation strategies of some Kwai Tai platforms and the shooting methods of short videos. Yan Yu is in charge of the short video shooting method. He has been learning and selling now. Relying on the simple outline listed on his mobile phone, he has talked hard for more than an hour.
After returning from Qingdao, the lecturer launched another 9980 yuan live training course, which lasted for five days and four nights. Nearly 60 people signed up for the course. In one week, they received 500000 yuan. Soon, Yan Yu found that “this is a big swindle”, but he saw the possibility of the market.
It took more than three months for Yan Yu to find another partner in Rizhao, Shandong Province, and set up a live broadcasting team. At this time, the pits in the industry were displayed one by one in front of him. When he really stepped into the pit, he found that some theories could not be put into practice and some contents could not be realized. After losing 600000 yuan, Yan Yu really understood the so-called “separation is like a mountain”.
How to lose 5 million?
There are not a few founders of MCN institutions who also have the perception of “separated by mountains”.
Shortly after the launch of WeChat public address, in 2013, the Qing became the official account creator of the official account. At the beginning, he focused on making financial account matrix. Since 2016, he has expanded content field to cultural emotion. In less than half a year, his official account of “culture and emotion” with “manuscripts” has more than 10 million fans.
In 2019, two million fans of “written manuscript” are facing the dilemma of not receiving an advertisement once a month. Considering the impact on earnings, Ching yuan will pack the official account of the manuscript and sell it with 5 million cash in a hurry to enter the short video.
In less than nine months, the money went out. The clear arrow, which had eaten the official account bonus, fell heavily in the short video venture.
Qingshi has done market observation. Take a head MCN organization in Qingdao as an example. When Qingya entered the Bureau, the organization had 300 million fans and monthly advertising revenue exceeded 30 million. He has calculated an account, according to this scale, it means that the average monthly output value of single powder is 0.1 yuan.
But Qingya didn’t understand at that time. In MCN institutions, the head account and the head organization took the largest flow and income. The Matthew effect of the industry is obvious, but the fans, income and transaction data gradually rising in the market often make people only see the excitement of the industry, but ignore the cruelty of the competition.
Considering the competition among MCN organizations, Qingshi built his own MCN organization in Wuhu, Anhui Province. This became the second pit that Qingya stepped on.
The regional ecology of the place where the venture is located also plays a key role. “Hangzhou has e-commerce ecology, Beijing has content ecology, and Shenzhen has technology ecology. Many third and fourth tier cities have no ecology. “Qingya, who returned to Wuhu, avoided the competition of MCN institutions in dense areas, but lost market talents and Regional Entrepreneurial genes.
From 10 people to 40 people, sunny arrow tried to use the official account of the public in the early years to build a matrix mode to make the short video account run quickly. His MCN has incubated a total of 12-15 accounts, mainly plot type. Among them, the best one has 2 million fans. The whole short video matrix has a total of 8 million fans as of the time of pause.
Embarrassingly, after a small number of fans have accumulated, how to realize it has become a problem. Many content creators of text to video have told tech planet that one of the common obstacles they encounter in transforming to short video is that the logic of the platform has changed, but their thinking is still “ancient” flow thinking.
Zeng jingling also stepped into this hole. When he first made short video content, Zeng’s car account number had reached 1 million fans in the second month. At the best, he also reached the top 20 scores in this category. At that time, zhichedi signed a contract with a number of short video accounts of automobiles, providing subsidies of thousands of yuan per month, which was the origin of their initial realization.
Zeng jingling originally wanted to build a short video matrix for automobiles. However, by June 2019, the subsidy for zhichedi was suspended, and their fans and traffic growth had been in a bottleneck period, and the realization was not available.
The most common realizable logic of vibrato is generally divided into three categories: brand advertising, short video tiktok and live broadcast. Zeng jingling told tech planet that the means of realizing automobile accounts is relatively simple, and their fans are not high. Brand advertisements of automobile manufacturers usually pack up and deliver them to institutional accounts with more than 5 million fans. However, they do not have the gene for short video or live video delivery.
Later, Zeng tried the technology number, home number and evaluation number. In terms of content, he also changed the knowledge content sharing from the beginning to the story number, and directly transformed the account number.
Each account is in a month of rapid practice, trial and error. In the end, these short video accounts are not warm and easy to accumulate fans, but found that “content and commercialization are not very close.”.
“The conversion of short video with goods is not high. In live broadcasting, there is no mature method for selecting products, and there is no bargaining power. It is more like a backflow tool for suppliers”. After two live broadcasts, they simply gave up this cash flow method. The scale and capacity of commercial cooperation can not keep up with that. The longer the bell rings, the more losses you will get.
The difficulty of MCN
The common experience of Qingya and Zeng jingling is that the next time you start a short video business, you’d better think about a good way to commercialize and then customize the production content.
Sunny also said that his observation is that the early years of the business transformation of the electricity supplier to make short videos, usually do better than the official account. “The electricity supplier thinking means to think of the cash in cash means, know what can be sold and find ways to find traffic and sell products.” However, official account is more about traffic thinking, content making, and accumulation of fans.
Tiktok is the tiktok consensus, which means public traffic is the main area of the traffic. This means that traffic is in the distribution pool of the vibrato. This is also a fan account with some fans with a volume of up to 30 million. Many times, the short video content is tiktok, but reading is far less than the reason why some of the short videos are short.
“Fans are not your fans, users are not in your hands, traffic is on the platform,” many tiktok entrepreneurs have similar sighs.
In fact, in addition to catching the fans, whether it is short video or live MCN institutions, they are facing another huge problem is the loss of staff. Especially for small and medium-sized MCN institutions, the time difference between training and losing an anchor will determine the content vitality of the organization.
It is difficult to bind the anchor and the team for a long time, especially the members who already have the content productivity or those who have the ability to carry goods.
Many founders have told tech planet (wechat ID: tech618) that the high mobility of anchors is a big ecological problem. After the anchors, especially the entertainment anchors, MCN organizations and guilds have limited help to them, and the loss is inevitable. “If you can make money as an individual anchor, why share it with MCN or guild?”
The sudden arrival of the epidemic also catalyzed the closure of some small and medium-sized MCN institutions.
In Jinan University City, where Wang Shuo is located, the university has not started school for a long time, and there is no anchor. His 200 square meter apartment has become a decoration, which can not produce any value. Although the epidemic has brought about the outbreak of online ecology, but because of the difficulty of breaking through the business model, Zeng jingling and Yan Yu had to let the team be dissolved.
But Kwai MCN is also looking for new platforms and new fields. It hopes to step on the tiktok and the fast track of the next rising, or to survive in the defeat.
Kwai gave up tiktok and quick hands. Starting in May, he chose a completely different track, set up a fruit supply chain, and began to do live delivery with goods in pinduoduo.
In March this year, ah Le just suspended his short video live broadcasting team. His early investment in the restaurant failed, losing 2 million yuan. After another 1 million yuan in short video and live broadcasting, ale could no longer afford to continue to expand its scale of investment. Now, pinduoduo has become his last “bet”.
Also in March, Yan Yu sorted out the content production and operation routines he had learned from short video lecturers and practice, and recorded them into audio, taking the old road of “selling Courses”. Yan Yu founded a community in the name of “taking students”. He paid 300 yuan for one person and 600 yuan for two courses. Yan Yu finally took 20 students and earned more than 10000 lecture fees.
After the team was disbanded, he moved the equipment to a separate studio in his apartment. In the past, he used to watch movies and drink in it. Now, it is full of live broadcasting equipment and sound cards.
Yan Yu always felt that these equipment still had the opportunity to be reused. Sometimes, looking at the equipment, he would think that maybe the team could still save it, “I have a house, and then I can mortgage the house and get some investment.”.
An early MCN founder, Zhu Yi, who sold a new customer by selling 9.9 yuan a pair of shoes at mogujie.com, tiktok began to switch to shaking the pattern and spread the goods with the booth. When a partner buys a large number of spot goods but can’t sell it, when the capital chain breaks, he has already declared that his business has failed.
The fund is less and less. Until May 24, when there is only a few yuan left in the account, Zhu Yi disbands the team. After the dissolution of MCN, he started selling in a rental company.
Now, Zhu Yi’s job is to steal clients from real estate agents, and he keeps calling for clients every day. The company requires at least one order a week. But even if 30% of the promotion points are given to customers, his performance remains bleak. “I haven’t opened a single order for two weeks. If I don’t open a bill next week, I’ll leave.”
(at the request of the interviewers, a le, Wang Shuo, Yan Yu and Zhu Yi are all pseudonyms.)
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)