The fierce fighting fish has gone through twists and turns and finally listed on the Nasdaq.
Although he forced to hand in a profit answer sheet that turned negative to positive before going public, he avoided the bloody end of the listing. But market voices generally believe that the difficult battle of Douyu has just begun to complete the real profit target.
In the childhood when the post-80s and post-90s were short of computers, watching other people play games was a happy compromise. It was good to feast your eyes if you didn't have the chance to do it.
No one thought that cloud gaming would later become a business.
YY Live Broadcast was the first to focus on this business in China. In 2012, Huya Live's predecessor YY Game Live was officially launched.
YY直播是中国首家专注于这项业务的公司。 2012年，Huya Live的前身YY Game Live正式发布。
At that time, Shandong native Chen Shaojie took over Station A for just two years. A few years ago, the experience of successfully starting a "Master" game battle platform, coupled with the experience of operating station A, gave Chen Shaojie two ideas: gamers love to watch game videos, and new Internet users love to interact through barrage.
Based on this, Chen Shaojie described the general appearance of his new product-live broadcast + barrage. So, following YY's footsteps, in early 2013, the "Sheng Broadcasting" game live channel was launched at station A, and officially became independent on New Year's Day in 2014 and was renamed "Betta TV".
基于此，陈少杰描述了他的新产品现场直播+弹幕的澳门亚美官方平台总体外观。因此，跟随YY的脚步，2013年初，“盛广播”游戏直播频道在A站开播，并于2014年元旦正式独立，并更名为“ Betta TV”。
This year, the number of YY game live broadcast users that have been in operation for the past two years has approached 100 million, but the game live broadcast is still a business of spending money to make a lot of noise.
Compared with traditional show live broadcasts that stimulate consumption through "overflowing" appearance and hormones, the newborn game live audiences can be described as the king of prostitutes-they are young, passionate, and love to communicate, but they have no habit of spending money.
Although still in the fog of the business model, the fighting fish, named after a certain ferocious and aggressive freshwater fish, has already acted unwillingly.
Chaoshan businessman Cai Dongqing’s angel round investment of 20 million yuan gave Douyu ample capital. Before Wang Sicong's Panda TV became a live broadcast spoiler, Douyu was the most aggressive money-burning player.
They first launched a series of marketing operations aimed at gamers.
On the one hand, it is crazy to show up in the audience's vertical e-sports events. From LOL giants such as OMG, WE, Royal Family, to DK, iG, LGD, CDEC and other DOTA 2 powerhouses, the suffix of Douyu TV appears in almost all well-known e-sports projects. Behind the team.
一方面，出现在观众的垂直电子竞技赛事中非常疯狂。从OMG，WE，Royal Family之类的LOL巨头到DK，iG，LGD，CDEC和其他DOTA 2强国，斗鱼电视台的后缀几乎出现在所有知名的电子竞技项目中。在团队的后面。
On the one hand, the most popular LOL game at the time was to spend money to brush up the sense of existence, and promised to players who hit the king of national service in LOL, as long as the game ID carries the prefix of Douyu TV, and the exclusive live broadcast on the Douyu platform is effective. With 70% of the games, you can get a reward of 10,000 to 200,000 yuan.
This caused Douyu's voice volume to rise rapidly, and the Baidu index almost doubled month by month.
The money did burn quickly, but fortunately, the ammunition replenishment came very timely. In August 2014, the news that Amazon acquired Twitch, a game video live broadcast service provider, for US$970 million returned to China, which strengthened market confidence.
In September 2014, Douyu's Series A received US$20 million in financing from Sequoia Capital.
After the capital injection, the aggressive Chen Shaojie directly burned the money to the door of the leader Huya, and began to dig out anchors from Huya at high prices one after another. "Bouyu TV dug 6 people from Huya live broadcast in a month, with a total cost of more than 60 million" reports are overwhelming, including the top LOL anchor Xiaozhi at the time. There are rumors that the signing fee is as high as 15 million.
Chen Shaojie later said in an interview that Douyu's only idea at the time was to be fast, and to make the market bigger before others could react.
The effect of burning money to grab the market is indeed very good. By the end of 2014, the number of people on Douyu TV had soared from 50,000 to over 1 million, and the average Baidu search index had doubled by 25 times.
As of the end of 2016, Douyu TV has ranked among the top 300 global websites and the top 30 in the country. It ranks among the top ten domestic video websites in terms of page views, and ranks first among the live game platforms.
We are now used to throwing money at wars, but this offensive method was still shocking at the time. After a long time, the manager of a domestic e-sports club was still excited when he recalled, "It's not that anyone has no money, but no one dares to burn money like this. Everyone thinks this grandson has broken the rules."
The “rules” are indeed broken. From the beginning of 2014 to 2015, the value of game anchors generally increased by more than 10 times. Huya, Nationwide Live, Panda TV... More and more platforms are participating in the battle, and the poaching wars are becoming more and more exaggerated. The head anchors frequently change jobs and refresh the upper limit of the contract.
这些“规则”确实被打破了。从2014年初到2015年，游戏主播的价值总体上增长了10倍以上。 Huya，Nationwide Live，Panda TV ...越来越多的平台参与战斗，而偷猎战争也变得越来越夸张。负责人经常更换工作并刷新合同的上限。
Spend the most money, dig the most expensive person, bring a new wave of traffic, and continue to raise funds... it goes round and round. Under the flywheel effect, the game live broadcast platform has fallen into a capital vicious circle of burning money.
Douyu has grown into a leader in this strange circle with a faster rate of burning money and financing.
The head anchor, which was personally opened by TA with 60 million yuan, became his own Achilles heel.
It took eight figures for Douyu to snatch the anchor Xiaozhi from Huya. A year later, he joined Wang Sicong's Panda TV, and then moved to National TV and Penguin E-sports.
This did not affect Betta's leaps and bounds too much. If you lose a head anchor, then you can support or buy more anchors. The idea of using the main super anchor to increase traffic volume has always been good.
According to data from the Douyu Prospectus, as of December 2018, Douyu has signed exclusive live broadcast contracts with 50 of the top 100 domestic game anchors, including 8 TOP 10 anchors.
However, while maintaining high traffic with radical krypton gold, the operating model centered on anchors and third-party content has problems that are difficult to solve.
First of all, the head anchor is too uncontrollable.
In addition to frequent job-hopping and lower-than-expected traffic after changing platforms, super anchors who lack a professional team will also burst out "black swan" incidents from time to time, causing major damage to the platform.
Beginning in September 2017, the anchors of the Douyu PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds section have been exposed one after another. The inheritance of the crown of "Chicken Eater" is like passing flowers on drums; in 2018, the first sister of Douyu, Feng Timo, broke out the "Divorce Gate" and "Accounting Gate", the personal design is on the verge of collapse; in July of the same year, Chen Yifa was reported to have openly ridiculed history in the early live broadcast, resulting in the live broadcast room being closed indefinitely...
从2017年9月开始，斗鱼PlayerUnknown的战场区的主播陆续曝光。 “吃鸡者”王冠的传承就像在鼓上传递鲜花一样。 2018年，斗鱼的姐姐冯提莫（Feng Timo）闯出了``离婚门''和``会计门''，个人设计濒临崩溃;据报道，同年7月，陈一发在早期直播中公开嘲笑历史，导致直播室无限期关闭。
Secondly, the over-reliance on the top anchor has kept Douyu's bargaining power low.
Judging from the prospectus data of Douyu, the proportion of revenue sharing fees and content fees (that is, the fees paid to the anchor and the purchase of content) in its operating costs has been rising, from 67.7% in 2016 to Q1 in 2019. 83%-This means that 80% of Douyu's current income is given to the anchor, and the bargaining power of the anchor is still weakening.
Combining the above issues, Douyu needs a steady stream of money to maintain such a flow level.
At this point, the opponent Huya seems to be doing better. TA's dependence on the super anchor is not as strong as Douyu. In Huya’s earnings call this year, Huya CEO Dong Rongjie said: “Compared with the head anchor, the continuously growing waist anchor is the real driving force for the platform’s development."
For Douyu, obviously it is difficult to change the situation of over-reliance on the head anchor within a period of time.
And this is not the most serious problem.
Over the years, opponents have fallen behind. Douyu has proved that he is superior in speed and execution; but in terms of profitability, its "brave and relentless" has never been able to bring back real money.
From 2016 to 2018, Douyu lost a total of RMB 2.271 billion, and the loss in 2018 was the highest in history, reaching 876 million. Unable to narrow the loss and frequent negative news, the industry's No. 1 Douyu abruptly missed the crown of the first share of game live broadcast.
Huya, which was listed first, has already turned negative to positive in 2018, recording an operating net profit of more than 267 million yuan.
The reason why Douyu has been difficult to make a profit is easy to see some clues from financial and business-related data.
The operating cost of Douyu is higher than that of Huya, which is reflected in the fact that it has more anchor and content expenses and sales expenses. This is what we mentioned earlier. Douyu is trapped in a vicious circle created by itself and can only rely on these two money-burning campaign To maintain rapid user growth.
Not only that, but TA also encountered the problem of low human efficiency, which is often encountered by aggressive companies. From the latest financial report data, Huya has saved nearly half of its employees compared to Douyu
However, higher costs did not bring more revenue to Douyu, mainly because users' willingness/capabilities to consume were not strong enough.
Business data directly reflects this. Douyu has 6 million paying users, 600,000 more than Huya, but its average monthly gift income is only 70% of Huya's-when converted to an individual, the consumption power of a single user of Douyu is only 60% of that of Huya users.
This may have something to do with relying too much on head anchors, insufficient waist anchors, and relatively weak union ecology - but the seemingly similar consumption power data reflected in the financial statements is a world of difference.
Douyu is very anxious about this.
After losing the title battle of "Live Broadcasting First Share" in May last year, Chen Shaojie replied to the barrage in the live broadcast room of Douyu DOTA2 brother YYF: "I don't want to give gifts. I don't want to see it. I want to go public?! "
Before the listing, Douyu really handed over a profit answer sheet. In the first quarter of 2019, Douyu's net profit finally turned from negative to positive, reaching 18 million yuan.
But if you look at the data carefully, you will find that this is not because users have awakened their conscience and started to consume hard. Douyu's operating conditions have really improved. If you deduct the 34 million yuan of interest generated from the cash on the account and the 32.1 million yuan gain caused by a shareholder repaying the company's US dollar loan, Douyu actually suffered an operating loss of 48.5 million yuan in the first quarter of 2019.
And this is the result of a lot of costs: the anchor, content and sales costs have been reduced, the user growth rate has slowed, the Douyu Shenzhen team has laid off nearly 70 people, and the business in Southeast Asia has also experienced different degrees of salary arrears. optimization"……
When the panda was dying at the beginning of the year, many people borrowed the words of Wang Sicong’s father, Wang Jianlin, to conclude: “If you don’t find a profit model, you will definitely not survive by burning money.”
However, in the past five years, Douyu has used a steady stream of financing to quickly get out of its advantage, proving that as long as it runs fast enough, death cannot catch up with me.
But now, a new story begins. They rely on and used to be quite effective "fast and combative", but they have been unable to help them enter a new chapter of profitability.
Qianbo Miao has returned from a hundred battles; what is in front of Douyu is the growing room for growth and strong opponents from other tracks. Just recently, Kuaishou announced the number of daily active users of its mobile game live broadcast-35 million, far more than the combined of Douyu + Huya.
Six years after the arrow has been shot, how can the fighting fish that stepped on the Nasdaq fight again?
作者 | 黄元恺
作者 | 黄元恺
Editor Tang Yeqin
editor tang Y哦亲
设计 | 邹 磊
设计 | 邹 磊