Geeks' favorite DeNA interactive streaming platform looks beyond Japan

On Showroom, users can attend virtual concerts in avatar form

DeNA is hoping its streaming platform Showroom can appeal to users outside Japan.

DeNA is hoping its streaming platform Showroom can appeal to users outside Japan.

Mobile gaming giant DeNA is hoping a streaming platform that serves up plenty of female idol singers beloved by "otaku," or obsessive geeks, can be a hit with users outside Japan.

Showroom is a live-streaming service that allows artists to perform for and chat with fans, who are represented in the form of customizable, cartoon avatars in front of a virtual stage.

Unlike streaming sites like Ustream and Livestream, the emphasis on Showroom is on interaction. After a performance, fans can watch as artists respond to on-screen messages and receive paid virtual gifts from their virtual audience. There are even VIP seats by the virtual stage.

Until recently, the service has only been available in Japanese. It now has English support for performers on computers, and the option to live-stream from smartphones will be added, according to DeNA.

"We see significant global potential for real-time, interactive live streaming for both artists and consumers," a DeNA spokesman wrote in an email. "Since users can watch their performance for free, Showroom can be a good marketing channel for performing artists."

While audience members can watch for free, the site generates revenue from the paid virtual gifts. The earnings are shared with performers based on the number of points they accumulate for audience size, the number of comments and other factors.

The service first launched in November 2013, later adding iOS and Android support, and has aired over 1,000 live streams.

Showroom's current roster is dominated by Japanese girl bands, often dressed in high school uniforms, that cater to otaku tastes. But DeNA plans to add channels with popular musicians, comedians and athletes such as players from the company's professional baseball team, the Yokohama DeNA Baystars.

The service is another attempt at diversification for DeNA, which quickly grew over the past decade on the strength of its mobile auction and browser-based gaming services.

The rise of smartphones and apps in recent years has lured users away from browser-based games, a trend that has hit DeNA and rival Gree. For the April to June quarter, DeNA reported operating profit had dropped nearly 60 percent from a year earlier.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetvideoInternet-based applications and servicesDeNA

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?