MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Earlier this year, when social entertainment app kumu and Star Cinema announced a movie partnership, “Love At First Stream”, directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, they promised this will be a “first in Philippine movie history.” Specifically, the movie would be the first “interactive” cinema project, in which Kumunity content-creators will be cast members or collaborators in the film.
Now, with “Love At First Stream” making an official entry into the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival, the Kumunity is anticipating the fruits of their labour. Over the past few months, kumu had successfully cast multiple roles for the movie, pulling in talents exclusively from their user-base. More than a bold cinematic project, “Love At First Stream” is a leap for Filipino entertainment and creativity at large, where content-creators are regarded side-by-side with showbiz talents.
In today’s digital world, social media platforms have become more than communication tools; they are now launching pads for new talent. Backed by a loyal fanbase and dedicated community, an aspiring talent’s ambitions can reach new heights once discovered on a popular platform.
As a proudly Pinoy app, kumu has always had its intentions set on supporting the independent creator economy, amplifying their talent to wider audiences. With over 10 million registered users from over 55 countries, the app has built an ecosystem of talent discovery via the platform.
The rise of independent content creators
kumu has massively grown within the last 18 months due to the migration of millions of Gen-Z and Millennial content creators onto the platform. Topics ranging from music, comedy, beauty, and shopping have all flourished organically as communities band together to discuss their key interests with users, spending at least 1 hour a day on the app– with over 10,000 live streams happening daily.
This marked the rise of multiple organic shows by content creators, where they host their own livestreams, create their own program flow, and invite selected guests or other members of the Kumunity. With kumu, they fully own their creativity and content.
“What we have is an ecosystem, where content creators constantly want to work with other creators and stream together,” says Angelo Mendez, Co-founder and Head of kumu Social TV. “Because of their constant ideation, they tend to inspire each other to do really cool activities on the app. Our job is to make sure that their creativity is supported, by providing them with the right in-app tools and user experiences.”
Discoverability via kumu
The app further engaged its Kumunity by creating fun, interactive livestream campaigns. These campaigns allow users to compete for unique prizes, ranging from signed merchandise by celebrities, to bigger publicity exposures like a billboard feature on EDSA. “What we’re really giving our audience is experiences that they would remember for a lifetime. When they compete for these prizes, we also get to learn more about their backstory and it inspires us to help boost their careers,” says Angelo Mendez.
kumu Campaigns have also been the app’s main method of talent acquisition for “Love At First Stream” movie. Through these fun campaigns, the movie was able to cast a third loveteam, the #Chimanda duo featuring Amanda Zamora and Chico Alicaya; additional story characters like “Issa”, starring Quincey Villanueva, and the fascinating “Love Guro” to be played by Vien King; plus, with an exclusive record song by Alyssa Quijano, and more. All of whom bagged the roles by topping the leaderboards of the “Love At First Stream” campaigns.
As a tool for talent discovery, kumu Campaigns is a double-edged strategy that engages fans, viewers and rivaling content-creators alike; in a way, it gives a snapshot of the talent’s engagement capacity, which makes them candidates for showbiz opportunities. Asides from “Love At First Stream”, kumu Campaigns have also been used to scout Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Housemates, like Jordan Andrews and Benedix Ramos, both of whom became official PBB Celebrity Housemates after winning the kumu Celebrity Housemate Search this year.
Breaking into the entertainment industry
“We are at the cusp of a transition in the entertainment industry. The traditional process of auditioning and thriving in the entertainment business has been disrupted; this is due to new channels available for the younger generation,” says Paolo Pineda, Chief Commercial Officer of kumu. “Even stories that happen on the app have inspired the creation of the plot and characters in the movie. For the very first time in history, we have a livestream-inspired movie, which is an essential part in the making of this film.”
kumu recently announced their Series C funding that marks their total raise to 100m USD. With this recent funding, the Pinoy live streaming app is set to explore more on how to create multiple interactive content productions in the future. These content innovations will not only be engaging the Kumunity, but also aim to inspire traditional industries with new ways to tell stories, create content, and connect with others.