Previously known as LiveAF, LIVIT Debuts with New Brand, New CEO and Renewed Focus

Previously known as LiveAF, LIVIT Debuts with New Brand, New CEO and Renewed Focus


LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 30: LIVIT, a subsidiary of the widely popular and hugely successful live streaming app, 17 Live in Asia, is today officially launching in the US. Operating in a soft launch mode for the past twelve months under the temporary name LiveAF, the company is now unveiling a new brand name and identity with a renewed mission and focus, all spearheaded by new Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Yu.


The rebrand comes on the back of twelve months of the company operating in stealth mode while surveying the market and the behavioural trends of American audiences. LIVIT aims to reach the next generation of entertainers and entertainment consumers, primarily those who are looking to broadcast their talents to build a global audience, receive direct feedback and even provide opportunities for monetization.


Since LIVIT has emerged from stealth mode, one of the biggest changes is the evolution of the content – creating a more diverse content strategy and becoming a platform for streamers who really want to share their extraordinary talents and skills to the wider community. The majority of streamers are people who are singers, musicians, models, actors, and comedians, however there are also many more streamers on the platform who are broadcasting their daily life and events and building an authentic audience.


Thomas Yu, Chief Executive Officer at LIVIT, said: “I am thrilled to bring the hard work of our team to launch this exciting new and enhanced platform to fruition – this is something we’ve been working on for a long time and it really demonstrates the evolution of the brand - our streamers spoke and we listened.


“We’re passionate about creating real-life and authentic relationships between our streamers and viewers, utilizing live media to connect the dots. We have seen enormous success with 17 Live in Asia, and we’re excited to expand in the US in a significant way. We are dedicated to helping our streamers create quality content and share their stories.”


One of the most attractive aspects of LIVIT is the company’s focus on quality. Aspiring streamers must go through an application process before being accepted to live stream. All streamers are also assigned a talent manager, who are dedicated to helping streamers be the best they can be. This focus on quality of streamers helps to ensure quality of content for viewers. Another unique viewing experience is that LIVIT is the only live streaming app to not use in-app advertising, focusing solely on organic audience growth and providing a more enriched viewing experience.


LIVIT officially launches today and to celebrate will be hosting LA’s largest live streaming competition with 30 of its top streamers from across the country who will compete for points sent by their viewers. The inaugural event in the United States will take place on Wednesday, October 30 at the W Hotel, Hollywood. For the past month, the streamers have been competing to attend the event, where the top 30 will compete to win over $30,000 in prizes including luxurious trips to Paris, the Maldives, Hawaii, Miami, and Las Vegas; travel items and gadgets; and cash giveaways.


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About LIVIT: LIVIT is a mobile app where talented individuals (called "streamers") broadcast their own live shows. It is the US version of the popular Asian app, 17 Live, which has over 40 million users, and is the #1 live streaming app in Taiwan and Japan. The streamers on LIVIT are entertainers, performers, artists, influencers, and rising stars, and LIVIT's goal is to help them grow their careers and followings. Viewers also play an important role on the app. They can give points to their favorite streamers, which helps the streamers achieve their dreams and win exciting prizes, such as career-advancing experiences, being in ad campaigns, going on trips, receiving cash bonuses, and more. Viewers determine which streamers rise to the top, and this gives them a unique opportunity to become a part of streamers’ success stories. With so much real-time interaction, LIVIT is a community of genuine, supportive users, and that’s why people come back for more!


Press inquiries for LIVIT, please contact:

Miller PR

323-761-7220

livit@miller-pr.com




Thomas Yu has been appointed Chief Executive Officer at LiveAF. Yu succeeds Colin Hodge, who left the company a week prior to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures.


Thomas has held a number of leadership, growth, and founding roles at tech companies, including Zynga, Heightens Media, and Golden Rat Studios. He is a Los Angeles native, and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. “I am honored to join LiveAF,” Yu stated, “and I look forward to building upon the success the team has already had.”


LiveAF launched in the US in November 2018. Its parent company, 17 Media, launched in Asia in 2015, and is now the number one live streaming app in Japan and Taiwan. The app prides itself on providing a luxurious lifestyle for its streamers, by hosting in-app contests with prizes such as all-expense paid tropical vacations, billboards, parties, and professional photoshoots.


At LiveAF, it’s not only the streamers who receive top notch treatment. In his first week as CEO, Yu made it a priority to cater to his employees, making the workplace as productive as inviting as possible. Through the work he was able to accomplish in such a short time, the company now proudly offers full healthcare coverage for its employees.



Yu has many plans to continue LiveAF’s growth, “We already doubled in size in the last month, and will double again in the next 3 months.” The company’s US headquarters are beginning the transition from a shared space to a private building, further solidifying the company’s growth. By moving to a larger and more permanent space, the team is looking forward to a workspace where they can continue to grow.


“In a well-established market like Asia, live streamers are like celebrities. In the US, live streaming is still relatively new, which only means one thing: opportunity. This is a great time to build your audience as a live streamer,” Yu commented.






Dear LiveAF Family and the team at M17 Entertainment,


It is with bittersweet emotions that I am announcing my departure as Chief Growth Officer at M17 and as LiveAF CEO. I’ve made so many friends and learned an immense amount, but after over 3 years with the company, I’ve decided it’s the right time to move on to new adventures and challenges. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, so I feel the itch to reset my mind and then start a new venture.


I’m very confident in the future of M17, and I’m certain that I’ll be missing out on exciting milestones in the near future, which makes this all the more difficult. As soon as I decided to leave, I put a sharp focus on setting up the framework so that each of the teams that I oversee will thrive into the future. As I’ve told my team members, I see it as my failure if they fall short after I leave, and I’ll gladly take some credit if they succeed.


`LiveAF`

As CEO of LiveAF, I’m proud to say we’ve established a positive community, quality team, and solid brand to build upon as we aim to takeover the US market! We’re setting new records daily with our content, we’re rolling out a buzz-worthy Q3 marketing campaign, and are filling in the final pieces of a fully-empowered local team. We’ve come a long way since I arrived in early October last year with just one teammate.


We lit up Hollywood with our launch party and billboards featuring LiveAF talent, got featured on CheddarTV and Business Insider, sent the first-ever petite model to the London Fashion Week runway, whisked 5 of our winners to Cabo for a vacation video shoot, raced through the desert in the Run Rally, shot an NYC billboard ad that is launching soon, and so much more!


For certain, we’ve learned many lessons along the way and have much to improve still. I want to thank all of our supportive community members who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with on LiveAF. Thank you for your patience, your encouragement, and your teamwork in building this platform. I still plan on streaming on my LiveAF account, so I’ll see you there!


I’m passing the driver’s seat for LiveAF to the very experienced Thomas Yu, whom I’m confident will take us to new successes!


Sincerely AF,


Colin Hodge

CEO @ LiveAF

CGO @ M17 Entertainment

@Colin on LiveAF


P.S. I’m including a history of my time at M17 for those who are curious. I hope some of the key lessons prove useful!



`History: The Beginning`

I first met our M17 Group CEO, Joseph Phua, in a tiny Taipei Paktor office in early 2016. We talked at length about the organic growth of my app, Down, Paktor’s growth and success with fundraising, and how we might work together. Little did I know that my next few years would be spent on everything from leading marketing in a country where I didn’t speak the language to launching a livestreaming app in the US. When I first joined Paktor through the acquisition of Down, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I never would have predicted that we’d merge with an exciting livestreaming app, go on to become the industry leader in Developed Asia, and that I’d return to the US to launch our foray into the global market!


`Paktor Labs`

I started my time by founding Paktor Labs, which served as the in-house entrepreneurial home for new and growing apps. It’s from within Paktor Labs that we were able to profitably grow the Goodnight and Down apps from $0 to multi-million dollars in annual revenue. I’m quite proud of the Goodnight team’s achievements - kudos to Andy and his team!

Key Lessons: Give motivated team members guidance and remove roadblocks, then get out of their way. Be careful scaling ad spend without profitability on unit economics.


`17 Marketing`

After a year, I visited 17 in Taipei and joined the team, at Jo’s request, as VP of Growth. We recognized some great opportunities for improvement and growth in the Marketing team, as well as a gap in leadership, so I also stepped in as interim Marketing Manager for nearly a year. I won’t lie: it was super daunting to take on marketing for Taiwan without speaking Mandarin or a deep understanding of the local culture. With the help of some adaptable and hard-working team members, we were able to greatly increase marketing performance while reducing losses, launch exciting outdoor campaigns, like our taxis, LED trucks, and movie theatre ads, set up quality app store optimization processes, and establish a more data-driven marketing approach. The Marketing Team has continued to deliver results under the experienced and steady leadership of Jessie!

Key Lessons: Changing mindsets & habits is much harder than changing leaders. Apply the same core elements of great marketing - they will apply to any region if you utilize local teammates to tweak around the edges.


`17 Growth`

On the growth team, we were able to uncover many useful insights that led to product and marketing wins, such as the Poke feature (to engage users and encourage reciprocal actions). We also started some innovative offline recruiting of VIPs in Taiwan, which we’ve seen deployed in Hong Kong and the US. Finally, we helped start the company on a more data-driven approach, partnering with the Data Team to have a Growth KPI dashboard, regular tracking, and better result analysis. I’m glad to see the Growth and Data Teams have joined and continue to expand their impact on the company’s key metrics, with Hannah evolving from a Growth Team Specialist to helping now to lead the Data Science and Analytics Team!

Key Lessons: Affecting change across departments is a huge challenge - it works best when you concentrate your focus on a few key initiatives, gather support from multiple angles, and make the business case in terms that the other department cares about.


`17 Global Expansion`

Following building the Marketing and Growth Teams, we started our Global Expansion Team to help support and grow our newer regions. As a small, scrappy team, we helped unlock paying user and revenue growth in Hong Kong, smoothed out some communication and processes, grew Malaysia revenues, set up our Singapore company, and launched our company in the USA, LiveAF. Big thanks to our Global Expansion team in Taipei, the HK Team, and all of the partner teams that helped us along the way! This team is now repositioned to be the Global LaunchPad Team, and I’m sure that it’s in excellent hands with Watts at the helm!

Key Lessons: Insist on more resources as needed to reach ambitious goals, instead of making due with what you have. Hire faster to avoid team overload - just because startups start small and scrappy doesn’t mean it’s always ideal. Move quicker to a strategy of autonomous regional teams, so that they are less dependent on HQ.

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