COVID-19: Livestreaming karaoke and reality TV in virus-hit China

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    China has the world’s largest livestreaming industry and Wuhan – the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak – was already something of a livestreaming hub.

    So when the new virus emerged, confining millions of people to their homes, the industry responded quickly, with new programming genres emerging and a shift in the formats of popular TV reality shows.

    Audiences have been watching livestreams of both celebrities and ordinary people singing, cooking and exercising in their own homes. Programmes that usually feature live audiences have instead come to resemble video conferences – but have still proven an unusual hit.

    But despite these changing programming trends, vloggers – of which there are more than 524 million in China – still need to be extremely cautious about what they post, especially within Wuhan.

    New online shows

    In late January, livestreams of two hospitals being built in Wuhan proved unusually popular with online audiences.

    Recognising the appeal that unconventional livestreams have had among audiences while Chinese have been in self-quarantine, some new shows quickly sprang up on online streaming services.

    The Guangzhou Daily newspaper noted the rise of a new genre of “cloud reality shows”, where artists only needed a mobile phone or a computer and a good network to be part of a show.

    Source: BBC News

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