[16th March,2020 ｜Hong Kong] It’s been a tumultuous year for students in Hong Kong undertaking the HKDSE with the coronavirus. While the duration and impact of the class suspension are unknown, students have been seeking alternative ways to prepare for the examination – especially with the use of the internet. Leveraging on the most advanced technologies – live-streaming – to replace boring texts and graphics, kosmic.io has recently launched its education-focused live-streaming platform, empowering “knowledgeable influencers” to teach on its platform and better engage students than traditional education solutions. The first month in, the platform has already accumulated 1,500 users and over 10,000 site visits, with each user on average has spent more than 45 minutes on the platform. A serendipity – Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Ng hopes that such a platform can provide a delighting learning experience for secondary school students in Hong Kong amidst of the coronavirus.
kosmic.io is the first education-focused live-streaming platform on the market, with a strongly diversified streamer base. In the platform, you will find experienced tutors or streamers who want to build up their own brand as a knowledgeable influencer. The idea behind kosmic.io is to leverage on the expertise in engaging audience from influencers to keep students focused during a teaching session. You will also occasionally find university students who have previously achieved near full-score in public examination hosting live sessions and explaining examination trends, tips and tricks on specific papers, or offering a crash course on a particular topic to achieve better in examinations on the platform. To further support engagements between students and streamers – kosmic.io has rolled out multiple learner-focused product features such as Chat-box so streamers can host Q&A sessions and respond to students’ questions, or daily streaming timetable mimicking school lessons timetable to facilitate the adoption of such innovating product. By doing that, the Founding Team of kosmic.io envision a platform where influencers can break out of the norm and engage the audience better in teaching the subject where they have the expertise in, be it language, Mathematics, science or even History – which traditional schools or tutoring centres have long been struggling to achieve.
When asked about the unique proposition of kosmic.io compared to other social media sites or video platforms with similar live-streaming architecture, Matthew said, “kosmic.io is the first-ever education-focused live-streaming platform. Even though social media or video platforms like Instagram, Youtube or Twitch offer a live-streaming feature, their recommendation algorithms focus on directing students back to entertainment contents which traditionally have a higher retention rate, so it is close to impossible for teachers on these platforms to deliver education contents that can retain and engage the audience.” Adding on, Matthew also said, “With this direction, we found that teachers are more motivated to innovate and retain students until the final second of the session. For example, 90% of the audience of one of our streamers on kosmic.io stayed and watched until the final second of the streamer’s session, which is a fascinating proof of concept because an average figure for final-second retention rate on education content is less than 10%. A contrarian thinking I’d say, we realized that when it comes to educational content, it’s no longer
about the credentials of the streamers or how gigantic the video library of an education platform is – it is simply about the way a streamer deliver education content, and how the streamer can keep audience engaged until the final second of a session, much like what an influencer on Youtube or Instagram normally does.”
kosmic.io currently has 16 “verified streamers” across subjects like English, Mathematics and Chemistry. Each verified streamer has once achieved more than 100 average concurrent viewers throughout a session along with passing a rigorous verification process from the platform. Isabella, one of the 16 verified streamers for the platform, graduated from the University of Birmingham in England with a major in English and half a decade of experience in English tutoring; Lee, another verified streamer, graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a major of Mathematics in First Class Honour and close to a decade of experience in Mathematics tutoring. Spoke about the credentials of streamers, Matthew also said “streamers are not the employee of kosmic.io, but a partner. We provide the platform for them to distribute their content. Our role is to support them in building and distributing engaging if not addictive educational content. With advanced technologies like cloud technologies, live-streaming, advanced analytics being democratized, this is the right time to apply that into education.”
What is more, when students are studying by themselves, they usually feel alone. To reduce loneliness, students have also started a trend themselves – #StudyWithMe to broadcast studying on kosmic.io – hoping to reduce isolation and improve concentration level. “When I’m studying by myself, I always get distracted. Live-streaming my studying keeps me focused because if I’m not, my audience is going to see that,” said Charlotte, one of the streamers adopting the #StudyWithMe trend on kosmic.io.
On the monetization of kosmic.io, Matthew, who used to be the Global Operations Consultant in one of the most-funded startups in Hong Kong, said “Our strategy is to leverage on the network effect and monetize out of traffic and premium content to reach profitability. Only 14% of the current education is conducted offline, and 99%% of the 14% of current education is conducted through 1-on-1 Skype tutoring. That gives us a head start to build a network effect in this sector. We certainly see online education as one of the highest potential markets in the 2020s.” Other than HKDSE students, Matthew said IB, SAT or A-levels market is on the pipeline and ready to launch once the international market is ready. Jessica, Marketing Lead of kosmic.io, said other than innovation, competitive pricing is also the reason why kosmic.io achieved such hypergrowth. “As an HKDSE student, I used to pay tutoring centres HKD$500 or more just to watch pre-recorded videos with no interactions. However, with kosmic.io, a student can interact with streamers and access all premium contents with HKD$49 per month, that is very competitive on top of the time to travel from and to the tutoring centres. Moreover, using an online platform, streamers can build their personal brands as an influencer in the education sector to compound up the engagement.”
About Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer – Matthew Ng
Matthew Ng, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, graduated from Li Po Chun United World College and went on to study Physics in one of the most prestigious institutions – University College London (UCL). Before graduation, Matthew has already been recruited personally by the Founder of one of the most funded startups in Hong Kong to become their Global Operations Consultant due to his background and insights on technology and marketing trends. Moving on, he has founded 4Sigma Consulting – advising some of the most valuable brands and non-profits around the globe to succeed in Gen-Z Marketing, achieving over a million dollars in revenue and a global network of Gen-Zs within 12 months of founding. In 2020, Matthew has leveraged on his expertise and experience to launch the first-ever education-focused live streaming platform with a goal to succeed in the global education market by providing addictive educational content.
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