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China looks to streaming to find its next wave of pop stars

The country has over 300 million livestreamers, and BMG hopes one of them is the next big thing in music.


Chinese livestreaming platform Momo inks deal with global music label BMG to turn its livestreamers into global music stars.

Momo Inc

Justin Bieber got his big break from singing on YouTube, and now a Chinese company is hoping to manufacture that same success. 

Momo, one of China's biggest livestreamers, inked a partnership with global music label BMG and three local entertainment companies on Monday to kickstart the "Momo Music Plan." The $1.47 million deal will see BMG try to find a Bieber-esque star among the millions who sing on its platform. 

Livestreaming is a lucrative business in China, with more than 325 million people broadcasting live on various platforms in the country. Like Twitch, streamers often get donations and virtual gifts for their efforts, and it's not just gaming -- streamers in China often earn their money through singing, eating (lots) or just chatting with fans.   

BMG joins others looking beyond traditional broadcasting channels to uncover talents. In 2013, Simon Cowell introduced "The You Generation," taking his hunt for new talents to the internet -- or more specifically, YouTube. It didn't prove to be a successful talent scouting tool a la "American Idol" and "X-Factor." 

Momo's contest won't be all about who's the best singer though, with company Vice President Jia Wei noting popularity is equally or more important. Either way, the winner will get vocal training and dance lessons in Hollywood, according to a Momo statement. 

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