BOBMOB is an innovative attempt aimed at offering new creative revenue opportunities for streamers, and vastly improving interactions between them and their viewers.
We spoke to Managing Director Dr Toni Wagner about his reasons for its creation, its features (including mini-games and personalised VIP avatars) and more. BOBMOB is currently in its Beta stage.
Esports Insider: Tell us how the original concept of BOBMOB was created, where did it come from and what exactly is its purpose?
Toni Wagner: BOBMOB was created because I love watching top esports, but I always felt isolated.
The Twitch chat is super useless most of the time, especially when you’re watching a big tournament. Nobody cares about anything posted there when you have 5,000, 10,000 or 200,000 viewers all in one chatroom. At the same time, I realised that ads are annoying, product placement a sad joke and donations have no real reward for the viewers. I wanted to help the streamers, support and cheer for my team just like I do when watching football or basketball. There is simply no way to really do that and help you feel like you’re part of something bigger.
“For streamers and organisations BOBMOB offers a series of innovative and, most importantly, positive and rewarding means to earn money”
Esports is young, but fan-culture is actually still in its infancy, and I believe that´s mostly due to a lack of options for stars and fans to have meaningful, rewarding interactions. BOBMOB changes that – fundamentally.
ESI: You’ll have to explain the name…
Toni: You know… I am a terrible player myself, so I was regularly told that I was a BOB. And, my guess is, most hobby players are called names in their losing matches! So, the way I see it there is a BOB in everyone in esports.
Besides, we offer you all the chance to get together, to join a crowd, to simply be part of a MOB. Now you see how we ended up with BOBMOB.
ESI: What’s the most appealing feature of BOBMOB, perhaps the mini games? Talk us through the highlights.
Toni: I think it’s different things for different people. BOBMOB’s mini-games are great means to interact, just like the basic cheering, booing and laughing is.
The general concepts of customising your avatar, being unique, being featured as a VIP avatar in the video-stream and supporting your streamer/player while getting something back in return are really powerful.
“This is just the beta launch. We will constantly add more features for both ends – creators and consumers”
Without BOBMOB, you donate and you get the same ThankYou-BlaBla-Message everyone else gets. That’s it. Buying a fan shirt and playing a mini-game versus the streamer is a different level of experience/engagement and reward. The ability to create your own venue and invite your five friends and have your own chat while all watching the same video-stream is another meta-level of control the streaming platforms do not give you. That’s the viewer side. For streamers and organisations BOBMOB offers a series of innovative and, most importantly, positive and rewarding means to earn money. You can create your own avatar assets like fan shirts, drinks, signs, shoes etc. while viewers are happy to get something back for the money they spent.
They will, at the same time, spread your brand, organise into MOBs (fan-clubs if you will) and actually give you live audio feedback about your performance and their engagement.
Of course, this is just the beta launch. We will constantly add more features for both ends – creators and consumers. Be it more mini-games, more feedback and interaction mechanisms, but also more revenue streams that feel good and rewarding instead of involving begging for donations and annoying with ads.
ESI: You mention this can be a new income avenue for streamers and content creators – can you fill us in on the details of this?
Toni: Sure, every dollar spent from within a venue – be it from mini-game sponsors, marketplace purchases, VIP-Seat rental, etc. will yield the venue owner (most of the time, this is the streamer) between 15% and 50%.
“…viewers, who create an avatar and use BOBMOB, spend almost 10 more minutes per viewing session compared to viewers not using BOBMOB”
By way of an example: Team X creates a fan shirt that is featured in the shop for 100 credits. Casting studio Z casts a match of Team X. One fan buys a team X shirt. In this specific case, Z gets 15 credits and X gets 35 credits.
If Z charges 100 credits per VIP seat per minute, they earn 50 credits per minute from that. Of course, if streamer K hosts his own venue and sells his own cool avatar bandana for 1,000 credits, he gets 350 + 150, so 500 in total.
Of course, you also get something equally important – happy viewers who are rewarded for spending money. They get something very special or something permanent for their virtual selves. And these amounts are all in a range (roughly, 125 credits are 1 dollar) that is reasonable for many of the viewers, while 6$ or 25$ per month is something completely different (without a direct reward, mind you).
ESI: You’re currently in closed action BETA with some test events going down on Twitch – what’s the feedback been like so far?
Toni: The feedback has been astonishingly positive. At first, it’s hard to get streamers to test something so radically new, with a strange name, created by an unknown company.
“The general concepts of customising your avatar, being unique, being featured as a VIP avatar in the video-stream and supporting your streamer/player while getting something back in return are really powerful”
But once people test it, they realise that it’s all added value. The service is free; there is no hidden bullshit. We have the original subscribe and follow buttons, the original chat and video, the full screen button that all viewers need and use. But we add to it. A lot actually.
In our tests, we were able to show that viewers, who create an avatar and use BOBMOB, spend almost 10 more minutes per viewing session compared to viewers not using BOBMOB. Besides, about 20% of users start to power level their avatars and everybody quickly tries to look unique, asks to become a VIP, challenges the streamer for a mini-game.
Of course, we still lack some features, but we’re confident that what we already do add is more than enough to improve the engagement level significantly.