Dai Rui is holding court to his fans at his office in Liaoyang, Liaoning province. Just 24, Dai is already a successful entrepreneur and producer of professional live-streaming shows, but he was once an ordinary online performer, like his employees.
Dai first broke into the business in 2014, and his enthusiastic singing soon earned him a massive following. His fans included several rich businessmen who were willing to give him expensive gifts for his performances—soon his income reached as much as 200,000 RMB a month (wealthy users are often motivated to donate large amounts as a show of face; sometimes they even compete to be a performer’s most generous patron).
The income allowed Dai to break out of the performer’s life and become his own producer. The Liaoyang Zhiyuan Culture and Communication Company now turns over several million RMB a year, and Dai has more than a thousand streaming singers on contract.
But despite the wealth and acclaim it brought him, Dai doesn’t miss his singing days. “The broadcasting industry made me successful, it also ruined my normal life,” Dai recalls.“i used to broadcast more than 15 hours a day. It hurt my body badly. Now I have more money than I could imagine, but I still don’t have enough time. If I could do it again, I may not choose to broadcast.”
Dai, who once made thousands of RMB for his performances, now prefers the corporate life, managing others in his agency Studio systems like Dai's (below) give amateur acts a chance to shine professionally