Stream And Earn: Why Kumu Will Be Your Next Moneymaking Gig
Content creators share why they prefer it over other livestreaming platforms.
You’ve probably found yourself wondering every time you hear or see personalities inviting their audience to follow them on “Kumu.” Where? How? And, most importantly, with all the social media services you’ve already joined, Why should I be on Kumu?
Kumu is a Filipino livestreaming app launched in February 2018. It started out as an e-commerce platform for people who wanted to do live selling of goods and merchandise, then eventually evolved into a space where anyone could showcase his talent, art, and content.
Derived from the word “kumusta” which translates to How are you? in English, Kumu is focused primarily on the Pinoy market. In the three years since it launched, Kumu has earned the trust of Pinoys, as many of those who stream on this application say it’s a safe space for them to connect with people.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, we have seen how everything transitioned to digital. Kumu has been used as a platform even by big broadcast networks for streaming and entertainment. In fact, Kumu is now in the process of creating a new “KUMUnity” for the upcoming Pinoy Big Brother season 10.
A lot of content creators have also ventured into this app because they have discovered the potential of the platform. Some even say that what they earn from Kumu is as much as what they get from their full-time jobs.
How do you earn from Kumu?
Baileys (@_baileysacot), 22, started streaming in March 2021. His management encouraged him to start streaming because Kumu was starting to gain traction in the entertainment industry. He currently has over 1500 followers and an average of 2,363 views per month.
“You get to earn as long as you stream. You can’t earn if you’re offline. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as your audience is pleased [with] what you do, and so he/she/they would eventually ’drop virtual gifts.’ The virtual gifts are bought/paid by them and sent to us. We, then will be able to convert those virtual gifts to cash,” he shares.
Twenty-two-year-old Jed (@jedroque) only started streaming a month ago. He joined the KUMUnity because he loves to entertain and communicate with people. He currently has 455 followers and an average of 904 views per month.
“I receive ’diamonds‘ as gifts from my viewers and followers. ‘Diamonds’ have equivalent cash amounts. The content and rapport with your viewers are of utmost importance to gain more viewers and followers,” he explains.
Basically, your viewers can send you virtual gifts during your stream worth 25 coins up to 200,000. This serves as their token of appreciation for your content. While primarily you can earn as a creator by going live, you can also join game shows and earn money from the app as a viewer.
How much can you earn?
According to Baileys, “I’ve started earning since I started streaming. But the significant amount of earning for me started 2-3 weeks into the app. [I’ve been earning] more than the minimum wage every month since.”
Nikki (@itsnikkicee), 22, started streaming in April, and began to earn after a month in the KUMUnity. She currently has 562 followers and an average of 614 views per month.
“Personally, Kumu is my side-hustle because I also have a full-time day job and I always say that Kumu is like a job but not really. Yes, it’s a job because you can really earn, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like one because you handle your own time. You can just stream on your free time, plus you get to have fun while doing it! Also, earning from Kumu is like earning from a 9-to-6 job,” she shares.
What type of content can you put out?
When you join Kumu, it is necessary that you have something to put on the table. Of course, no one will watch you if you have nothing to showcase. Currently, aside from streamers showcasing their talents in singing, dancing, or acting, there are also life coaches and fitness experts who give advice. There are comedy acts and talk shows and quiz nights and live music jamming, but you can begin with something as simple as starting a conversation or interacting with your viewers. But of course it has to be interesting and worthy of their time.
“Most of my content are music, exercise and lifestyle. I use the app as a way of unwinding, maintaining a certain relationship with my ’fans,’ and gaining a few more on the side,” Baileys adds.
Nikki says, “I am a singer/songwriter and I used to perform in gigs before the pandemic. With Kumu, I found a new stage and new audiences to share my music with. I usually sing my originals and covers in my live streams, but I also do challenges, dares, and other fun games for variety, and also to engage my viewers.
“I started earning in my second month. It looks easy, but it really takes hard work, effort, and discipline to earn from this platform. When I say hard work and effort, I mean really spending time and energy to stream and interact with, engage with, and entertain people. And it doesn’t just end there because streamers should have discipline to manage time and consistently stream, and to plan ahead and even strategize content to make it interesting for the viewers,” she adds.
Jed shares that he has kwentuhan sessions about everyday life with his viewers in between singing, cooking, and working out.
Do followers and views matter?
Just like any other platform that helps you earn, followers definitely matter. Baileys, Jed, and Nikki all agree that the followers play a big role in terms of support and engagement. The more followers you have, the more recognition and views you can get.
Nikki instantly fell in love with the viewers of Kumu and the general atmosphere in the app. “I honestly didn’t plan on being a streamer. It’s something I never imagined myself doing because I am very awkward and introverted.
I installed the app just to support my friend’s sister who is also a streamer, @satogeli. In one of her livestreams, she asked me to sing one song for her and her viewers. I was so shy, but I remember singing the first song that YouTube suggested: Fly me to the moon. Everyone was so nice, and I felt very welcome. They all encouraged me to also start streaming and so I gave it a try,” she recounts.
Baileys always joins Kumu campaigns for causes that he personally believes in. He says that he uses the app as a bridge to help other people in need.
“When I would join a campaign on Kumu, I would do it for a cause. Basically, when you join a campaign, you win certain prizes. I’ve recently participated in two. I’ve won sacks of rice which I’ve donated to front liners. My last one was a Lenovo Tablet which I’ve donated to a little four-year-old boy, Calix the fighter, who’s been fighting a rare disease since birth,” he explains.
What sets Kumu apart from other livestreaming platforms?
Kumu strives to create a safe and fun space for Pinoy streamers to build authentic connection with other Filipinos, thus, their tagline, “Sama All.”
Nikki narrates, “What I like the most about Kumu is that it is a safe space with really friendly people. Even before I decided to start streaming, I was assured that Kumu is a safe space and that there’s a Kumu police and moderator feature in livestreams to prevent trolling, cyberbullying, and inappropriate comments or remarks. Plus, it's a Pinoy community platform with Filipinos from all over the world, so there’s already that connection!”
Jed also thinks that Kumu is very wholesome compared to other streaming sites and apps. In his opinion, other platforms for streaming can be rude or even vulgar.
Baileys highly appreciates the fact that the app is focused on Pinoys. “I think what separates it from other social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok is that it’s focused on catering to Filipinos,” he shares.
Tips from the KUMUnity
“If you really want it, do it now. Joining the KUMUnity is one of the most fruitful decisions I made during the lockdown because I get to continue my passion that is singing, and I get to connect and meet new people and learn from their stories and experiences. Just always be you and give your best,” Nikki advises.
The right time to start will always be now. These Kumu streamers encourage those who have talent, creative concepts, or passion projects to already join the KUMUnity to gain new friends and loyal followers, and discover interesting stories and life-changing experiences. Earning money while being yourself and having fun? That’s a win-win situation, if you ask us.