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What is “Virtual Talent Academia” ?

I’m Harry, the founder of NEXAS!

Thank you for your interest in NEXAS’s first audition. Being our first audition, I was nervous, but I’m thrilled to see the overwhelming interest and numerous questions from so many of you.

I’ve talked about myself, forCreators, and the vision behind NEXAS in a previous blog, so if you’re interested, please read it here.

This time, I want to address a frequently asked question:
“What does ‘NEXAS = Virtual Talent Academia’ mean?” in detail.

Please bear with me, as it’s a lengthy explanation.

Table of Contents

  1. Current Analysis
  2. Our Answers
    • Winning on a new platform.
    • Update the agency model.
  3. What does winning on a new platform mean?
  4. What is our vision for an agency?
  5. Creating new career paths as a company
  6. Summary

The ENVTuber market is at a turning point right now.

I believe that content platforms such as YouTube and Instagram repeat the same cycle. Very roughly, when a platform is created, it follows the following growth cycle.

  1. A superstar is born to represent the platform.
  2. Many firms see these stars and enter the market, looking for business opportunities.
  3. Mass production of individual talents who do not belong to a firm and small to medium-sized firms that cannot scale
  4. Platforms will become saturated, and people will move on to the next platform.

I believe this is also true for the VTuber content category.

For instance, in Japan’s market, where hundreds of people debut as VTubers on YouTube each month, winning has become increasingly difficult. This has led to the rapid growth of V-content specialized streaming apps like IRIAM and Reality in recent years. People wanting to pursue V-tubing often start their careers on these platforms, gaining experience before trying to join larger agencies. This has given rise to a new “career path” for aspiring VTubers.

I think the EN VTuber market is also at the turning point. Clear winners on platforms like YouTube and Twitch have emerged, where top talents draw the majority of viewership, leaving new entrants struggling to monetize even after 1-2 years of streaming. Brands like Hololive and VShojo have quickly dominated the VTuber space within these existing platforms. Behind their success, one wonders how many companies have had to withdraw? As the demand to become a VTuber rises, but the agency slots remain limited, where should these aspiring VTubers go? Now, new platforms are emerging to carry the torch forward.

NEXAS bets on this transition, aiming to secure a dominant position on these emerging platforms, elevating stars from our ranks into the mainstream. As the VTuber community and market expand, we believe it’s crucial not to be confined by existing platforms but to create new career paths for talents, serving as a launchpad to propel many to success.

The sustainability of existing VTuber agency models is becoming challenging.

As mentioned above, the market is becoming increasingly competitive, which has led to a rise in individuals wanting to become VTubers. While the number of agencies has grown, as you might already know, many have not succeeded, leading to numerous graduations or companies folding.

Why is this happening? Simply put, “agencies can no longer provide the level of support talents expect.” Becoming a VTuber can be achievable with some investment, but to grow as a talent, one must continuously create content that satisfies VTuber fans. The challenge lies in the ever-increasing quality standards for content set by major agencies, such as top-notch creativity, 3D live performances, and super cute avatars. Talents join dreaming of achieving such quality, but small and medium enterprises with limited investment can’t produce content of that caliber. Meanwhile, fans accustomed to high-quality content find less polished VTubers lacking. As a result, the gap between what talents expect from their agencies and what the companies can actually provide widens.

Success is not easy. Simply setting up an agency and launching talents without proper planning won’t work.

Therefore, the traditional model of investing all efforts into a few talents and waiting for them to grow on platforms like YouTube or Twitch is becoming unsustainable for companies.

Based on this analysis, our answers at forCreators and NEXAS are:

Winning on New Platforms.

Due to the reasons mentioned earlier, as a company and industry-wide, building a leading position on the next big platforms can ultimately provide more value to talents than struggling on the existing battlegrounds.

NEXAS and AniLive are both new and launching, and while some may feel uncertain, this collaboration means a lot. We are interdependent; NEXAS’s success with AniLive’s first talents contributes to AniLive’s success, affecting the value NEXAS can offer to talents. Although independence from each other is healthy for business growth in the long run, their close cooperation during the launch phase is crucial. By auditioning in partnership with AniLive and maintaining close communication, we aim to create new value. This unique opportunity allows talents to grow with a promising platform from the start. Joining NEXAS now means having the chance to become one of the first stars on a new platform.

Why AniLive?

In the transition of platforms I discussed above, it’s crucial to have a place where emerging talents can succeed. I believe AniLive is that place for ENVTubers.

I’ll leave out a detailed explanation of AniLive here as they will be sharing more about it soon. However, as indicated by their tagline “Stream Anytime Anywhere”, it’s a platform aiming for everyone to easily stream as VTubers, build deep community connections, and monetize their content. Streaming from a smartphone app allows for casual, frequent broadcasts, making the talent’s streams an indispensable part of fans’ lives. My past experience at “17LIVE”, although not a virtual-focused platform, showed that successful streamers broadcast almost daily, creating a comforting community from “good morning” to “good night” for their fans. This is why the audition requirements include streaming for 2 hours over 20 days, totaling over 40 hours, suitable for those who can habitually stream daily, regardless of their daily schedules. We understand if this streaming style doesn’t suit everyone and encourage finding your own path if that’s the case.

Our goal with AniLive is to start by habitually streaming frequently to build and monetize a core fan community, gradually expanding our activities to mainstream platforms.

The Vision for the Next-Generation Agency

We aim to redefine the role of an agency in the evolving landscape. Recognizing the limitations of traditional agency models, we focus on:

  1. Fostering a competitive and uplifting community.
  2. Providing unique opportunities accessible only through the agency.
  3. Offering flexible support tailored to the talents’ growth phases and needs.
  4. Building a supportive brand that underlies all these elements.

Successful agencies, not just in the VTuber industry but across various fields, embody these principles. Conversely, needs that can be met individually, like finding a manager or seeking streaming support, diminish the necessity of an agency if that’s all they offer.

We envision an agency akin to a “prestigious university” like Harvard. Being part of such a community not only means meeting great peers and rivals but also gaining access to exclusive courses, internships, and study abroad opportunities. This model allows for customized lessons and support, enhancing individual and collective credibility through the brand. This is the agency model we, at forCreators, strive to realize.

The Essence of NEXAS as an Academy

To clarify first,

  • NEXAS basically operates on a revenue share model similar to many talent agencies, with a special focus on emerging talents.
  • NEXAS aims to be a launchpad for many talents to achieve their dreams.

The term “Academia” is used to align NEXAS with an ideal agency model, setting different expectations for talents compared to other agencies.

At NEXAS, we provide a comprehensive curriculum, free avatar creation, usable assets to help emerging talents overcome numerous hurdles. Importantly, we are committed to fostering a community that emphasizes mutual support and collective improvement. This approach ensures that every talent can learn, grow, and contribute within a nurturing environment.

Additionally, NEXAS aims to create unique opportunities, such as special guest lectures with top talents and professionals, streaming and exposure on AniLive, and more. Emphasizing the “Academia” concept allows gathering over 100 talents to form a large community, different from agencies composed of only a few talents. Already, over 20 talents have joined the first wave, and the audition aims to recruit 20 more. The goal is to share best practices and knowledge among senpai and kouhai to build a trustworthy brand, “NEXAS Talent,”

Furthermore, the concept of “Academia” within NEXAS embodies our desire to respect the autonomy of our talents. Unlike traditional agencies that dictate a uniform branding strategy, we encourage talents to independently decide their direction and strategy. They are also free to choose their curriculum and other offerings, allowing for a personalized path that respects their individuality and fosters self-directed growth.

Now I hope you can see the reason behind me referring to “the anime” all the time. (Did you find our audition movie is a complete parody of that…?)

Support Tailored to Commitment

Please understand that while we provide an environment for talents to autonomously utilize, with sufficient support systems in place, individualized support for each person will be less. Consider the analogy of universities or high schools; services aren’t equal for all. More diligent students often receive more attention and support from teachers, while those who neglect their studies and attendance might not graduate. While equal opportunities for learning are provided, leveraging them depends on the students’ initiative. Similarly, in NEXAS, we actively support those who demonstrate a high level of engagement and ambition. If you want to call it as “favoritism”, it might be true in a sense. But please understand that we will do it more systematically.

Specifically, we’re establishing a system that rewards talents who achieve good results in various NEXAS events and competitions. We aim to create a community where the competitive environment transparently benefits those who excel.

The business of talent management involves investing in talents initially and recouping that investment over the medium to long term. Joining NEXAS means we’re investing in you first and foremost, hence, we wish to work exclusively with those passionate about realizing their dreams. Given the inherent exposure to rankings by subscriber numbers or concurrent viewers after debut anyway, those preferring a competitive-free, leisurely pace may not find alignment with a talent agency. Individuals desiring a stable salary or just to follow instructions may not match well with NEXAS, and we appreciate thorough consideration to avoid any mismatch in expectations.

Creating a New Career Path for Virtual Talents

As NEXAS, we’ve focused mainly on our initiatives, but I’d also like to share our broader corporate aspirations. In essence, we aim to forge new career paths for virtual talents.

Initially, NEXAS will concentrate on establishing a foundation in streaming and building fan communities on simple streaming platforms like AniLive. Starting on YouTube or Twitch can be overwhelmingly complex for beginners, hence our emphasis on AniLive to construct a solid base. To cultivate habitual streaming, we advocate for a high level of commitment, recommending streaming for 2 hours over 20 days or more. As talents progress through our curriculum, we’ll guide them towards diversifying their revenue streams and expanding their presence across multiple platforms, ensuring they receive support as their careers develop.

Talents’ support needs evolve as they establish their foundation. This can range from marketing to merchandising, and even tax handling. When talents reach this phase, we, as forCreators, envision setting up a distinct agency tailored to meet these advanced needs.

The journey from emerging talent-friendly platforms like AniLive to mainstream success is beginning worldwide. We aim to adapt our support to match the growth phases of talents, ensuring they always feel adequately supported and never lack in benefits. We’re committed to providing our all to ensure talents’ success and satisfaction.

Summary

What NEXAS Aspires to Achieve:

  • Dominating new platforms:
    • AniLive is set to become the next big stage for the V-community, where we aim to create numerous stars.
  • A new academy-style talent agency:
    • It’s designed for those with high motivation and dreams they’re serious about achieving; it requires a proactive mindset to fully utilize.

This approach might not be for everyone, especially if it sounds daunting or unappealing.

We’re fully committed to combining these elements to ensure the grand success of our talents. While some might be surprised or disappointed by this direction, we believe others will be excited, and we look forward to their applications. Most questions we’ve received via marshmallows should be answered within this document!

We look forward to your application!

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