Imagine this: you’re a taxi or private-hire driver (doesn’t matter which side you’re at). One fateful night, two celebrities and a stranger boarded your car.
You’ve a front-facing camera and it’s always on. Everything’s fine, but soon after the stranger alighted, the show’s on.
The celebrities, one married and one attached, started to behave intimately. It’s hard to keep your eyes on the road but you carried on. Soon after, they alighted and you continued filming them.
And what do you do with the video footage?
Maybe you can sell it to a media company, say, Apple Daily, which is known for its sensationalist celebrity coverage. It’s, after all, the second best-selling newspaper in Hong Kong.
Or maybe you can let all the media companies bid for it.
You might lose your taxi / private-hire licence, but with the amount from the sale, you can start your own taxi company.
This might sound like fantasy but this was apparently the spark to the entire Andy Hui scandal saga.
Video Allegedly Sold for HK$1.5m (SGD$226K) to Apple Daily
Suffice to say, $226K isn’t enough to start a taxi company, but enough for the driver to sell the footage exclusively to Apple Daily.
Lest you’re not aware, Apple Daily is a publication under Next Digital Limited, a listed media company in Hong Kong. With over 4,000 employees, Next Digital, primarily due to Apple Daily, is thought to be the pioneer of paparazzi.
The publication has also uncovered many scandals, so this latest one is just one of the many.
According to media reports, it was a taxi driver who’s sold the entire video clip to Apple Daily for a cool HK$1.5m (SGD$226K). And lest you’re not aware, (since it has been re-uploaded by other publications), Apple Daily released it first.
And that’s not all.
Allegedly Two More Videos
Media reports also stated that there are two more video clips which have not been released—it’s unknown if Apple Daily has bought them as well, or they’ve bought by other publications.
Or maybe it’s still in the bidding stage?
Since Andy Hui has openly admitted to the incident and even apologised, I’m guessing the other two videos’ value are going to drop drastically#justsaying
It’s also revealed that the third person in the car is a mutual friend of Andy and Jacqueline.
SGD$226K for a Video: Worth it Meh?
In the competitive media industry, being the first with a scoop is definitely helpful, but for a price tag of almost a quarter of a million Singapore dollars, is it worth it?
For a start, right here in Singapore, Apple Media app is trending at #3 and #4 in the Google Play Store for the category of “News & Magazines”.
A few days back, according to my poor colleague who’s supposed to track the ranking of apps (because ours was trending often, too #humblebrag level99), they were trending in #1 and #2.
And here’s the thing: recently, they required people to register before they can read their articles, so I bet they’ve got many new registered users in Singapore.
How about globally?
A report stated that before the Andy Hui scandal, Apple Daily has 1.7 million subscribers. After the scandal and Andy Hui’s apology, the subscriber base raised to 2.1 million: an increase of about 380,000 new subscribers in 24 hours.
If you’ve a degree in business, you’ll be familiar with the term “user acquisition cost”: it refers to how much a company needs to fork out in advertising to get a new user (or customer).
If we go deep into the numbers, it would mean that it costs Apple Daily SGD$0.59 to acquire a user with the Andy Hui video.
According to Business of Apps, it takes about USD$4.08 to get a user to download an app, and USD$8.22 to register an account.
USD$8.22 is SGD$11.14.
Having said that, for Apple Daily to gain 380,000 users using the usual advertising model, they’d need to spend about SGD$4.23m, compared to spending just mere SGD$226K for a video.
Now you know why it’s definitely worth it.