A fan project reportedly raised at least USD 10,000 (approximately PHP 524,000) to have VTuber Ouro Kronii featured in the Nasdaq billboard at Times Square, New York City on the occasion of her VTuber birthday, which was on March 14.
The QR code redirects to the fan project site, which features contributions in the form of messages and artworks. This follows a similarly successful fan project to feature a fellow VTuber, Ninomae Ina’nis, in the Thomson Reuters billboard also at Times Square last year.
Both Ouro Kronii and Ninomae Ina’nis are talents of Japanese virtual YouTuber agency Hololive Production, a company of Cover Corporation. Hololive has recently announced continuous auditions for VTubers.
Ina debuted in September 2020 as part of Hololive’s first generation of English talents (dubbed as holoMyth), while Kronii debuted in August 2021 as a member of Hololive’s second generation of English talents (holoCouncil). Interestingly, some observed that Ouro Kronii’s lore as the Warden of Time makes it seem fitting as a dedicated ad graced the electronic board of Times Square. The birthday ad runs for 60 seconds in scheduled intervals.
As of publication time, Ouro Kronii has over 678,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 573,000 followers on Twitter. Playboard ranked her 122nd in the world in terms of super chat income for 2021. For her 2022 birthday celebration, Hololive unveiled a merchandise set composed of a body pillow cover (dakimakura), a mouse pad, a plushie, and a system voice pack (in Japanese and English) also on March 14. The complete set costs JPY 20,000 (approximately PHP 8,800). Last February, Kronii released her first original song entitled “Daydream.”
A VTuber or virtual YouTuber refers to an online talent using a 2D or 3D avatar as alter ego in creating content. It was believed that Japanese VTuber Kizuna AI was the one who popularized the term, calling herself as one in her introduction video on December 1, 2016. Nonetheless, virtual idols who utilize similar technologies such as Hatsune Miku and Ling Yuan yousa, among others, have been around prior to her debut.
As motion capture rig and streaming technology became more affordable and easier to manage, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in the VTuber industry. Data technology company UserLocal has reported the existence of over 16,000 VTubers as of 2021. Meanwhile, ranking website Playboard saw that 9 of the ten most super chatted YouTube channels in the world last year were by VTubers, all of which were Hololive talents.