By Nnamdi Odumody
Live streaming, a popular medium for consumption of entertainment content in the United States and other developed markets, is redesigning commerce in China.
Live-streaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real time. It is often referred to simply as streaming, however this abbreviated term is ambiguous due to the fact that “streaming” may refer to any media delivered and played back simultaneously without requiring a completely downloaded file. Non-live media such as video-on-demand and YouTube videos are technically streamed, but not live-streamed.
In 2018, Taobao generated more than 100 billion RMB ($15.1 billion) in gross merchandise volume through live streaming sessions in 2018.
According to a report by Deloitte, China has the largest live streaming market in the world which reached $4.4 billion in 2018 on 32 percent year on year growth. Chinese consumers see live streaming as their go to option when discovering new products to buy.
Taobao is a content creation community with over 4,000 live stream hosts that generate 150,000 hours of content on a daily basis with over 80 percent of them females.
According to statistics from the China Internet Network Information Centre, there were 425 million live stream users back in July 2018.
Live streaming services surveyed for the latest Statistical Report on Internet Development in China included sport broadcasting, host live shows, live game streaming, and live concert streaming.
According to Inke, the platform alone has more than 200 million registered users, including more than 26 million monthly active users.
Live streaming on e-commerce platforms in China enables fans of brands shop immediately for the items streamed on the same app. Taobao’s customers use live stream to shop for over 600,000 products every day.
Key opinion leaders use live streaming to engage the Chinese audience. Fans ask questions about products, post comments to the hosts and even send virtual gifts as a form of appreciation while watching the live stream.
Live streaming is bridging the online and offline experience in China with a shift in experiences from broadcast rooms to offline retail stores, local farms and apparel factories on Taobao.
Nigerian retail, fast moving consumer goods and financial services brands should explore how to utilize live streaming for customer engagement, to generate more leads which will increase their profits. Of course, it may still be expensive to do that in Nigeria with our cost of bandwidth. Nonetheless, the cost trajectory looks promising over time.
I had noted that by 2022, Africa would enter the era of affordable and immersive connectivity. With the approval by FCC for SpaceX to launch global broadband service, you would experience total crash in the price of broadband services by 2022 in Nigeria.