Disillusioned with getting rich thanks to livestream in China

Disillusioned with getting rich thanks to livestream in China


2021-06-22 08:13:05

Before the Covid-19 pandemic took place, He Zhiqing owned a factory in southern China and sold through livestream with his family. Within three years of selling this way, Mr. Zhiqing’s family has amassed more than 4 million followers on the social networking platform Douyin.

Zhiqing’s family is so popular that brands such as baby diapers offer 8,000 yuan, or $1,200 for 45 flyers during the family’s livestream. During the peak months, this family can earn up to 200,000 yuan through advertising contracts and revenue from livestream.

Compared with the average income of 1,000 yuan / month of more than 40% of China’s population, it is clear that Zhiqing’s family’s livestream business is very lucrative.

Disillusioned with getting rich thanks to livestream in China - Photo 2.

But since 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a series of stores to close and sent people online to transact, thereby making the livestreaming profession more competitive than ever.

“The market is more difficult now than before the epidemic. A lot of celebrities also started livestreaming. Before, there were only a few people, so the competition was low, but now there are too many people involved in this business.” Mr. Zhiqing shared.

The situation of many areas being isolated as well as consumers being afraid to go to crowded places have made livestream a bright spot for sellers during the epidemic season. Even when the Covid-19 epidemic has been controlled, many brands have realized that they can save a lot of money when investing in advertising via livestream rather than spending large amounts of money renting expensive stores in supermarkets. center.

However, the explosion of livestream as well as consumers’ online shopping habits have caused a series of sales channels to flourish online, thereby saturating the market quickly.

SCMP reported that China’s livestream industry grew 16 times between 2015 and 2019, thereby reaching a total value of 108 billion yuan. Meanwhile, consulting firm Frost&Sullivan forecasts that this number could reach 310 billion yuan by 2024 with the upward momentum of payment technology, social networks as well as online consumption habits of young people.

Please be reminded that this number only counts sales revenue, not including income from advertising contracts, registration fees and other revenues on the livestream.

On the sellers side, the total number of livestream channels in China has doubled since 2015 to nearly 470 million people in 2020. This number is forecast to reach nearly 640 million people by 2025. Paid livestream viewing in China also increased 9 times between 2015-2019 to 36 million people and it is estimated that this number will reach 60 million people by 2024.

Disillusioned with getting rich thanks to livestream in China - Photo 3.

Disillusioned with getting rich

The boom of the livestream industry has caused the market itself to change, transforming from a model specializing in entertainment and promoting video games to e-commerce. Now in China, you can buy anything from lipstick and perfume to food and other luxury goods.

However, while many young people flock to livestream to earn income during the pandemic when job opportunities are not available, only a few succeed with their dream of getting rich.

“Being a streamer is not a bad choice for a career, but like many other industries, the competition in this industry is huge. Although the barrier to entering the market is not high, gradually the livestream industry will change direction. become more professional when customers are increasingly demanding, requiring more investment from streamers. As a result, new entrants to the market will find it increasingly difficult to earn revenue as easily as before,” said former director. Zhang Dingding of Sootoo Research Institute shared.

Famous streamers in China like Li Jiaqi or Viya Huang can earn tens of millions of yuan per year through advertising contracts, product sales and gifts from followers. But Zhaihehe’s data shows that in the first half of 2019, ordinary streamers earned less than 1,000 yuan on average per month.

Worse, the top earning streamers only account for 0.7% of all livestream channels but earn 60% of the entire industry’s income.

Boss Zhippin’s report also shows that on the Momo livestream platform, only about 24% of streamers earn more than 10,000 yuan per month. More than 70% of live streamers work 10-12 hours a day but do not earn this number every month.

In an interview with SCMP, an unnamed man surnamed Gao said he has been involved in the livestream industry since 2017 and currently has 4 business streamer teams in all areas, from entertainment to sales.

“There are at least half of the current livestream market that can’t make enough income, and the rest only make little money with the equivalent of an office worker, about 5,000-6,000 yuan / month. Only At least some streamers get rich from this profession,” said Mr. Gao.

Disillusioned with getting rich thanks to livestream in China - Photo 4.

Unlike Mr. Gao, who accepts to hire teams for the livestream business, Ms. Yin Ran, a 25-year-old woman turned full-time streamer for a company in Shanghai, mainly sells luxury goods from pocket to bag. clock for 6-8 hours a day.

Not as flashy as it seems, this job leaves her with little time to eat. Sometimes the technical support person will speak for her on the livestream for a while so that Yin Ran has time to have lunch because according to regulations, the broadcast process cannot leave the screen blank.

“In 2017-2018, a good streamer could earn 20,000-30,000 yuan.month without much effort. But now we have to work hard just to earn 2,000-3,000 yuan. /month”, Ms. Yin Ran lamented the increasingly fierce competition of the market.

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