Business Models in Live Video Streaming Platforms: A Comparative Case Study

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Jiawei Huang, Teo Poh Chuin, Kexin Zhao, Yunpeng Chen


Live video streaming has become increasingly crucial for retail enterprises' success in the competitive online business environment in recent years. Many live streaming platforms such as Taobao Live and Tiktok have been founded and demonstrated unprecedented growth worldwide. Although a growing literature has focused generally on the impact of live video streaming, prior work has been limited in online education, online gaming, and, as a consequence, little is known about the difference between live video streaming platforms. Given this, this study examines the differences in the business model between traditional e-commerce platforms and social media platforms. The study takes Taobao Live and Tiktok as the research objects and uses the case analysis method and comparative analysis method to study the two business models. The business models are explained in terms of market positioning, management model, and profitability model. The results indicate that Taobao live focuses on products, and the emergence of live video streaming is to assist commodity trading. In contrast, Tiktok focuses on content, and live video streaming emerged to help content monetization. We believe that the findings will extend previous work on live video streaming, social e-commerce and offer reliable and essential insights for research and practice of retail management.

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