Taobao Live Reforms its Influencer Charging System and Opens Goods Pool to Livestreamers

At the Taobao Live Ceremony held in Hangzhou on Wednesday, Xuan De, vice president of Alibaba and head of Taobao Live, announced that all livestreamers will have access to at least 100 million products from Tmall, and the charging model for influencer marketing would be reformed.

Taobao Live, which serves as the livestream commerce channel for Alibaba‘s China retail marketplaces, pioneered the live-commerce business model in the country and has been the industry leader since its launch in 2016.

With a shift in content consumption behavior brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Taobao Live has exploded in popularity and has become a widely-used sales tool for businesses of all sizes to engage with hundreds of millions of consumers.

The number of livestreamers on Taobao Live continues to grow every year, increasing dramatically by 661% from 2019 to 2020. The platform has featured bilingual live streamers who have studied abroad, television hosts and even film stars. The country’s most popular livestream hosts, such as Li Jiaqi, Viya and Li’er Baobei have used the platform to sell everything from Malaysian coffee to diamonds and even a real rocket in a matter of seconds.

In order to make the transaction process more reasonable and transparent, Taobao Live has launched a brand-new charging model for influencer marketing. Before starting a collaboration, livestreamers and merchants need to agree on sales volume. If the sales volume in the first 15 days does not reach 20% of the total, the upfront cost will be returned to the merchant. Otherwise, the merchant will pay for livestreamers based on the sales on the 30th day.

Previously, although merchants could get paid after an order ended, the commissions of livestreamers had to wait up to nearly two months. At the conference, Xuan expressed hopes that the settlement interval would be shortened by 15 days, which would greatly speed up everyone’s capital and cash flow.

Taobao Live was an indispensable tool during Alibaba‘s “11.11 Global Shopping Festival” last year. In addition to top livestreamers, more than 400 company executives and 300 celebrities hosted broadcasts during this major shopping event, resulting in 30 featured livestreaming channels generating more than 100 million yuan ($15.4 million) in gross merchandise volume.

At the end of his speech, Xuan announced the four goals of Taobao Live in 2021. They will cultivate 2,000 live broadcast rooms and 200 ecological partners with sales exceeding 100 million yuan. 1 million paid professional livestreamers and 1,000 new brands with 500% of growth rate will be trained.

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The live broadcast industry has seen more standardization and regulation. In July last year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released nine new occupations including internet marketer, with livestreaming host being a specific job within the category. A live broadcast regulation jointly issued by seven State departments in China will be implemented on May 25.