Taobao to roll out reward function on live broadcasts

Popular live-streaming platform Taobao Live is gearing up to introduce a long-awaited feature after being in operation for seven years. According to insiders from various live-streaming associations, Taobao Live is set to launch the “reward” (or “gift”) function, around mid-June. This move comes as no surprise considering Taobao Live’s previous attempts to incorporate a reward system into its platform.

Prior to the launch of Alibaba’s latest live-streaming e-commerce app Diantao app, Taobao Live had already experimented with a gift-based system. Users were able to purchase virtual gifts using “Gold Rush Coins” and present them to live stream hosts. However, since these coins were internal points that did not require any real-world currency, it was not considered a true “reward” function.

One of the driving factors behind Taobao’s move is the current emphasis on quality content creation and promotion rather than solely attracting them through subsidies. This includes actively recruiting content creators and ensuring their income stability as well as enhancing user engagement. Moreover, the platform appears to be stepping up its game as platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou have already incorporated reward functions into their own live-streaming ecosystems.

To incentivise high-quality content creation, Taobao Live has previously introduced various policies offering cash and traffic rewards based on factors such as content quality, viewership, duration, and frequency of the live stream. Such incentives have attracted many content creators to join Taobao Live such as singer “Bao Huo Singer Lao Cao”, who gained 450,000 fans and received over 1 million RMB (140,256.38 USD) in cash rewards from platform subsidies, despite the absence of a reward function.

Recently, Taobao Live partnered with Diantao to launch the “Anchor! All the Time” contest. Featuring five themed content paths, this competition allows hosts to invite fans to vote for their favourite streams. Diantao officials stated that the goal of this competition is to help livestream anchors to explore diverse creative directions, improve live stream data, and generate higher traffic revenue.

All in all, the launch of the “reward” function holds paramount importance for Taobao Live. This two-way interaction between users and content creators facilitated by the reward function appears to be Taobao’s new focus in guiding the stable development of live content.


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