You Watch, You Give, and You Engage: A Study of Live Streaming Practices in China

03/15/2018 ∙ by Zhicong Lu, et al. ∙ 0

Despite gaining traction in North America, live streaming has not reached the popularity it has in China, where livestreaming has a tremendous impact on the social behaviors of users. To better understand this socio-technological phenomenon, we conducted a mixed methods study of live streaming practices in China. We present the results of an online survey of 527 live streaming users, focusing on their broadcasting or viewing practices and the experiences they find most engaging. We also interviewed 14 active users to explore their motivations and experiences. Our data revealed the different categories of content that was broadcasted and how varying aspects of this content engaged viewers. We also gained insight into the role reward systems and fan group-chat play in engaging users, while also finding evidence that both viewers and streamers desire deeper channels and mechanisms for interaction in addition to the commenting, gifting, and fan groups that are available today.

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