Livestream shopping in the US is estimated to become a $6 billion market this year and $25 billion by 2023. Originally popularized in Asia, this method of ecommerce is like a modern QVC show meets Instagram live.
Small businesses, resellers, and collectors are using livestream shows to make thousands of dollars in sales. Boutique owners can show off their latest products or auction off collectibles in real-time, establishing a new way to reach customers at home. Now a store located in one city can reach viewers across the country, vastly widening its net of loyal customers.
See how business owners are using livestream platforms to broaden their customer base and sell their products.
How to get started selling on livestream platforms
You can start livestream selling by either launching a new business or incorporating it into an existing company. Either way, it’s important to identify the niche you’re serving by looking at what your customers and followers are interested in, livestream entrepreneurs told Insider.
You don’t need much more than a smartphone to start livestreaming, but there are a few tools you can purchase to elevate the experience for viewers.
There are several apps and platforms that offer livestream shopping technology, but it still hasn’t quite reached mass adoption in the US. Plus, building up a loyal following is imperative to seller success. Before you get started, learn which platform best suits your needs and audience. Some platforms cater to niche communities of fans or collectors, while other offer special features and tools.
On March 11, the digital artist Beeple sold a non-fungible token of his magnum opus, titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” for a record $69 million at a Christie’s auction.
The sale sparked a new wave of interest in collectible digital assets that peaked on May 3, when $102 million worth of NFT sales went through in a single day.
In the seven days surrounding NFTs’ May 3 peak, the market saw $170 million in NFT transactions, according to data from Protos.
This past week, that number fell to just $19.4 million, a nearly 90% drop from May’s record high.
The number of NFT wallets showing signs of daily activity is also down 70% since early May, falling from 12,000 to 3,900.
Not only have sales and interest in NFTs declined but according to Protos, there’s been a shift in the type of NFTs buyers are demanding.
Sales of digital art have fallen dramatically since Beeple’s record sale in March, while sales of digital real estate and other collectibles in the so-called metaverse have risen.
$3.3 million worth of metaverse NFTs have sold this past week, while just $3 million worth of crypto-art sold, Protos data shows.
NFTs have seen their fair share of critics after gaining popularity this year. Ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio told CoinDesk in early May that he believed the NFT market had become saturated, and there were a lot of projects that he didn’t “find very sexy at all.”
Di Iorio, who made his fortune as an early bitcoin adopter, added that NFTs are “not interesting” to him, but he thinks “over the next few years, we’ll really see how it does provide value.”
Despite some waning sales and bearish critic opinions, the NFT market still has some life left in it.
On May 24, Guggenheim cofounder Todd Morley told Bloomberg TV in New York that he is building a “blockchain tower” that will give anyone in the city access to wireless trading, provide a way to announce and showcase new technological advances, and house the world’s largest collection of NFTs.
The dash towards the Triple Crown title in elite Thoroughbred horse racing continues Saturday with the Preakness Stakes, and the contest that traces back more than 100 years is combining with the new and exploding NFT market by becoming the country’s first professional sports event to hold a real-time minting of a digital collectible.
This year’s Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is slated to be among the horses at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course competing for the $1 million purse at the 146th Preakness Stakes.
Before the horses line up, an online auction is already underway for 17 individual NFTs that will commemorate the second jewel of the Triple Crown. The title’s past winners include Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Justify. Medina Spirit’s trainer, Bob Baffert, is one of only two trainers to have two horses win the Triple Crown.
“What we’ve amassed is an incredible collection of pretty historic and epic sports moments,” David Wilson, chief marketing officer at 1/ST, the company that owns and operates The Preakness, told Insider in an interview. “What we’ve seen is a huge appetite for the growing NFT space and we want to be on the forefront of that innovation.”
A key auction item will be the real-time minting of the 2021 race. Immediately after the race, a production team will take the full two-minute clip of the race – from the starting gate to the finish line – along with the post-race celebration with the Woodlawn Vase in the winners’ circle and package the edited footage with the official Preakness Stakes NFT seal. The work will be turned around within an hour then posted on the auction’s website.
“Effectively we record our own race and we own our own content and that’s what makes this special,” said Wilson.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital representations of artworks and collectibles that exist on a blockchain ledger, similar to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. NFTs have surged in popularity this year. Among the market’s high-profile transactions was the $69 million sale by auction house Christie’s of a digital collage by artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple.
The 17 auction items from Preakness Stakes will contribute to the fast-growing NFT market, which in 2020 tripled in value to more than $250 million, according to a study by tech tracking company L’Atelier BNP Paribas and NonFungible.com.
The Preakness auctions are listed on OpenSea, an NFT and crypto-collectibles marketplace. Another big item is a 1-of-1, 3-D animated likeness of the Woodlawn Vase, the silver trophy designed by jeweler Tiffany in 1860 of which a replica is awarded to the Preakness race winner. The bidding using the Wrapped Ethereum currency recently climbed to nearly $50,000.
That auction winner will not only take possession of the NFT but they will also receive a physical replica of the Woodlawn Vase — the only time that a replica will be given to someone outside of the owner, the trainer and the jockey of the horse that prevails at Preakness.
“It’s a legacy sport that’s been going on for generations and I think more and more, we’ve got to identify creative ways to really attract that younger consumer,” said Wilson. The Preakness’ NFT collection “offers some really rare value to our existing fans but also, from what we’ve seen at Zed Run, is they’ve done a great job at attracting younger, newer, curious consumers into the sport of thoroughbred horse racing.”
Zed Run is a digital racehorse platform that Preakness Stakes worked with on the NFT collection. Preakness also teamed up with Medium Rare, whose work in building entertainment brands includes the recent NFT collection from the Golden State Warriors NBA team. Medium Rare was also behind an NFT collection with four-time Super Bowl champion Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski that raked in more than $2 million in sales.
“There have been a lot of NFTs that have come out over the last couple of months. Obviously, it’s a hot sector both in sports and celebrities. Some are doing incredibly well, making millions of dollars, also raising money for charity. Some aren’t doing so well. Some are jumping on the fad train,” Joe Silberzweig, co-founder of Medium Rare, told Insider. With the Preakness Stakes, “what we worked on together … is creating a campaign that stands out and is first-to-market.”
Wilson said the average age of its customers using its betting app and attending races is 60 years old. The average age skews younger for the audience who watches Preakness Stakes through its broadcast partner, NBC.
“I think the sweet spot for our sport is really 45 plus,” said Wilson, noting that the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby feature infield music concerts. “We’ve made huge investments on the entertainment side to make sure there’s an experience for everyone.”
The auction for the Preakness’ digital assets will end Monday and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
Dapper Labs, the startup behind virtual trading-card platform NBA Top Shot, has closed a $305 million funding round as the market for digital collectibles continues to boom, the company announced Tuesday.
Led by the investment firm Coatue, the round includes Michael Jordan, current NBA players like Kevin Durant, Alex Caruso, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala, and several other professional MLB and NFL athletes. Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, 2 Chainz, Venrock, The Chernin Group, and USV are also involved in the round.
This batch of funding brings Dapper Labs’ valuation to $2.6 billion, a source close to the company told Insider, and comes as the firm’s Top Shot platform explodes in popularity.
Developed in collaboration with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, the Top Shot marketplace enables fans to collect and trade officially licensed basketball highlight clips called “moments.”
Since launching in October, the platform has attracted 802,000 users and logged $483 million in sales, a spokesperson told Insider. The platform sees millions of dollars worth of moments change hands each day, with some exceptionally rare ones selling for $100,000 or more.
The new financing brings the total capital raised by Dapper Labs to $357 million and will enable the firm to expand Top Shot to other sports leagues. In early 2020 it announced plans to develop digital collectibles for UFC.
“NBA Top Shot is successful because it taps into basketball fandom – it’s a new and more exciting way for people to connect with their favorite teams and players,” Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, said in a news release. “We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms.”
Founded in 2018, Dapper Labs is also behind another collecting game called CryptoKitties and has its own blockchain system called Flow.
Top Shot moments are a form of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, essentially digital deeds that grant someone ownership to a particular piece of media on the web. Although NFTs have existed for years, the market surrounding them has hit a fever pitch in 2021, with numerous digital art piecesselling for millions.
Do you have a story to share about your experience with NBA Top Shot? Email this reporter at email@example.com.
Some people will have rolled their eyes at the record-breaking $69 million sale of a digital artwork at a Christie’s auction this week. They should pay attention to what the transaction signifies, billionaire investor Chris Sacca tweeted after the news broke.
“No matter how you feel about NFTs, don’t look away from this,” he said. He was referring to non-fungible tokens that serve as virtual certificates of ownership and authenticity for digital items, and are stored securely on a blockchain.
“It’s okay to not get why someone would pay that, and it’s okay to be bummed about the climate impact,” Sacca continued. “But don’t be willfully ignorant about what’s happening.”
Metakovan, the pseudonymous buyer of “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” by artist Beeple, will receive a NFT confirming they’re the new owner of the piece. However, there’s nothing to stop other people downloading and sharing copies of the artwork.
Sacca – an early investor in Uber, Twitter, and Instagram – has praised NFTs and downplayed concerns they’ll be a short-lived fad.
“Very cool and I am a collector at heart,” he said in a Twitter thread last month. “I don’t think it’s a bubble, and I do think it will work.”
However, the Lowercase Capital founder and former “Shark Tank” star said he wouldn’t be abandoning physical memorabilia anytime soon. “I have a feeling this is going to be the tech that finally turns me into the ‘Yeah, but I only listen on vinyl’ guy,” he joked in the thread.
Sacca lauded NFTs as the next frontier for collectibles, and praised them for allowing creators to collect royalties on future resales of their work, in a Forbes interview published this week.
“Collections as a reflection of your identity are powerful,” he said. “And I will never underestimate the beauty of tools that empower creatives to do and get paid for their best shit.”
Billionaire investor and fellow “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban also touted NFTs in an interview this week, labeling the ability to receive royalties a “game-changer” for digital commerce.
The Winklevoss twins pitched a large purchase of Bitcoin today as the “trade of the century” and predicted the digital currency will soar by 30 times in a recent Real Vision interview.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss also described Bitcoin as a social network, suggested comic books and baseball cards would increasingly move to blockchains, and bemoaned the Federal Reserve’s lack of transparency.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss described buying a large amount of Bitcoin now as the “trade of the century” and predicted the cryptocurrency will soar 30-fold from its current price of about $19,000.
The twins, who famously accused Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea when he launched the social-media company, are Bitcoin billionaires and run a digital-currency exchange named Gemini. They made the comments during a a Real Vision interview filmed on December 7 and released on December 11.
The pair also compared Bitcoin to a social network, predicted collectibles will increasingly be bought and sold on blockchains, and criticized the Federal Reserve’s opacity.
Here are their nine best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
Tyler: “Bitcoin was the first internet money in the world. Then when you realize that money is the greatest social network of all, Bitcoin is maybe the greatest social network of all also.”
Cameron: “We are just not going to run away with your Bitcoin. It just does not make any sense for us to do that.”
Cameron: “The mainland is legacy finance, crypto is an island. We want to see an inversion where crypto becomes the mainland and legacy finance is just this dinosaur that is slowly fading away.”
Tyler: “The comic books you grew up reading, the baseball cards you collected, those are now being put on a blockchain because people are starting to realize their physical nature is actually not a feature, it is a bug. It is not about the physical nature. It is the scarcity. It is the uniqueness.”
Tyler: “I do not know who said compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. Albert Einstein or Warren Buffett, maybe it was Gandhi, I do not know” – the quote is commonly attributed to Einstein.
Tyler: “How do these conversations go behind the curtain? It is like the Wizard of Oz. The Fed, it is a mystery, and there is no clarity on how the decision is made. Wave the magic wand, Jerome Powell says this or that. It is insanity.”
Tyler: “The dominoes are starting to fall, and eventually it is going to be a central bank, some very smart companies, a country is going to take a huge position in Bitcoin and talk about it.”
Tyler: “The trade of the century is still out there for a couple of people, a couple of hedge-fund managers. It will be as great as the George Soros breaking the pound trade” – describing the opportunity for a fund manager to buy $100 million worth of Bitcoin.
Tyler: “Our thesis is that Bitcoin rises 30-fold from here because it is digital gold, it disrupts gold.”