TikTok is reportedly planning to open studios in cities including Los Angeles where creators will be able to come and host shopping livestreams.
Shopping streams are a major business in China, where TikTok’s sister app Douyin rakes in billions of dollars a year from ecommerce. For quite some time now, brands, ad agencies, and platforms like YouTube have been hoping audiences in the West would start embracing live shopping, too–but it hasn’t happened yet, at least not to the tune of $200 billion.
That’s not stopping TikTok, though: People familiar with the matter told The Information that TikTok’s facilities will be able to “accommodate multiple studios and dozens of creators a day.”
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TikTok apparently hasn’t settled on how the studios will work financially. The Information says TikTok execs have discussed whether they would charge creators a membership to access the studio and its production resources. (That idea seems to be going around lately.)
There’s also reportedly been talks about whether TikTok would work directly with some brands or ad agencies to help subsidize some production costs for creators, or help arrange for manufacturers to send samples directly to the studio for creators’ use.
TikTok apparently wants to open a significant number of these studios, with Los Angeles serving as a central hub the same way Shenzhen is big for ecommerce in China.
This is all part of TikTok’s U.S.-focused ecommerce push, which is expected to cost the platform at least $500 million this year. That push also includes TikTok Shop, where TikTok just nearly quadrupled its own commission on sales.