Bilibili Eyes Livestreaming E-Commerce Business

Bilibili, a Chinese video streaming platform featuring anime, cartoon and games (ACG) content, is expected to launch version 1.0 of a new goods selection page in September, according to domestic reports. With the sluggish growth of the game, livestreaming and advertising business, this move by Bilibili‘s represents another attempt to diversity its monetization channels.

The new function is similar to the “Select Alliance” function serving Douyin’s e-commerce business. After going online, it will be open to Bilibili uploaders who have livestreaming channels featuring goods sales. The entry threshold of the new function for brands is limited to Alibaba‘s Tmall flagship stores, specialty stores and franchise stores. In terms of commodity categories, common goods such as food and beverage, household items, beauty and skin care products, home appliances, clothing, shoes and bags, and outdoor sports are prior to entering the page. The platform will have a list of top-selling commodities, in which merchants need to provide hot-selling products.

According to public information, as early as 2017, Bilibili established its own shopping mall. In November of the same year, it launched the “Membership Purchase,” which sells ACG-related products such as garage kits. Users can complete purchases directly in the app without jumping to another third-party e-commerce platform.

According to China-based market research firm HSY Data’s “July Report on Bilibili E-commerce,” in July this year, products including beauty and skin care, food and beverage, and smartphones and digital devices have become the top three hot-selling categories on Bilibili, accounting for 35.4%, 16.4% and 9.0% respectively. This indicates that categories not ACG-related still have significant room for development.

As for livestreaming, as early as December 2018, Bilibili began to cooperate with Taobao, an e-commerce platform under Alibaba, to promote the integration of content and e-commerce. In July 2020, it announced that it would upgrade the “livestreaming reward plan,” in which the products are no longer limited to Taobao, and‘s goods can be selected. The product links are not limited to livestreaming or videos, and uploaders can put such links in comments and posts.

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In addition to cooperating with the e-commerce platform, in order to promote livestreaming business, Bilibili has also made a series of special events together with several top uploaders. The most representative of the events is that four top uploaders with millions of followers on Bilibili conducted livestreaming to celebrate the fourth anniversary of their membership purchase.

On September 8, Bilibili released its financial report for the second quarter of 2022. It shows that the company’s total revenue in the second quarter reached 4.9 billion yuan ($698.7 million), a year-on-year increase of 9%. The net loss was 2.01 billion yuan, compared with 1.121 billion yuan in the same period last year, an increase of 79.3% year-on-year. The e-commerce business and other income achieved revenue of 601 million yuan, up 4% year-on-year.

It is worth mentioning that in the second quarter, the number of monthly active users of Bilibili exceeded 300 million for the first time, reaching 306 million, up 29% year-on-year. The number of daily active users was 83.5 million, and average monthly active paid users reached 27.5 million, with a payment rate of 9%. This level of users also provides a certain development foundation for its livestreaming e-commerce business.