Briefing: Bytedance forms internal platform to support live-streaming business

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字节跳动搭建“直播大中台”,张一鸣想在广告之外寻觅第二台“赚钱机器” – 36Kr

What happened: Bytedance has reportedly formed an internal platform to provide support for its live-streaming business, media outlet 36Kr reported, quoting several people familiar with the matter. Referred to as the live-streaming “big middle platform”, or dazhongtai in Chinese, it combines the technical and operations teams for live-streaming services from three of Bytedance’s video apps: Douyin, Xigua Video, and Huoshan. It is intended to systematize and unify repeatable processes to increase the efficiency of the company’s live-streaming business.

Why it’s important: The formation of the platform could mean Bytedance is no longer just treating livestreaming as an additional feature to its short video apps but as more an important business. Prior to the new platform for livestreaming, Bytedance established one that helps Douyin and Jinri Toutiao with user acquisition and retention. With livestreaming being a different business to short videos, Bytedance requires a different supporting platform to speed up its expansion in the livestreaming segment without drastically driving up costs. This strategy could potentially help the media giant realize its ambitious goal of ramping up its revenue to RMB 100 billion (around $15 billion) in 2019.