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Livestreaming, Still Niche, Grows as a Tool for Retailers

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A screenshot of Matt Granite during an Amazon Live video.

E-commerce livestreaming lets brand representatives, store owners, influencers, and really just about anyone stand in front of a smartphone and start a conversation with viewers who tune in.

Credit: The New York Times

Matt Granite had been working for years as a consumer journalist filming segments that were syndicated on American television stations and sharing additional videos on his YouTube channel, The Deal Guy.

In 2017, his style of homespun showmanship caught the attention of Amazon, and the company began flying him to New York every few months to record videos that would often run on its website around shopping events like back-to-school or Prime Day. He started experimenting with remote shows in 2019, so when the coronavirus pandemic hit he was somewhat ready to turn the basement of his home in Toronto into a studio.

"The only silver lining to the pandemic is that creators like myself were ready to connect to shoppers in their homes," he said.

He now streams daily on Amazon Live, sometimes multiple times a day, covering everything from kitchen gadgets to snowblowers. Under each video is a carousel display of the products he's discussing. When a viewer clicks that item and buys it, Mr. Granite gets a cut, with commissions varying from 10 percent for luxury and beauty products to 1 percent for Amazon Fresh items. While Mr. Granite's YouTube channel still brings in more revenue through ad rolls and sponsorships, he said the revenue and audience numbers for his Amazon Live videos had grown over the past year.

From The New York Times
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