Super anchor is disappearing.

Original Chen Bai Economic Observer

Under the multiple pressures of technology, management and traffic, it can be expected in the future that there will be fewer and fewer super anchors, whether due to subjective choice or objective factors, and live e-commerce will enter a new stage.

Author: Chen Bai

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After Viya disappeared and Li Jiaqi gradually became silent, there were not many super anchors left in the live broadcast room. Tik Tok’s head anchor Crazy Xiao Yang Ge and Aauto Quicker’s head anchor Simba have also announced their intention to stop broadcasting recently.

Crazy Xiao Yang Ge said that he would stop broadcasting for two or three weeks on the grounds that he would concentrate on filming movies. In previous live broadcasts, he repeatedly said that this year he would reduce the number of live broadcasts with goods.

Almost at the same time, another super online celebrity Simba also revealed that he wanted to suspend the live broadcast. He intends to settle down for two years, learn artificial intelligence, and then choose a new track to start again.

Another head anchor, Dong Yuhui, has never stopped the news and controversy about him recently. He even emptied Weibo and tried to leave the public opinion field. But even so, Dong Yuhui was inevitably put under the microscope, and a little carelessness would cause a huge storm.

It can be seen that even the head anchor has a hard time. According to the calculation of iResearch, the live broadcast e-commerce market in China will reach 4.9 trillion yuan in 2023, with a year-on-year growth rate of 35.2%. This growth rate seems to be still good, but compared with the early development of the industry, there has been a certain decline.

Some people think that it is the emergence of AI (artificial intelligence) e-commerce that makes the space for live anchors increasingly tight. Especially from Simba’s speech, it seems that AI has robbed the anchors of their jobs. But this is just the exaggerated imagination of technological determinists. Anyone who has seen the digital live broadcast room with goods will know that these AI may be able to replace the general anchor, but it is as incredible as saying that AI can replace human beings at this moment.

To take a step back, even the appearance of Tianyi Luo, a virtual idol, ultimately failed to have much impact on the existing idol market. In the anchor industry, the logic is similar. The survival history of the super anchor in recent years will show that technology may be one of the factors that cause the dilemma of the head anchor, but it is definitely not the most critical one.

The rapid expansion of market scale in a short period of time and the serious lag of company management ability are the most important reasons for the plight of super anchors. Previously, there were countless lessons from Li Jiaqi’s product selection. Even today, these head anchors are also trapped in scale anxiety.

Simba once said in the live broadcast room that he has to pay 4,860 employees a salary of more than 1.1 billion yuan each year, and the rent, utilities and expenses are more than 200 million yuan. In addition, there are more than 2 billion yuan of platform costs and expenses. According to Simba, at present, the annual revenue of Xinxuan Group can reach 50 billion yuan. However, due to the cost of labor, rent, water and electricity, platform sharing, taxation and supply chain construction, Xinxuan is not as profitable as everyone imagined. In a live broadcast at the end of 2023, Brother Xiao Yang also mentioned that he is not being a online celebrity now, but doing a good job in the company silently.

Moreover, with the aesthetic fatigue of consumers on comprehensive anchors, more and more people began to flood into more vertical and subdivided live broadcast rooms.

When analyzing the future development of Oriental Selection, Everbright Securities Research Report pointed out that Oriental Selection may face the pressure of decreasing users’ freshness and Tik Tok push. From the selection of Simba’s Xinxuan, Xiaoyangge’s Three Sheep and Luo Yonghao’s Making Friends, it is becoming a common choice to incubate more vertical accounts instead of relying on the head IP.

Moreover, in addition to scale and operation, super anchors also need to face another test of love and hate-traffic. Although they themselves have grown rapidly by traffic, the current situation is that any accidental event is likely to instantly turn the previous "good wind by force" into a storm with counter-attack traffic. For example, Zhong Shanshan of Nongfu Spring would never have thought that the death of Zong Qinghou would trigger the brand crisis of Nongfu Spring.

It seems that the super anchors who are standing in the tuyere are actually standing under the dangerous wall. No one knows when the "collapsed house" will come. The choices they have made to reduce the live broadcast or even exit are undoubtedly the most intuitive response to this sense of crisis. Under the multiple pressures of technology, management and traffic, it can be expected in the future that there will be fewer and fewer super anchors, whether due to subjective choice or objective factors, and live e-commerce will enter a new stage.

An era without super anchors is coming.

(The author is a senior media person)

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