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Advanced Economic Seminars 303: Reputation Building on Online Platforms:Evidence from Twitch

Publisher:   Time:2023-05-05 15:49:18

Topic: Reputation Building on Online Platforms:Evidence from Twitch

Lecturer: Prof. Qihong LIU, Oklahoma State University

Time: 09:00-10:00 p.m. May 8th, 2023 (Mon.)

Venue: VooV Meeting 583-694-357


Abstract: Despite the popularity of online video platforms (e.g.,YouTube, Instagram live, and Twitch), becoming a succ-essful content creator is more challenging because of thedifficulty in building a reputation and excessive compet-ition. Remarkably, survival on platforms is even harder fornew entrants. In this paper, we study online contentcreators' reputation-building and succeeding strategies inthe context of a game live-streaming platform, Twitch. Theobjective is to understand entrants' reputation-buildingstrategies and their associated viewers' loyalty. Entrantswho start streaming popular games may have some initialviewers, but they compete with popular incumbents whoalready stream popular games. In contrast, entrants starting with non-popular games may have less competition,yet it is challenging to have enough initial viewers, which isnecessary to build a reputation. Moreover, deciding tochange streaming games is difficult as it is ambiguouswhether viewers are loyal to streamers or games. Usingdata scrapped from Twitch between 2017 and 2018, wefound that new streamers choose popular games as theirfirst streaming choice and continue streaming the popularones over time (rather than switching to different games).This pattern differs from the previous literature that studi.ed the "cold-start" problem, which predicts that streamerswill likely start with niche content and then diversify later.To further explore streamers' reputation - building andsurvival strategies, we build a structural model, consid-ering streamers' choice of games and streaming hours overtime. The results potentially provide managerial implications for content creators and online video platforms.

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