Busker Live Videos Let A Visitor Pay Twice

Just like that, all the eyes on live video — and the money can’t be far too behind. For example, the e-commerce platform, is offering a way for influencers and retailers to make money engaging streaming viewers. In the shopping-is-entertainment mind-set of the Internet, it does that even as it allows you to include a tip to the influencer/creator who hooked you.

Based in L.A., Busker was founded just last year by Lippe Oosterhof, who co-founded news aggregator Livestation, and Tamim Mourad, who started that sells hair-care and beauty products online. 

And now this.

As live and interactive video explodes, Busker has an angle because most of the live video selling is in the form of brand awareness and affinity, not really moving product. does what Busker does, very broadly, but it’s mostly a social platform where teens see their stars, and earn tokens and cash, Periscopers can sell product, but a user has to leave to buy. That’s not too smooth.

Busker, which started in May, actually presents publishers/influencers/creators a selling space for their goods and their talent. Once a visitor buys--albums, cookbooks, clothing, baseball caps and more--they continue to interact with the talent while their order is processed. Maybe, they leave some money to that charming host, as a kind of tip.

In essence, many visitors buy a product and then pay the salesperson, though it's not mandatory. Those conversations are through those same familiar bubbles you’re probably used to by now.

That makes the Busker name fit nicely. 

Selling product is what Oosterhof is excited about. “That’s where we think it will get interesting,” Oosterhof says in a phone chat, because in the pretty brief history of live video, there’s still not been a lot of live interactive ecommerce.

Busker has been on iOS since May but just now on Android. A giant bare-chested influencer named Swolenormous, who does business on lots of social media platforms, explained the brief history of Busker in a video uploaded to YouTube recently.

I won’t lie. To me it’s all otherworldy. But if you tune in, you’ll get it.

It’s also a lot like how Home Shopping Network plays on TV, except you don’t tip HSN presenters. (Do you?)

So it is hard for me to assess whether this thing has a future. It seems like it might. The Website was positive. “Is this the next big thing?” a tester asks. “It’s still early to say. But it has a juicy potential. The monetization part is so clever that I want to . . . ask Periscope why they haven’t done it yet. And if they do, this will affect Busker in a big way.”

Oosterhof says right now, most live sessions last about a half hour, kind of “mimicking a TV show.” Not surprisingly, the age range of visitors is 18-35.

He says some major retailers are about to dive in, but that’s a tricky sale because big business brands and stores need to feel comfortable.. Those YouTube influencers do OK because they follow a script or keep shooting until they get it right. Live presenters present a range of possibilities that can spook a marketer

For a visitor to Busker, “it’s more about a conversation" than anything else, Oosterhof says. But it’s also about a sale, and he thinks that huge live video platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Periscope have no interest in that selling part.

“They’re all about massive scale. For them, it’s all about reach,” and not down at the end of the funnel where cash gets spent. “Commerce is a very different beast,” Oosterhof observes.

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