Thousands of women in China earn a living by streaming the minutiae of their day online. They chat, sing, dance, and eat before millions of viewers — and according to Business Insider, these professional live streamers can pull in hundreds of thousands of dollars per month.
The live streaming industry in China is valued at more than four billion dollars. Some have attributed its explosive success to the country’s zhai nan culture, which refers to a demographic of young men that has retreated inward. The men in this group spend most of their days gaming and chatting on a computer. Talking to women online alleviates loneliness, without causing the anxieties that might come with socializing in person.
Audiences can send virtual “gifts,” which are paid for with real money, to their preferred live streamers. Large media agencies hire women to broadcast from sets that are built in the style of a bedroom, creating a sense of intimacy in an otherwise isolated environment. Live streamers’ earnings are split between the women, the agencies, and the platforms that host streaming content.
As far as weird internet industries go, it’s a wild business model. But who are we to judge?
Read the full story at Business Insider.