Mobile Social Live Streaming: The Roles of Broadcasters' Screen Presence and Dynamic Emotions in Viewership Engagement
26 Mar 2020 Thursday, 04:00 PM to 05:30 PM
COM2 Level 4
Executive Classroom, COM2-04-02
Supervisors: Associate Professor Goh Khim Yong and Huang Ke-Wei
Examiners: Assistant Professor Desmond Ong and Chen Nan
4G mobile services enable anyone to broadcast, watch, and engage in live content anywhere and anytime. Particularly, the availability of mobile payment allows viewers to send virtual gifts in order to interact with broadcasters. Although virtual-gift sending is naturally distinctive from other traditional engagement outcomes (i.e., watching duration, commenting, or subscribing), it is surprising that no prior live streaming research has examined viewership engagement by focusing on gift-sending behaviors. Moreover, despite the dominant role of broadcasters in crafting live streaming content and shaping viewers' experience, limited research efforts have been given to understanding how viewership engagement is associated with broadcaster's characteristics. This paper is hence motivated by the above two gaps. Drawing on literature in live streaming, computer-mediated communication, and interpersonal interaction, we specifically investigate how and to what extent broadcasters' two main characteristics - screen presence and dynamic emotions are related to viewership engagement outcomes. By utilizing streaming videos and user gift-sending data from a mobile-based live streaming application, we algorithmically extract some human body related features with computer vision techniques and empirically quantify their effects with multilevel mixed model estimations. Our preliminary findings show that broadcasters' screen presence in terms of face and hand appearances is significantly associated with gift-giving. We also uncover the different roles played by the dynamic features of broadcasters' positive (i.e., joy and surprise) and negative (i.e., anger, contempt, disgust, fear, and sadness) emotions in driving virtual-gift sending. With more future work, this paper is expected to provide insights to both live streaming researchers and practitioners.