Fanatics appears ready to join the fray of “live shopping” with their introduction of Fanatics Live. Positioned to take on competitors like Whatnot and Loupe, Fanatics Live accounts began popping up around the internet last month.
It comes as no surprise that Fanatics is launching a live shopping app. The company has not been shy about its plans to do so, and they actually figure to be a late entrant to the field. Ebay has also rolled out its version, Ebay Live!, although it is still only available to select sellers.
The one major benefit Fanatics has over its competition, of course, is that it controls the product. Already the sole producer for licensed MLB products under its Topps brands, Fanatics will also hold the NBA and NFL licenses within the next few years. Once Fanatics runs a live streaming platform, they would be able to get breakers to move their operations to their platform in any number of ways. Fanatics could choose to offer discounted or exclusive product to Fanatics Live breakers, or product guaranteed to be delivered on or even before release day. Fanatics could also decline to sell directly to breakers on other platforms, which would hurt their business as they’d pay more for products and get them later than other breakers.
It seems clear to most observers that once Fanatics Live launches, most of the major breakers will be streaming there. What remains to be seen is if the platform will entice singles dealers to sell there, or if they will use the auction model that Whatnot offers. On its application for beta sellers, Fanatics specifically asks if sellers are experienced breakers, interested in breaking, or not interested at all, perhaps the clearest sign that the focus will be on breakers.
While no release date has been announced, the moves to shore up their online presence suggests we may see Fanatics Live at some point this year. When it comes online, it will be a formidable opponent to the other live streaming services that currently exist.