November 14, 2021
ForbesLife Innovation katiekellybellblog Lifestyle Technology

This Live Streaming App Hopes To Change The Way We Buy Wine

Livestreaming e-commerce, where an influencer/expert hosts a live virtual shopping experience, is ablaze in nations such as China, raking in billions of dollars as an alternative to in-person shopping—an alternative that accelerated during the pandemic. The influencers or hosts “entertain and inform” while allowing viewers to make a purchase during the experience without leaving home. Now, a UK-based start-up called OOOOO aims to bring the entertainment commerce phenomenon to the wine and spirits industry with the launch of their own live-streaming app that includes a network of channels featuring experts and where everything you see is for purchase. They are presently the world’s biggest owners of .tv domain names, ranging from Cosmetics TV and Perfume TV to Handbags and now, the soon-to-be launched Drinks TV. The primary launch will be in the UK (and soon after Brazil, the US, Israel and Australia)

Founders Sam Jones (formerly of Accenture and Wish) and Eric Zhang (formerly of TikTok) are convinced the e-commerce moment is here. Says co- founder Sam Jones, “Amazon is a lonely place to shop, a place to transact, not to be entertained. And advertising on Facebook costs the earth.” According to Jones, “influencers are transitioning into retailers and shopping malls will become studios. COVID destroyed retail permanently.” He believes the OOOOO bet on entertainment shopping will go all the way into the vineyard, brewery or the distillery. Jones has secured the talents of WSET Educator of the Year, Karen Hardwick, to run the Dinks.TV channel. She’ll recruit experts to stream live from various locations, delivering an educational and entertaining offering that also offer a purchase option, a bit like a documentary film with a BUY button. The hope is that smaller producers without big marketing budgets can reach consumers, tell their story, and bring the viewer into the experience.

Nelson views as a way to tour far-flung wine regions with an expert, or visit a distillery and have a live chat with the master blender—and then buy what they are making. Other plans include a feature called Hot or Not where the community is asked in real time if they like something as well as scheduled happy hours for the community with experts mixologists and winemakers.

The momentum is there as OOOOO started their first channel,, in November of 2020 with 100 brands selling on the platform across two merchants. Now they are No. 1 in UK Shopping Top Charts on iOS in January of 2021—as of this moment the OOOOO App has 200,000+ users.

Whether or not wine, bourbon, and beer lovers will transition their beverage shopping to live-streaming remains to be seen, but Jones and the team at OOOOO are primed to be the leading providers. May 20th they’ll launch from a vineyard in France.