Live streaming has become extraordinarily popular worldwide. As a new form of social media, live streaming enables two levels of real-time interactions (i.e., between viewers and the streamer, and among viewers) and is monetized in a new way-viewers' purchase of virtual gifts. The new monetization model has achieved a great success, yet there is a lack of understanding about what encourages viewers to purchase virtual gifts in live streaming. To explain such purchase behavior, this study develops a model which investigates the roles of viewers' holistic experience with the system (i.e., cognitive absorption) and their social experiences (i.e., para-social interaction and virtual crowd experience), as well as how these experiences are developed within the technological environment of live streaming (i.e., interactivity, deep profiling and design aesthetics). The model was validated by using survey data collected from China. We also discuss implications for research and practice emerging out of this study.