Online video is evolving. And, for both brands and regular people, one of the most exciting developments is live streaming. Platforms such as Periscope, Meercat, Facebook Live, and Blab give users the ability to broadcast video content live, and this will change how companies use video to reach and engage consumers, as well as how social media users choose to share their experiences.
Social media broke new ground when it allowed users to follow and interact with events – news stories, sports, fashion shows, and so on – in real time. However, the extent of this interaction was previously limited to text-based communication (tweets, comments, and status updates).
Live streaming takes the real-time benefits of social media to the next level, and gives users the opportunity to visually and aurally immerse themselves in the events they’re interested in – even when their thousands of miles away. And because companies and media outlets understand that the value of their content increases dramatically when delivered live, live streamed video content is about to take off – big time!
In fact, according to Globalwebindex.com, although currently only a small minority of consumers are using live streaming apps (with 1.5 percent engaging with Meercat, and just under 2 percent using Periscope), the potential of live video streaming is huge.
This is because video content is consistently ranked as one of social media users’ (especially Facebook and Twitter users) favourite activities, meaning that video content is one of the most effective means for a company to reach its consumers. Couple this with the fact that mobile ad-blocking has problematized many brands’ attempts to market themselves through traditional video channels, and the increasing interest in live streaming (a native ad platform) is not hard to understand.
For social media users, this means that their online experience is about to get a whole lot more exciting. Competition in the live streaming space is already snowballing, and many companies, including BuzzFeed (which recently saw around 800,000 Facebook viewers tune in to watch a 45-minute live stream to see how many rubber bands it takes to explode a watermelon), NASA (which recently live-streamed high-definition footage of the earth as seen from the space station), and the NFL (which now allows viewers to watch games live online), are experimenting with exciting new uses for the technology.
As live streaming continues to grow and develop, more consumers will begin to tune in. And they will do so in droves. According to a recent survey by Globalwebindex.com:
- 53 percent of social media users expressed an interest in watching funny/entertaining clips live
- 41 percent said they’d like to watch breaking news stories in real time
- 38 percent wanted to watch live music concerts and events
- 30 percent had a desire to watch live clips of their friends and family
- And 29 percent said they would tune in to watch live sports events.
The message, then, is clear. The demand for live streaming is very real, and the benefits for businesses and consumers alike will mean that this is a technology we’re about to see a whole lot more of.
Do you think live streaming will take off? Let us know with a comment!