With technology progress in hyperdrive these days, more and more new features are added to social media platforms every day. In one of our past blog posts, we asked the question, “Where will video be next?” Well, we can answer that now.
While not a new concept in and of itself, live video streaming is blowing up on social media faster than the Death Star. This popular feature is bringing an army of new capabilities for live event production, but it is not without its concerns, too.
Social media sites are currently in a modern day arms race to add live streaming to their sites. Some of the most popular platforms with live video capabilities are listed here:
- Facebook Live: map to see streams across the globe. Pros: easily see what’s trending by size of the dot, which is directly relative to the number of viewers it has.
- Tumblr: Now launching the ability for vloggers (video bloggers) to link their Youtube live streams directly to Tumblr. Tumblr itself is not the host but it allows users to connect with their followers in a more personal way without linking to an external site.
- Youtube Live: Stepping up their game, Youtube Live now enables users to stream video directly from the Youtube app while mobile without linking through an external app.
- Meerkat/Periscope: High-quality live streaming apps that connect with viewers by linking through a Twitter account.
- Snapchat: While it isn’t supporting live video streams, Snapchat is revolutionizing the way we consume media with disposable content. View a really great breakdown by travel photographer, Elia Locardi, of the benefits of Snapchat as a low bandwidth content sharing app here.
The only app missing the ability to live stream now is Instagram, but with the rate of advancement of the other mediums, it probably won’t be long until we see them launch that feature.
The overall consumption of media is, in general, shifting from live to digital with the exponential advances of smartphone and computer technology. If you look at the rise in popularity of Netflix and overlay it on a timeline of the downfall of Blockbuster, you would probably see that the two intersect at around the same point in time. Another example of this shift is the growth of music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music versus the decline in sales of C.D.’s. One of the reasons consumers prefer streaming is the lack of advertising that is present in traditional television, as explained in this article.
Many companies are beginning the process of implementing live streams into their events, as their audiences consumption and engagement of material shifts from a live presence to a digital one. One of the biggest pros of live streaming is that it allows people who are unable to attend an event to still engage from wherever their location may be.
What that means, is that if an international company based out of Los Angeles has clients in London, Paris, or even on Krypton, they can connect the clients to an event without flying them in. By broadcasting an event on something like Facebook Live, a company can increase viewership and therefore awareness of whatever the aim of the event is.
Another benefit of live streaming is that, due to the nature of this medium, it adds a human element to a company or organization which increases both connectivity and trust of the consumer in that brand. From a marketing standpoint, this can be very beneficial. You can read more about the history and benefits of live streaming here.
There is an ongoing debate about privacy and safety as this new medium grows more popular. One of the newer and more controversial arguments against live streaming applications is the use of cell phones at events, where the organizers then have to compete for the attention of their audience.
The epicenter of this particular debate though, is by performing artists who feel that when concertgoers pull out their cell phone to stream it, they are a) detracting from the experience of others at the event and b) they’re risking losing future ticket sales by the potential premature leaking of new material. Alicia Keys, Dave Chapelle, and Louis C.K. are among some of the artists utilizing new Yondr cases to ban cell phones from their shows.
Update (7/5/16): Since originally publishing this story, the news has broke that Apple has received a patent that will allow infrared sensors to detect and disable Apple cameras. This would specifically be used for events mentioned above, like concerts and live events. The concern comes into play that it could be abused to infringe upon the rights of citizens recording public events. Read more about on Petapixel.
Update (7/13/16): More interesting news regarding live streaming! According to this Bizbash article, snippets of both political party’s national conventions will be streaming on Twitter, AND the N.F.L. is getting its own Snapchat Discover tab this fall. Additionally, The New York Times is predicting a downturn in the cable industry due to live streaming after recent events.
While there are some concerns about this new medium of audio/visual technology, it is always important to consider your audience and determine whether your company will benefit from creating a human connection with them. We embrace the capabilities of new technology here at Rausch and so if this is something you are interested in implementing into your next event, feel free to call us and discuss! The possibilities are endless.