Live Streaming Gone Mainstream - Why Should Media Companies Care?


Although debates continue over the relative merits and potential of various technologies in the media industry, such as Blockchain, VR, and Hi-Res Audio, there's one thing that everyone can agree on: streaming has exploded over the past year. With over 100 million people now subscribed to such services around the world, it's clear that streaming will continue to expand rapidly as the primary revenue driver for both music and video.

Recent advancements in live streaming provide some of the most compelling evolutions in this popular realm. Live streaming is a unique market featuring the convergence of social media and streaming, and it's essential for all media companies to take note of this growing phenomena. Social network giants, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, have all launched platforms, bringing live streaming and social media together like never before. And if you doubt the growth potential of this technology, one look at the statistics will change your mind.

A recent report from Global Web Index indicates that 28% of internet users have watched a live stream on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, which is up from 20% in Q3 2016. This impressive rise is sure to continue, as an increasing number of businesses introduce live streaming into their marketing strategies to bring this technology to the masses.

Looking ahead to the coming year, many exciting trends are worth following, including an expected rise in hi-res video. The days of people being content watching 360p or 480p videos are fading into the background, making it increasingly important to focus on providing hi-res live video streaming that can play on all platforms without any significant glitches. Another key ingredient to the evolution of live streaming is embracing the power of influencer marketing, which typically relies significantly on interactive content to spread word-of-mouth publicity on a massive scale. In fact, according to a poll of marketing professionals conducted by Tomoson, businesses are earning a whopping $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.

In July 2017, Facebook rolled out Virtual Reality Live Streaming, and it's expected that VR streaming will become commonplace in the not-too-distant future. This prediction is supported by a surge in sales of virtual reality headsets, as consumer interest in this technology expands. A continued rise in 360-degree live streaming is also likely to occur throughout this year, with at least 20,000 360-degree videos now being uploaded to Facebook per day, according to research by Bold Content Video.

The potential value in live streaming for media businesses is enormous. In fact, a survey conducted by Livestream and New York Magazine discovered that 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, while 82% prefer live video from a company to social posts. And an impressive 67% of live video viewers said they're more likely to buy a ticket to a concert or event after seeing a live video of that event or a similar one. Clearly, fans are watching live streams, thereby solidifying its potential as an outstanding method for reaching a broad audience in creative ways. Live streaming has definitely gone mainstream, and media companies can reap a multitude of rewards derived from the incredible growth of this exciting technology.

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