With Facebook Live truly kicking livestreaming into an everyday habit for many consumers, media professionals are wondering what’s next? After all, the technology has been around for years. It was only in 2016 that it was being used on a personal level.
Below are some of our predictions:
New tools will make it easier to network multiple smartphones for live broadcasts, making possible not just new kinds of programming, but transforming the news business.
The ability to nimbly stream an event from multiple perspectives, and switch between them, will take live video to another level of power and immersiveness.
Brands go big on their own terms
The chance to connect directly and compellingly with consumers attracted more and more smart brands in 2016, particularly as their traditional audiences on pay TV, radio and print continued to erode. In 2017, brands will still spend plenty on those traditional platforms, but they’ll increasingly turn to live online video to reach customers directly.
More kinds of branded live experiences
At Brandlive (my employer) and elsewhere, we’ve already seen significant investments by big brands such as Walmart and Nike’s Air Jordans, which added live video to their broader marketing mix. But expect that programming to evolve in ambitious ways as companies expand their use of live video for:
- communicating company values and internal messaging, building esprit de corps and ensuring consistent training and processes for their far-flung base of employees.
- building richer connections with customers. Imagine the home shopping networks of the cable TV world, but now with superpowers. They’ll have more interactivity, easy sales conversion and deep knowledge about each specific audience member. There will be shopping shows and auctions, product announcements and showcases, and programming that shows how to more fully take advantage of their products and those of their partners.
- creating closer relationships with suppliers and distributors. For many companies, communicating their core values and messages to their partners can be complicated and challenging. Live video gives them powerful new ways to build connection and interaction, ensuring better products and relationships.
More programmed live video shows
The TV networks have created annual event viewing around streaming musicals live. It’s among the few kinds of programming left in traditional linear TV that drives appointment viewing, higher ad sales and buzzy social media interest.
Now, take that experience, with the potential for mistakes and in-the-moment magic, and the kinds of audiences attracted by that potential, and you can see why we expect other programming, even on traditional linear TV, to go live.
Better promotion tools
The social media platforms typically notify audiences about a live broadcast just as it begins. As more live programming becomes scheduled, potential audiences will need more lead time to prepare to watch.
The live-streaming platforms need to do a better job of allowing live events to be scheduled and promoted in advance to help build the stars of the future.
In 2016, Facebook put up $50 million to pay 140 creators and publishers to experiment widely in live video, the first time the social media giant has paid creators for anything. Expect more money, particularly from ad revenue sharing, to come into the business for creators on all the social-media platforms, at least if those platforms want to continue to have creators working there.
Live video aggregator apps
What could be easier than finding all your live content in one place? In the same way that Apple TV and Roku aggregate services for prerecorded streaming media, an app that connects you to all your live video streams across various social and other channels would provide a similar ease of access and supercharge the live experience.
Live virtual reality and 360-degree video
This is already happening, but will become exponentially more popular as the cameras and other production tools for such experiences get smarter, smaller, more powerful, easier to use and cheaper. And creative minds will learn how to fully exploit those tools to create more immersive experiences that put viewers right in the action.
There will be tons of experimentation with a plethora of new technologies. Some will be a great success while others plummet as catastrophic failures. Talk to your Digital Media Producer to see if Livestreaming is a service that you need, and how to best execute it for your brand.