Live Video: Anyone Can Use It

At RedFox Creative we talk a lot about the future of marketing, social media, 360° video, and virtual reality, but there’s one thing we seemed to have overlooked in the growing world of new marketing technology…….until now. Live video is quickly working its way up the digital marketing food chain as it adds an element to video that, until recently, couldn’t be done unless it was “live” on television. The new concept of live video takes the same principles of live TV, but instead of locking it down to a choice of a few media moguls it is now in the hands of everyday people. Live video adds a new dimension to marketing by creating something that is more raw and less produced. People have become so sick of dolled up advertisements, overproduced commercials, and scripted actors….people want reality! In this blog we touch on exactly what live video is and why it is gaining popularity so quickly, along with analyzing how this evolving medium can re-shape video based marketing as we know it.

The Rise of Live Video

So, what is live video? Pretty much what it sounds like. Live video is recorded in real-time and is streamed across multiple digital mediums. For years people only had access to live video through television as most nightly news reports, morning news shows, sporting events, and some award shows are broadcast live over the air and through cable. Beyond the news, sports, and scripted entertainment there were very few mediums for which live video could be done and could be done well. Even with the rise of the internet and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) increasing bandwidth live video still lacked quality if streamed over the internet. However, in 2014 the live video game changed when Kayvon Beykpour founded Periscope. Periscope was the world’s first real app dedicated to streaming live video and streaming it well.

Although Periscope cannot be considered the first app to bring live video to the internet and social media it succeeded more so than anything because of the quality it could be streamed at and the fact that it put live video in the hands of everyone to stream whatever they wanted. A truly new dimension of video that could be done through use of a smartphone. Following the launch of Periscope, Twitter took a great interest in the company and bought the app for an estimated $75 million. Following Twitter’s foray into the world of live video Facebook followed suit by releasing “Facebook Live” in 2016. Facebook Live offers the same service as Periscope except that streams can only be viewed by your Facebook friends as opposed to anyone in the world like Periscope offers.

Why is live video becoming so popular?

Have you noticed all of the notifications you have been receiving on Facebook lately of your friends going live on Facebook Live? Whether you love them or you find them insanely annoying this is happening because people are using it! Much of why live video is becoming so popular has to do with video being becoming the primary medium for which content is shared on the internet. eMarketer.com has predicted that digital video ad spending by major companies will increase from $9.90 billion in 2016 to more than $28 billion by 2020. Cisco estimates that 82% of all global internet traffic will be video by 2020.

The facts are clear that people want to use the internet for video, specifically in new ways where the video can be combined with already existing social media channels to connect with others. This is exactly what live video does and it is only going to grow from here. Instead of sending a photo to grandma wishing her a happy birthday why not sing happy birthday to her live where she can see, hear, and interact with you as if you were sitting in her kitchen. Couldn’t go to Las Vegas with your friends because you got sick? Instead of waiting for photos that will take weeks for them to post have them set up a livestream of the Bellagio fountains so you can enjoy the experience at the exact same time they are. This concept can be applied to many many more things that all relates back to experience. People want experiences and they want real experiences. Studies have shown that the Millennial generation is willing to invest more in experiences, specifically experiences where they can connect with other people in real-time. Millennials are the technology generation and anything that can combine technology and raw experience is guaranteed to drive engagement.

What does live video mean for marketers?

2017 is predicted to be a pivotal year for marketers in regards to switching more from traditional media to digital media and video advertising. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are poised to challenge traditional media for advertising revenue. Big events are more likely to start being released in “snackable clips” on social media as opposed to one long, drawn out live event on cable TV. Many marketers should start considering social media as the new form of television with brands beginning to develop dedicated internet video teams as opposed to strictly organic content like we see today. It will be key for brands to begin leveraging live video as a means to disseminate key company news and PR to the masses. With this investment we are likely to see the quality of internet video increase while simultaneously seeing more video ads targeted to specific audiences as opposed to the blanket approach that is taken with traditional media.

 

Live video is growing, and it is contributing to the evolution of marketing as we know it. Gone are the days of direct mail, long-winded TV commercials, and radio spots. Internet video; live internet video is here to stay.

 

Nick Myers is a Partner of RedFox Creative. For more information or to leave a comment send an email to nickm@redfoxcreate.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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