Live streaming looks to be a growing trend for 2018. It’s no surprise, its popularity has seen the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Live provide live video streams to all their users. As real-time engagement levels rise, live streaming does not look to fade away anytime soon. People want to instantly ‘connect’ with content, to increase their levels of excitement and brand engagement as well as provide instant feedback.
Live streams can provide more authentic, unscripted video content, with productions ranging from amateur smartphone recordings to sophisticated professional event setups. Instant video content reduces the fear of missing out (FOMO) on the latest score in a sports game. Providing a ‘sneak peek’ at the latest fashion trend, music video or film provides instant gratification. As a result, lines between mainstream and digital broadcasting are becoming more blurred. Today, broadcasters, brands and mega platforms are all tapping into the live streaming market. In a hectic world, Live video content simply fills the gap.
Brands such as Red Bull changed marketing strategy and monetised videos instead of placing more spend on advertising for energy drinks. In one year over 639 videos were created with more than 1 million views per video. The result, a total of 1.7 billion views, 32.9 million engagements and a sum of $ 6.6 billion in sold energy drinks. Gregory Jacobs, Head of monetization at Red Bull Media House, North America termed these times as a ‘media renaissance’, where content can be distributed across many platforms with ‘no need be a part of the big [TV networks] or cable companies’.
Live streaming methods are also more inventive – from the use of drones and smartphones to camera-to-platforms such as Freecast (which provide new wireless broadcasting) and Virtual Reality (VR). Broadcasters such as NBC will provide 50+ hours of live VR streaming from the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics 2018 – including skiing, curling, snowboarding, and figure skating – to provide an exciting, immersive experience. Viewers will be able to gain new perspectives and thrills through Intel® True VR Technology. Using multiple camera pods at each Olympic event, they can create a 360-degree virtual reality experience with both audio and visual personalisation. Additionally, VR viewers will receive real-time stats, leaderboards and other event information.
Regardless of the live streaming method, each brand, broadcaster and cloud hosting platform will look to deliver high-quality content with low latency to fans and audiences. Mega platforms such as IBM Cloud Live, Amazon AWS (owner of Twitch), MS Azure and Google Cloud Platform are all getting involved and where monetisation is key, innovative technology like Blackbird will make this difference.
Blackbird technology underpins multiple applications which are used by rights holders, broadcasters, sports and news video specialists, post-production houses, other mass market digital video channels and corporations. The Blackbird technology allows full visibility of multi-location digital content, with clipping and editing in near real time. This dramatically improves time to market for live content, such as video clips and highlights for social media distribution, and results in much more effective monetisation.
Nowadays, many potential viewers are ‘time poor’ and unable to watch the live stream, so the ability to repackage highlights and archive provides viewers with the ability to watch that game or tournament in free time. If your audience is global, potentially one-third of your audience is asleep and missing out on all the action!
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Blackbird is best-of-breed
Jon Hanford - Group CTO, Deltatre