By TJ Kiely

October 10th, 2017

It is predicted that online video will be responsible for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, and a large portion of that traffic will be coming from live video.

But despite all of the hype around live streaming, the media format hasn’t been widely adopted…yet.

When live streaming platforms first appeared in 2007 the use case was unclear and audiences were largely uninterested, but things quickly changed. The market for live streaming platforms boomed as a myriad of players entered the market over the next few years, including: Periscope, Meerkat, YouNow and Blab.

The result of this influx of new players was a fragmented video streaming landscape. Now, however, the market is transitioning from a period of growth towards a period of consolidation as the competition for eyeballs intensifies.

In 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch for $970 million. In 2016, IBM acquired USTREAM for $130 million. And most recently, Vimeo purchased Livestream in September of 2017.

As you can tell by the chart below, fragmentation still exists in the live streaming market, but as the media format’s popularity continues to surge and the pressure to retain online audiences rages on, more acquisitions are sure to follow.

Given the amount of time and money that major Silicon Valley players like Facebook, Amazon and YouTube are devoting to live-streaming, it is clear that these players see video as the next big market opportunity.

And live video, although still in its infancy, could also be a huge opportunity for your brand. Here are some quick stats that demonstrate why you should consider creating branded live videos:

If you’re not convinced that you should grab your camera or smartphone right now, then let’s take a look at some of the benefits that live video can offer your brand.

Live video is engaging
Live video is not only interesting to the players in Silicon Valley because it is a relatively new media format, it is interesting because of the level of engagement that live video generates.

According to Facebook, users watch Facebook Live videos 3x longer than videos that aren’t live. And for social media platforms like Facebook, engaged users can create real business opportunities for both the social media platform hosting the content and the brand creating the content.

Live video doesn’t just attract eyeballs, it also attracts comments. Facebook Live viewers have proven to be more engaged with live video content than non-live videos, writing over 10x the number of comments.

live video

Source: Instagram

Live videos allow your audience to actively participate in the event being broadcast by submitting comments and/or questions that can shape the direction of the discussion.

This added layer of engagement offers brands the chance to establish deeper connections with their audience. And if a viewer does submit a question during your live video, then they likely expect to have their question answered within the duration of the live stream. This means that you may need to bring in additional resources, such as a community manager, to handle the incoming comments and questions.

Live video is easily consumed
Watching a video requires much less effort than reading an article; in fact, videos are processed by the brain significantly faster than text.

This may explain why 80% of internet users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog and 82% of internet users would prefer live video from a brand to social posts.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have catered to our natural preference for video by programming their algorithms to prioritize live videos and video posts in news feeds.

And since video is a top priority for each of the major social media platforms, they are taking steps to create engagement by sending out push notifications to followers before a live video begins.

Instagram also places live video stories ahead of other Instagram Stories, which is a guaranteed way to create some top-of-mind awareness for your brand.

live video

Source: Instagram

Live streaming is cost-effective
Internet users do not expect a live video to have the production quality of a Hollywood production.

A shaky camera is a forgivable offense during a live stream (as long as it doesn’t persist), and, in fact, may add a sense of authenticity to your video. In order to produce a live video, all you really need is a good camera and a reliable internet connection.

This means that you shouldn’t hesitate to grab you phone and shoot a quick video showing the behind-the-scenes happening of a big company event. This type of transparency can be appreciated by your consumers.

As live video continues to outpace the growth of other video formats, there is a real opportunity for your brand to engage your audiences by embracing the format early on. 

So now that you know how live video can benefit your brand, isn’t it time you grab that phone of yours?

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