2016 was a bellwether year for livestreaming, with everything from social networks like Facebook, corporate sites, and the mobile web all offering outlets for real-time video. However, according to analysts, this trend is just starting to gain momentum. 2017 is shaping up to be the year of “live everywhere”, with platforms like JW Live allowing publishers to harness this ubiquity for fresh promotional and revenue opportunities.
From Consumers to Business
To understand the future, it pays to look at the past. In 2007, Justin.tv and USTREAM popularized livestreaming platforms, dedicating entire networks for anyone to broadcast their life in real-time. Similarly, YouTube launched a live video service in 2011. But as mobile devices have gotten smarter and broadband networks have improved, Facebook and a raft of others have followed suit in the last few quarters, resulting in a fragmented set of livestream creation options, especially for consumers. At the same time, major media players, including sports leagues and awards shows, have offered live streams to deepen user engagement. The result of all of this? In 2016, end users began creating video and also watching it in unprecedented numbers.
Live streaming has emerged as a critical tool for publishers seeking new monetization opportunities and deepened engagement with audiences. Audience consumption of live content on the Internet is accelerating rapidly, and content creators are rushing to make the most of what that promises. Platforms like Facebook Live offer an attractive option for getting started with live streaming for a wide range of publishers. For smaller organizations without video infrastructure experts on staff, it’s a free platform that allows them to reach into potentially millions of members’ daily lives. For larger organizations, including Buzzfeed and The New York Times, Facebook Live’s paid initiative to jumpstart live streaming on the platform has been a compelling way to experiment with the medium. Additionally, Facebook continues to offer new video features and opportunities to reach audiences across devices. However, media companies and content producers of all sizes should not start and end their live streaming strategies with social platforms alone. Engaging audiences on one’s owned and operated (O&O) sites with live streaming content also offers publishers and broadcasters a number of advantages.