Is the Live Streaming Boom a Fad or a New Norm?

Live streaming on JW Player from Feb 1 to March 16th, 2020

As the coronavirus has turned us all into homebodies, we saw a 40% spike in our own video traffic across billions of impressions. 

During this time, we also saw live streaming video spike 400% in the first two weeks after the pandemic took hold. 

One month later, are we still seeing these spikes in live streaming? You bet: 

Live Streaming since March 16th, 2020

On top of the 400% leap back in March, Live Streaming delivery is up another 40% from March 17th to April 19th of 2020. But is this a long term shift in the market? If so, what are the opportunities for publishers and advertisers?

For publishers, the benefits are clear: the ability to reach their audiences now with news, sports and other engaging real-time content. Also, as watch times shifts from linear TV to mobile phones, news publishers are much better positioned to deliver live news video — their apps are widely installed. Another key aspect for publishers is that live broadcasts provide a halo effect: both from a brand perspective (it feels premium) and a content perspective (soundbites can be re-used).

For advertisers, whilst some are realizing the opportunities, many are not ready to dive in with both feet just yet.

“Live video can be a bit tricky. There’s an extra degree of caution [with respect to brand safety] in live video. But without big scheduled events such as sports happening, people are experiencing new types of live video for the first time. However, I don’t think they’ll see their current peaks become permanent.” - Liam Brenna, Global Director of Innovation at media buying giant Mediacom said in our Virtual Panel last week.

Compared to the jump JW Player is seeing on it’s network, eMarketer is re-forecasting a bit less bullish, but still a significant 20% jump in 2020.

Live Streaming Users as forecasted by eMarketer

However, this re-forecast has even bigger increases in the following years, upping 2021’s forecast by 20%, 2022’s forecast by 23% and 2023’s forecast by 25% from their March 2019 forecast, a significant jump in each year. 

Whether the recent jump in Live video is permanent or not, it looks like an increase in live video viewers is here to stay.

If you are looking to go live with one click, check out our upcoming webinar Live Streaming made easy with JW Player on April 30th