Live streaming is not a new concept. News channels, online pornography and video gaming have all embraced live streaming in recent years and the sale of Twitch to Amazon for $970 million (£585m) shows that live streaming is big business.
Over the past 12 months, live streaming services such as Meerkat, Periscope and most recently Blab have put the power of live streaming into everyone’s hand, via mobile phone.
Brands are recognising this emerging trend and companies such as Adidas are using top scoring football players to offer the world a ‘behind-the-scenes’ glimpse of a player signing a contract.
Live streaming is breaking down the barriers between brands and customers. It used to be that flashy adverts and catchy jingles would convey the message, but in this social media connected world, people are looking for authenticity and transparency. Nowadays, customers can spot a ‘phony’ from a mile away, and brand success will demand that companies use real and authentic connections that match human relationships.
It’s not going to be pretty
There is no doubt that it will be a bumpy ride, as live streams can be awkward and messy. However, today’s online surfers are savvy enough to see right through overly polished and overproduced online personalities. People are looking for an authentic connection and everything that entails. The transparency that live streaming offers has meant that these channels are growing month on month.
In August 2015, Periscope announced that in the four months since its launch, it had grown its app user base to 10 million users. Combined, these users now stream 40 years worth of content on the site, on a daily basis.
Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin mirrored this sentiment, declaring that the amount of time users spend with the Meerkat app has doubled every month.
The live streaming revolution is upon us and we are going to see more and more brands taking on influencers who shine during live broadcasts. This pure, honest approach to customer engagement is new for everyone and we at Kingsland Linassi are excited to see how it develops over the coming months.
In order to prepare you for this revolution, we have outlined the weapons of choice for your live streaming arsenal.
Launched in February 2015, Meerkat was the first live streaming service to be available on mobile phones. There are apps for iOS and Android, and whilst Twitter integration is more limited than Periscope, it does allow users to stream their broadcasts directly to Facebook. The major difference between Meerkat and Periscope is that once a Meerkat broadcast has been streamed it cannot be re-streamed, which is similar to the way that Snapchat works. Broadcasts can be scheduled before the event, which sends out Tweets from your account. Viewers can share the stream easily and tap a ‘like’ button to publicly announce that they like the content.
Periscope was bought by Twitter in March 2015 and works in much the same way as Meerkat, with the added functionality of broadcasts being available to view for up to 24h hours after the original broadcast. Being a Twitter owned app, it has seamless integration with Twitter, meaning you can get greater exposure thanks to immediate notifications to your followers. Live viewers can post comments which are seen by the broadcaster, and tapping the heart icon shows your appreciation and improves visibility in the trending lists.
Blab allows for collaborative live streams and can show up to four people at the same time. Blabbers can drop in and out of streams and it works very much like a radio station debate. By using the ‘Call In’ button you can request to be part of the discussion, hence, increasing engagement. Watchers can tap the ‘feel’ button to give particular users ‘likes’, in addition to this, comment and question boxes allow for more interaction.