Why Live Streaming Video is the Next Great Thing

Last Friday night, I stayed up to 2 AM playing with Meerkat and Periscope. I then proceeded to play with these social networks throughout the weekend broadcasting my morning breakfast, my run, my hike, my girlfriend singing, my son playing golf (much to his chagrin), and my Saturday night dinner party. I was amazed that nearly 100 people would tune into some of my broadcasts. I played with titles such as Best California Surf Spot (15 Viewers) to Girls on the Beach (78 Viewers).

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I’m completely fascinated that anyone with an iPhone can now broadcast their own TV channel to the world in an instant and people can “Like” and “Comment” on these videos in real time from virtually anywhere.

My most fascinating experience was joining a group of guys my age for a beer at a bar in Northwest Africa. They were reading my comments, laughing, and trying their best to correspond. After such an amazing experience, I proceeded to use my iPhone and the Periscope app to fly all around the world in a matter of a couple hours.

Time will tell exactly how this new technology will change our lives but from my perspective, it’s a game changer.

We have witnessed how Twitter caused an uprising in Egypt and how the proliferation of video cameras have unveiled the problems in Ferguson, Missouri.

How will live broadcasts change our lives even faster?

Does live vs. pre-recorded make a big difference? I think it does. For some time, we have been fascinated with live content in the form of Live Sports, Live Concerts, Saturday Night Live or Live anything. To know that something is occurring right now makes us feel alive and in the moment. And, to know that we can interact with people at the other end of the broadcasts makes us feel like we are actually there. We have influence and significance in an event. We matter.

We are also a culture that is beginning to demand transparency, particularly the younger generation who despises fabrication, trickery, and anything that is too polished or rehearsed. Live helps to ensure transparency.

Some things that will be affected right away are News Broadcasting, Live Sports, and Concerts. It won’t be immediate but marketing will be affected over time. Like any revolutionary ad movement, it will start slowly then catch on like fire as big brands begin to accept it. The smart brands will jump all over live streaming video now for a variety of reasons. The number one reason is that it is much easier to build a following when a social media network is in its infancy. All the brands with the largest followings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine got in early or paid dearly to catch up.

Other core reasons for brands to jump in now is that live streaming video is a terrific marketing vehicle to connect with consumers through broadcasting:

  • Events
  • New Product Launches
  • Behind-the-Scenes Content
  • Promotions and Giveaways
  • Brand-Centric Trivia
  • Ask Me Anything Content
  • Etc…

This content can also live and breathe in the social channels for those who missed the live event. The key for brands is to get out there and do it. Creating a solid presence and a high frequency of content will be much more important than developing highly produced content. No one likes someone who comes to a party with well-rehearsed lines and an obvious motive. People want brands that they can talk to, get to know and introduce to their friends. Live streaming video is the next great evolution in brand marketing for those that embrace it now.