The Rise Of The Live Stream

 In Branding and Marketing, Food for Thought

It seems as if every brand is wading into the live stream this year. Amazon recently launched a 24 hour home-shopping channel with affable hosts discussing deals, holiday gifts and the latest shiniest gadgets. Twitch has become so popular, people are  becoming millionaires playing video games in their guest bedrooms. Social networks have noticed the trend and are making streaming more accessible to the masses. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have all added live stream options to their mobile apps. Data from Livestream shows just how popular it has become, but what makes it such a useful tool?

Live television has been around for decades. Variety shows, sport and concerts have kept people’s eyes on their screens, as the action happens somewhere in the world. Live performances are thrilling.  It has an appeal which a scripted and recorded performance doesn’t. They are one-take with no opportunity for errors front of an audience who are experiencing a unique moment. Succeeding at it has so much impact. Viewers are more engaged because if they miss anything, then they’d be lying to say ‘I saw it happen live’.

Through live streams brands can interact with consumers. A live performance is a more authentic experience. The audience can comment and ask questions, and representatives of brands respond. What elevates the live stream is that hosts can ask questions of their audience too. An open dialogue is perfect environment to survey consumers and garner honest feedback.

This kind of exchange—even if fleeting—is so valuable. Through live streams brands can build long-lasting relationships with their customers. People want to be recognised and live streams allow brands to intimately connect with an audience. It’s validating. Streaming platforms also reveal data in real-time beyond their audience’s screen-names which help business’ better understand them.

Anyone with a decent internet connection and camera can start a stream and find viewers. The democratization of technology means creators don’t need to orchestrate a ticket-selling production anymore to entertain. People can stream anything and someone will find it and watch it. Brands are quickly realising this preference and are producing more content shared for a live audience. However, beginners beware. A completely off-the-cuff video also has potential to easily be unwatchable. To avoid disaster, decide on a structure, rehearse enough to remember the messages you want to communicate and then act natural. The live stream is here to stay, so dive on in.

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