The Future of User-Generated Live Streaming for Marketers

2015 may be the year that user-generated live streaming goes mainstream, but it certainly isn’t new:

A Brief History of User-Generated Live Streaming

Chances are, you’ve watched a live user-generated broadcast as a consumer at some point on the Internet. Watching has a low barrier to entry.

It’s less likely that you’ve created a live broadcast on behalf of your brand. Live streaming has a high barrier to energy. It takes time and resources, great content, equipment, and people who are comfortable being on camera. It also has the added pressure of perfectionism, as live broadcasts can’t be taken back. Live streaming doesn’t always align with a brand’s objectives either, making it an expensive and non-strategic venture.

The times are changing.

The new kids on the block

In 2015 live streaming has evolved significantly with the introduction of many new platforms.

User-Generared Live Streaming Platforms

Meerkat, Periscope and Blab are making it easier than ever before to broadcast live. Starting a live stream is as simple as pressing a button. Fancy cameras and microphones are not a necessity. Most compellingly, these platforms allow viewers to join in the conversation. Live streaming now has the capacity to spark real-time engagement.

In terms of content ownership, Blab has come forward stating that live streamers own all content produced on Blab. Though Blab isn’t an owned property, it’s great to know that content developed on the platform is wholly owned by the content developer.

Should streaming video be incorporated in your future marketing strategy?

The jury is still out as to whether live streaming will resonate with the masses. What we do know is that the online conversation about these platforms is increasing over time. Whether or not you incorporate live streaming into your larger communications plan, we encourage you to think about the potential of these platforms. For example, a brand could:

  • Live stream a webinar, allowing guests to come on the screen and ask questions in real-time
    • Bonus: Brands can embed the replay on owned properties and cross-post to YouTube
  • Promote an upcoming podcast by live streaming a portion of its creation
  • Conduct interviews with internal staff to share product information, provide customer service and maybe even break news
  • Build relationships with external partners by live streaming and promoting interviews showcasing their expertise
  • Host fun stunts to create brand, cause or product awareness

What do you think about live streaming? Could you see your brand using these platforms? Tell us in the comments!