Be inspired by the live stream revolution

The live stream trickle is fast developing into a gushing river of content, and content marketers need to dive in

Gone are the days when consumers’ appetites for dynamic content could be satiated by the odd video.

According to Social Media Today, video views on Facebook have now hit the eight billion per day mark – with no sign of slowing down. Amidst this video boom, social media users are spending three times longer watching live video than non-live alternatives.

Some industries are already undertaking upheavals in their content strategies to respond to this growing trend.

Live sport

One of sport’s great attractions is the feeling of involvement and connection during a big fixture. Making live matches more widely available than ever before raises the prospect of a new industry all of its own.

America’s NFL provides a case study. Matches are live streamed every week, with websites of varying degrees of shadiness vying to make themselves the go-to venue for enthusiasts’ footballing pleasure. The NFL also manages to straddle desktop and mobile devices by providing live streams via its own app.

Legally dubious live streams present a problem that the sports industry, more so than others, has to confront. The question of how to stop these streams haemorrhaging revenues has left Premier League chiefs confused and disgruntled in recent months.

But sports fans are crying out for more streaming than ever before, creating an angry hole which can only be filled with more live content.

Live politics

This live stream of Supreme Court proceedings, on whether or not activating Article 50 to leave the EU is a matter for parliament, is predicted to be the most watched event in UK legal history.

The US presidential debates provided a more dramatic example of live politics content. Plastered across Facebook and Twitter throughout election season, they racked up tens of millions of views in the process.

What these examples show is that with great viewing figures comes great engagement. People aren’t simply watching political streams for the intrinsic joy of doing so (quite the opposite judging by their often furious social media outbursts) – they want to discuss key issues raised and feel like their voices are being heard.

Whatever your personal opinions on the EU referendum and US election, they certainly got people talking. The amount of live content imbibed in the process played a vital role in this.

Live festive joy

Sporting endeavours and political machinations are not known for being everyone’s cup of tea, but if there’s one area where marketers can be trusted to excel, it’s Christmas.

Frankie and Benny’s is the latest company to jump on the festive bandwagon, recruiting Father Christmas himself to conduct a live stream via Facebook in which he promises to grant a few lucky customers all of their Christmas dreams.

While certain types of content lend themselves more obviously to live streaming, this example shows the wide-ranging appeal of live content. In the content marketers’ arsenal it can be put to all sorts of uses with a bit of creativity – what better time than Christmas to give it a go?

You may say I’m a streamer, but I’m not the only one

The growth of live streaming will require some big readjustments in content strategy. But with these come big opportunities.

Content giants across the world are live streaming – whether it’s high-powered political debate or sheer Christmas opportunism, content marketers must ensure they’re keeping up.

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