While live-streaming has been around for almost a decade (via early players like recently-purchased Ustream and Justin.tv), Meerkat’s debut at SXSW 2015 launched the anyone-can-do-it rush that has been sustained into this year. Most digital platforms are adding live-streaming to their mix, including Twitter’s NFL deal and Facebook Live’s tools to let anyone stream on their platform. Creators are also rushing to add content that works for the platform on which they live. That scramble could change with the rise of a new business model: the Live Streaming Network.
Roker Media, the new company formed by weatherman Al Roker, is pitching this new format and they may be on to something big. Rather than trying to launch their own technology, subscription model or working out an exclusive deal with a single platform, Roker Media are simply producing content that will be available for broadcast on any of the major live-stream platforms. This approach allows their content to be consumed anywhere that presents live streaming. That flexibility is appealing for audiences that can find them on the platform where they hang out. That’s also attractive for brands since Roker Media content will be flexible enough to be broadcast wherever a brand’s target audience exists.
If this seems like an unusual business for a man known for covering the weather and parades, keep in mind that this isn’t Roker’s first foray into live streaming. He previously launched Roker Labs, a live-streaming analytics platform that partnered with YouNow to get audience insights. Their model may very well inspire other creators to take this open approach to streaming content that will have superior reach.
How Does Work For Influencer Marketing?
This is all good news for brands that are starting to see the value of ‘going live.’ Per Brandlive’s study on the subject, nearly 80 percent of marketers say live-streaming provides a more authentic interaction with the audience. The examples are many, including automotive brands like BMV who debuted their new M2 model on Twitter’s Periscope or Tesla’s launch of the Model 3 by streaming from their own site. That feat led to 10 billion dollars in pre-orders over the weekend. Adding in influencers (live streaming personalities are just starting to bubble up more) with built-in audiences and passionate brand affinity will only help increase engagement for live-streaming.
With the rise of additional apps and closed networks of content from MCNs, the influx of live-streaming content is getting massive, making it even easier for brand messages to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why it is all the more important to scale influencer marketing efforts across different platforms that include the audience you seek.
Marketers also need to keep an eye on how platforms and creators archive live-stream video, too. While traditional content generally lives on to provide long-term value even after an initial campaign passes, many live-stream solutions only keep content alive for a limited time. Much like Snapchat, some live-stream solutions like Periscope wipe out content after a day.
While brands are getting more excited about live-streaming because of its ability to draw audiences to a time and place so they can consume advertising, it also goes against the way Video-On-Demand services and DVR technology have enabled audiences to watch what they want when they want it. Is the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) enough to pull Millennials and Gen Z consumers away from what they are doing to be part of a live event? We need more information to confirm that but with the fast-moving efforts of Facebook Live, the rise of YouNow and the growth of both Periscope and Snapchat, 2016 will certainly give us plenty of campaign performance to study.