How Publishers Are Using Live Streaming
Live streaming is the next evolution of online video.
In fact, according to Social Media Today, viewers watch live video 3 times longer than pre-recorded video.1 Not surprisingly, live streaming is peaking the interest of several platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, all of which support publisher and user broadcasting.
This is particularly good news for publishers looking for new channels to boost engagement and reach a larger audience. With Facebook Live, for example, publishers are able to tap into Facebook’s vast pool of roughly 1.7 billion monthly active users.2
Understanding the potential, several publishers have begun experimenting with live streaming, particularly with Facebook Live.
When Buzzfeed posted a live video of an exploding watermelon trick on Facebook, it had about 800,000 viewers watching at its peak.3 Following this success, Buzzfeed produced about 70 live videos on several of its Facebook Pages, including Tasty, Buzzfeed Food, Buzzfeed News, and Buzzfeed DIY. The most popular videos have received up to 5.2 million views with thousands of comments.4
Another publisher using Facebook Live is The Verge.
This Vox Media tech and cultural property uses Facebook to stream live reports of major events along with question-and-answer sessions on demo products, with each video typically receiving between 100,000 and 200,000 views.5
Helen Havlak, engagement editor at The Verge, explained, “The platform has drawn a large video audience, it’s allowed The Verge to cover breaking news instantly and it’s opened the door for spontaneous and entertaining moments. It also takes only a small time investment from producers and writers.”
Publishers using live streaming during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games realized particular success.
NBC used live 360-degree video, providing their users with an interactive, engaging experience that enabled them to dictate the direction of the camera and subsequent video stream. In total, NBC surpassed 1 billion minutes streamed by the fifth day of the games.6
BBC also live-streamed the Olympics, offering 24-hour video on its BBC Sport Web site and Sport App, and realized similar success. As stated by Neil Hall, head of product for BBC Sport, “A great live-streaming offer is what people expect. We need to optimize the experience around that. We’ve redeveloped the BBC live proposition, so what the audience sees across devices loads much faster, and gives more choice across all platforms.”7
With Facebook and other live-streaming networks testing monetization options such as mid-roll video ads, these channels are looking increasingly beneficial to publishers.8 Indeed, live streaming is the next evolution of online video. And publishers are paying close attention.
1. Savage, Jonathan. “Top 5 Facebook Video Statistics for 2016 [Infographic].” Social Media Today. N.p., 10 Apr. 2016. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.
2. “Facebook Live 101.” Newspaper Association of America.” 4 Aug. 2016.
3. Sloane, Garett. “Facebook is promising live-video publishes in-stream ad options.” Digiday, 18 Apr. 2016.
4. Mullin, Benjamin. “How 4 News Organizations are Using Facebook Live to Reach Broader Audiences.” Poynter, 31 Mar. 2016.
6. Katz, A.J. “NBC Gets Its Lowest Olympics Ratings Since Saturday, But Men’s Basketball Boosts NBCSN.” Adweek, 11 Aug. 2016.
7. Southern, Lucinda. “Live Streaming and 360-degree Video: The BBC Approach to Olympics Coverage.” Digiday. N.p., 04 Aug. 2016. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.
8. Sloane, Garett. “Facebook Is Testing Mid-Roll Video Ads in Facebook Live.” Advertising Age Digital. N.p., 01 Aug. 2016. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.