Live streaming has become almost an essential part of having an online presence. But is it useful? I believe it all depends on what type of business or online persona you are. If you are representing a brand or if it is for personal gain to attempt life as an “Influencer”.
Representing a brand on livestreams is a route where you need to be careful of what you say, how you say it, and to make sure what you’re attempting does not come across as negative. Buzzfeed for example is a company who is great at using livestreaming and finding fun ways to attract their audiences. Here you can find one of their most popular videos as well as other companies who are using livestreaming effectively.
The route of an online persona however acquires more freedom in what you can say or do. It allows you to be more brash with the language you use and gives you the opportunity to be any type of person you wish to display. Take Josh Ostrovsky for example. You probably know him under his online alias as The Fat Jew. He doesn’t have to be as politically correct in his livestreams, unlike Buzzfeed who has a more family friendly, politically correct audience. In his livestreams he says whatever he wants and uses any consequences to build his brand of not giving a f***.
Now the question. Is live-streaming important to grow your audience?
I for one am trying to figure out an answer myself because during quarantine my band has been doing live-streams everyday for 5 weeks. A band is a tricky middle ground because you are a business, but you are also an online persona. Finding the right mix is difficult in order to still come across as genuine. We have held our live-streams mainly on Instagram and a couple on Facebook. My experience with doing daily live-streams was intriguing. At the beginning of doing daily live-streams it was great. There was an average of 15-20 people watching while live and an average of 30-40 people viewing afterwards. This only kept up for the first two weeks. The third and fourth week saw a decline to an average of 10-15 people viewing while live and an average of 25-30 people viewing afterwards. Not a huge decline, but a decline none the less. This fifth week however it has been on a steady decline. An average of 5-10 people viewing while live and roughly 20-25 people viewing afterwards. This raised many questions for me: “Was the content not as entertaining?”, “Is it because a large amount of people have hopped on the live-stream bandwagon?”, “Are less people watching live-streams now because life is slowly returning?”.
Many other questions followed. Although I will need to conduct more research.
A schedule and a few of the posters for live-streams we’ve done.
Besides Instagram and Facebook live-streaming there is a whole other world of live-streaming; Video game streaming, and there is a multitude of different platforms to stream on. Video game streaming has skyrocketed with the amount of people producing and the amount of people consuming compared to merely ten years ago. “E-Sports” are a big component of why streaming has become so popular in the video game world. With people flocking to sites such as YouTube Gaming, and Twitch to watch their favorite contenders play their favorite games. Its hard to ignore the numbers. View them here.
I had the opportunity to interview Martin Perez who is one of the co-founders of Stranded Fest on Instagram Live and ask him his opinion on if live-streaming is effective for bands specifically. He says “Live-streaming is still a young medium. It’s not quite saturated yet. Yes, people are hopping on the live-stream bandwagon especially during this quarantine but look at YouTube 5 years ago. People thought YouTube was over-saturated and would fizzle out, but it is still growing to this day with millions of active users. So yes I do think that live-streaming is an effective way for bands to display themselves, but it takes a lot of creativity to stand out amongst the thousands of other bands streaming daily as well” (Perez). Martin also mentioned that he streams himself playing video games quite frequently on Twitch and YouTube under an alias and said “The exponential growth that I have seen in game streaming and E-sports is crazy” (Perez).
In conclusion, I agree with what Martin said. Live-streaming is still a young medium and its full potential hasn’t been brought to the light yet. I believe it is important, but it is up to the content creator, whether that be; a company, an “Influencer”, a band, or a gamer to keep up with the platform and to make content interesting enough for people to want to hop on and watch a live-stream.
What are your thoughts on live-streaming? Is it a useful tool or is it a fad prone to fizzle out in the coming years? If you’re not convinced check out this article where they discuss the usefulness of live-streaming and the benefits it entails. Still not convinced? Give this article a read; 7 Powerful Benefits of Live-streaming.
Chernova, Marta. epiphan video. n.d. https://www.epiphan.com/blog/5-top-brands-using-live-streaming/. 18 May 2020.
Gray, Alex. World Economic Forum. 3 July 2018. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/the-explosive-growth-of-esports/. 18 May 2020.
Perez, Martin. Co-founder of Stranded Fest Edward Lee. 22 05 2020. Instagram Live.
Spilka, Dmytro. Lifehack. n.d. https://www.lifehack.org/534461/7-powerful-benefits-live-streaming. 18 May 2020.
vimeo. vimeo. n.d. https://livestream.com/blog/62-must-know-stats-live-video-streaming. 19 May 2020.