One of our projects this year is to build out a live-streaming desk in our podcast studio. We can actually utilize the same audio equipment while adding video. Video equipment is coming down in price and many packages are starting to emerge by live-video companies for managing a small studio. We're hoping to get at least 3 cameras and a system for managing lower-thirds and video integration from desktops or conferencing software.
Early adoption has the risk of high costs and quickly outdated equipment, but the advantage of market share adoption. I hope we don't wait too long, but long enough to take advantage of the amazing technology that's being developed. If you ever want to follow someone online that's a live-streaming technology expert, be sure to follow Joel Comm. He shares all the latest and greatest on platforms and equipment.
So where are we at with live streaming today? It's exploding in growth and may be further along the adoption trail than many had imagined. There are five major live-streaming players in the field as of the development of this infographic, each with different advantages:
- Facebook Live – Over 360 million users watch Facebook Live regularly… but keep in mind that Facebook actively pushes live video, producing a ton of views but I question some of the engagement statistics. Live videos are watched three times longer than other video content and live allows reactions and discussion in real-time along with the ability to replay the video later. Facebook also plots users on its Facebook Live Map so you can find popular and local live-streams. Facebook Live is now possible by mobile, desktop, and on pages.
- Instagram Live Stories – About 200 million regular users watch Instagram live. Viewers can engage through real-time likes and comments. Presenters can choose to pin comments for all the viewers to see. Live Stories are available through the top portion of the application and new stories can be discovered through the Top Live section on the explore tab. Instagram took quite a chunk out of Snapchat, slowing their growth by 82% after mimicking Snapchat's live streaming features.
- Youtube Live – While over a billion people use Youtube, I don't believe Youtube Live is seen as a social live-streaming destination at this point. Live streaming is only for verified channels and an optional mobile live stream is available only once you have 1,000 subscribers. Real-time comments are available and Super Chat gives viewers a way to highlight their comments during their broadcast. Youtube Live Events supports multiple cameras and can be scheduled to market around.
- Twitch – Twitch dominates the gaming market where 9.7 million daily users spend 106 minutes watching live streams each day on average. Real time comments and emoticons available in the chat window. Twitch users can cross-promote other streams when your channel is offline using Host Mode. Bit Emoticons are able to be purchased so fans can give additional donations to streamers.
- live.ly – 6 million total users view content monthly on live.ly., a mobile app from musical.ly. The average users spend three sessions per day in the app, or about 3.5 minutes a day. Features include real-time comments and “emoji-loves”. A guesting option allows live streamers to include fans as guests in the broadcast. Fan-purchased virtual gifts and icons can attach to comments and stay on screen longer.
Check out the entire infographic from Koeppel Direct, The Rise of Live Streaming: Redefining Real-Time Engagement.