Live-streamed content has been an important source of escapism for years. It is a rapidly-growing aspect of media and entertainment that is already proving to be a force to be reckoned with. That is probably because of how it meticulously combines the forms of entertainment we know and love with new and exciting technologies. The result has been a ton of great offerings for consumers and a lucrative venture for very many businesses.
Now, it does not take much of an effort to see that live streaming has to compete alongside other ways of media and entertainment consumption. All the modern mediums are leveraging the latest technologies but still, they must find ways of differentiating themselves. That said, it is very interesting to see that live streaming is already making some major moves that put it well ahead of the curve.
Why It Is Winning
We do know that live streaming is making a lot of noise in the world of entertainment. But why is this the case? Well, it can all be traced to how the media and entertainment landscapes have been evolving. From social media to video-sharing platforms, there is now more room and incentive to venture into live streaming. Platforms already exist. What else is there to add?
For creators, the main advantage is the elimination of much of the pre-production hassles. They are much faster to deal with and since no video editors are required, live streams are also much cheaper. Moreover, with the increased accessibility and affordability of modern devices, live streaming is more relevant than ever. That applies to both the creators and their audiences.
The COVID-19 Effect
The COVID-19 pandemic had devastating impacts on very many businesses across the globe. Sectors that relied on physical customer interaction were particularly disadvantaged. There was thus an urgent need for solutions and live streaming turned out to be a great alternative for many of them.
Live streaming turned out to be one of the solutions that would change everything. For instance, concerts had to go virtual. Instead of inviting fans to large arenas where they could potentially be exposed to the virus, artists opted to live stream their concerts. Similarly, casino operators got innovative with their offerings. Patrons could enjoy live dealer blackjack and other games right from the comfort and safety of their homes.
This did not begin when the pandemic-induced lockdowns started but the period catalyzed the growth of live streaming. It would probably still grow as big as it has – the only difference is that it would have taken a little longer.
Advancing Two-Way Engagement
Initially, the scope of live streaming was limited to how much it could make if for creators to reach out to their audiences. Our understanding of how much content can be delivered in this way is only beginning to unravel. As that continues to develop, we continue to find new use cases for the technologies that make live streaming possible.
Two-way engagement is perhaps the most notable development that we can cite when it comes to how live streaming is reshaping media and entertainment. That is the main premise behind live dealer games, online tournaments and even live shopping. It also makes collaboration a whole lot more interesting. The importance of this aspect of the vertical cannot be emphasized further.
Monetization As an Incentive
Naturally, financial gain is the main incentive for most of the developments with the media and entertainment sectors. Live streamers are already reaping the fruits of their labor and that is because many of them already had experience with the business side of their crafts. It all comes down to the audiences that they command – that is bait for advertisers who will always come knocking.
From in-stream adverts, to direct endorsements and partnership deals, the possibilities are endless. Advertising aside, some creators are even doing very well thanks to their choice to go with subscription fees. It is, of course, a much bolder approach that requires a very loyal audience base but it does pay off quite well for people who can master all that.
What the Future Holds for Live Streaming
The number of people who have invested in live streaming is huge. That level of commitment should be able to tell us just how big the vertical is likely to grow in the coming years. Content creators are constantly experimenting and merging different kinds of content to deliver unique and innovative experiences. As such, it is very easy to create a need for better technologies.
Emerging and rapidly-growing trends such as Esports and the Metaverse are examples of the turns that live streaming could take in the future. They are a huge diversion from what we think is the norm and that is what makes them the perfect accelerants.