Why interactive live streaming is hot

Recently, I had the honor to speak at Media Fast Forward, an event where 25 speakers elaborated on the challenges and opportunities of media in our future world. That topic is very dear to my heart, having made it somewhat of my life goal to help broadcasters and publishers use technology to rise to the challenge of the digital world: first by founding the agency Small Town Heroes, and more recently by building Zender, a platform to build and manage interactive live streams.

My talk was about the inevitable rise of interactive live streaming.

Inevitable you say?

Well, have a look at how we are relaxing and socializing these days. Watching Netflix or texting and commenting, it all happens online. Seeing we’re social animals, we’re inclined to treasure the moments when we’re online and feel part of a group. Live broadcasts are perfectly suited to create such moments. Now that technology makes it possible for the audience to actively engage with each other and with the broadcast in real time, interactive live streaming is indeed inevitable.

Back to the talk, where I elaborated on 5 main points:
 

1. eSports lead the way

eSports are the poster child of interactive live streaming and hugely popular because they’re social, live and fully interactive.

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2. There’s no such thing as a free lunch

Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer free live streaming, but at a high price: in return for eyeballs, you’re limited in what you can do

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3. China is on top of live stream monetization

If you’re curious about the commercial uses of interactive live streaming, just take a look at China, where a 5 billion dollar market has evolved around it.

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4. Freedom and control

Using interactive live streaming on your own website or app works best when you need freedom, control, or both. Freedom to monetise, or control regarding rights or audience. That makes shows aimed at children between 7 and 13 especially suitable. That age group is too young to be serviced on social media, and old enough to value the community spirit of shared online experiences.

 

5. The value of an editorial team  

To have audience interaction actually add value to the stream, your technical solution to manage the live interaction has to be built with an editorial team in mind: where an editor makes and lines up all the content needed for the show, where a moderator makes sure the comments are in line with brand guidelines, and where a director manages the workflow of all the moving parts and makes sure the results of audience interaction are neatly displayed in the studio setting.

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Anyway, watch the talk for a full dose of insight and inspiration packed in 11 minutes.

Feedback welcome via hendrik@zender.tv or give me a call

Hendrik Dacquin