Every year at CES a technology trend takes the cake. Remember 3D printing or 3D TVs? This year it was Echo and AI that captured the imagination and buzz. But every year there is also a question everyone seems to ask. This year it was “what’s your live strategy?”
As brands, publishers and other organizations quickly flock to owned digital channels and social audiences to take the lead on controlling their own narrative the power of live is starting to become not just a factor but a new lifeline. Why? It’s now easier than ever. It’s not a hard jump for people to make any more.
Without the former limitations on resources and capabilities, these entities can now use technology like live video to share interesting stories about products and services in real-time. Live video is also providing an authentic voice to these stories, and a way for audiences to participate directly in ways that they simply couldn’t before.
Video is now being touted as the fastest-growing content category across all screens. According to eMarketer.com, ad spending will rise from $9.9 billion in 2016 to $28.08 billion in 2020, as a result of growing video consumption. Cisco estimates that video will account for 82 percent of global internet traffic by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2015. Most importantly, live video receives three times the amount of engagement than prerecorded video, according to Forrester Research.
One can watch the Computer Technology Association (CTA) live streams of CES to stay ahead of the curve. This year’s CES featured 3,800 exhibiting companies, a conference program with more than 300 conference sessions and more than 165K attendees from 150 countries. It also had a ton of fanboys craving media about the show. And what better way to bring consumers onto the scene?
CTA partnered with our company Brandlive to live stream events and featured conference sessions throughout CES including keynote addresses, all SuperSessions, C Space Storytellers and more. Watch some video from CES here.
CTA wasn’t the only brand to use real-time video to bring CES to life, either. Twitter, Facebook, Hulu, Live Nation, Google, Spotify, Verizon and more brought C Space Storytellers sessions to audiences so they could see the excitement and interaction around the latest announcements. Those following along could even ask questions and have them answered on stage by company executives. Welcome to the future of events– offline streamed online with synergy. It wasn’t the live streaming that made it different, it was the ubiquity.
CES had a full page of live streamed events to get those at home as close to “being there” as possible, without having to travel to Vegas. The live video experience provided an interactive, front-row seat to the Sports Innovation Summit (by Turner Sports), the Vergecast Live (via Twitter) and Engadget’s Best of CES Awards.
For years, there was a disconnect between in-person attendees and those following from the sidelines. In-person attendance was required for the full, undiluted experience. Video (and especially live video) is aggressively changing that dynamic. “FOMO” no more, you might say.
2017 will continue this trend, with implementations around immersive video experiences — many of which were announced or hinted at during CES. Hulu and Live Nation’s “On Stage” series will create a VR-powered backstage pass to fans’ favorite artists (starting with Lil’ Wayne). Facebook is turning itself into a media network based on (not necessarily live) video content, because they understand the eyeballs video generates.
January’s CES initiatives may have only been the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how brands will utilize video (and especially live video) in the coming year. The authenticity and interactivity of this content have become too addicting to ignore — for both companies and consumers. The space’s growth will be one of this year’s biggest stories, starting with some of the aforementioned campaigns, and continuing on to Snap Inc.’s impending initial public offering.
And it’ll all be unfolding, live, on video screens everywhere.
About the Author
Fritz Brumder is CEO and Founder of Brandlive, which provides live-streaming tools and platforms for companies and other clients.