The following is guest contributed post by Deidre Bakker-Riches, owner of a boutique marketing firm and consultancy, Twlv31 Marketing, and the Head of Communications for Las Vegas advertising agency, Up All Day Creative Solutions (originally published by Mobile Leaders Alliance).
From entertainment, advertising, news, sports and even politics, live streaming (or live-casting) has been rapidly on the rise over the past few months with apps like Periscope and Meerkat leading the charge.
For those who aren’t entirely familiar with the latest social networking craze, here is a quick rundown… If you want to be right in the middle of the action during something like a sporting event or newscast, or for those social media enthusiasts who don’t think merely an ordinary photo is enough to achieve their five seconds of fame, streaming apps allow users to either watch great live behind-the-scenes footage or stream their own videos directly from a computer, tablet or smart phone. Some popular live streaming apps include:
Periscope– One of the first apps to make live streaming simple and user-friendly. Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world or watch others live streaming. Going live will instantly notify your followers who can join, comment and send you hearts in real-time.
Meerkat– This app is Periscope’s biggest competition, although it came first. Meerkat allows you to live stream video from your phone to all of your Twitter followers at once. When your followers have the app, they will also get notified of your live stream and are able to watch, comment and interact with it using the app.
Livestream– This app lets you watch or live events, such as local news, sports, music, conferences and thousands of other events broadcasted from all over the world. You can also stream live from your own camera allowing viewers to watch your footage on Livestream.com or through Livestream apps.
UStream– Founded in 2007, Ustream’s cloud-based platform empowers organizations to be more transparent and productive by combining high-quality video streaming, enterprise-grade security and scalability to reach millions of viewers. From press conferences to worldwide entertainment events, Ustream is the platform of choice for clients including Facebook, HBO, Sony, NASA and more.
Utilizing these kinds of platforms, live streaming can provide numerous social benefits when used correctly. For example, if you are a sports fan, live streaming allows teams to broadcast games from all over the world that fans can watch via websites, such as First Row or Stream 2 Watch. Although there is generally a subscription cost associated, it can be much more cost-effective than getting a sports package through your local cable provider — and you can watch just about anything under the sun from soccer, wrestling, golf and much more.
Another great use of live streaming is offering viewers a chance to see great behind-the-scenes action from their favorite brands. For instance, on September 16, fashion aficionados got to view DKNY’s Spring and Summer 2016 Collection that was streamed live from New York. In just a click of a button, fans received rare direct access to the big stage all from the comfort of their couch.
In an attempt to reach a younger audience, live streaming is even hitting the political sphere these days with candidates like Rand Paul broadcasting a day on the campaign trail for all to view. If you ever wanted to know what a politician’s day was like, live streaming let everyone in on all of the action, or lack thereof.
On the other hand, live streaming also has its pitfalls when used inappropriately — or perhaps in this example it was just user error. A couple of weeks ago, a Florida woman decided to use Periscope to record and live broadcast herself while out on the town, which also included documenting her drunk driving debauchery for all of the world to see. A Periscope viewer happened to watch her live stream and called the police to report her. Needless to say, she was eventually arrested for DUI… narcissism will get you if you are not careful!
In a society where we all want what we want right now, live streaming certainly accommodates this desire and can truly allow us to watch some pretty cool things that we would not ordinarily have access to. And when used correctly, this technology can offer tremendous benefits for us all.