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Why live video streaming is challenging TV

Georgia Laudat

From Candace Payne aka “the Chewbacca mum” to the live streaming of election night by CNN in the US, Facebook Live is becoming increasingly popular and presents endless opportunities for video content.

Some commentators have gone as far to say that social media streaming platforms are a “ticking time bomb” for the likes of traditional broadcasters, such as Sky and the BBC.

In a content-snacking generation, Facebook boasts a hub with masses of video content with a reach of almost 2 billion monthly active users. Mark Zuckerberg said in the summer of 2016 at the Facebook Earnings call that “we see a world that is video-first with video at the heart of all our apps and services”.

Currently, as the We Are Social 2017 insights report indicates, mobile browsing accounts for half of the world’s web traffic a figure which is predicted to increase. Consumer video-on-demand traffic will almost double by 2020, with smartphones accounting for 37 per cent of total global internet traffic and traffic from wireless and mobile devices accounting for two-thirds of total global traffic by 2020,

With this in mind, in a content-snacking generation – video content is the starter, main course and dessert. For those of us working in public relations, a digital strategy needs to keep up with this demand and reap the benefits that video offers.

Recently, The MHP Brand team did their first ever Facebook Live for American Express. Hosted by Gabby Logan alongside travel presenter Simon Reeve and A Mummy Too blogger Emily Leary, it gained nearly half a million views in just over a week.

And not only is social media live streaming limited to Facebook Live, because other social media platforms are all developing their live products from Periscope on Twitter, to YouTube live and Instagram.

Video content is now so critical to most businesses’ communication strategies that the method by which platforms monetise contentvia pre-roll ads is coming under intense scrutiny. Streaming via a third party channel is not without risk – and if that content is live, beware the unintended consequences when things go wrong.