Some have questioned whether Facebook Live will seriously threaten broadcast TV and advertising. Though some argue that it can never replace traditional channels, it’s clear that it is changing the game.
Just look at some recent examples. We’ve seen it used by a criminal streaming a car chase and an ABC News source incorporated it into presidential election coverage. The latter attracted 28 million views during the Republican and Democratic National Convention – compared to just 7.5 million views on CNN. The immediacy of consuming live events on your mobile phone only adds to the real-time interaction and cannot be matched with TV; live, on-demand, or otherwise. The ease at which live footage can be shared and captured from events, which may not have been previously accessible, is what’s driven this change. We are hungry for information that requires minimal effort to consume. Facebook Live has simply made it easier to broadcast to millions of people regardless of time, location, and other social media platforms – like Instagram – are following suit.
We are reaching a tipping point. Companies, governments, and celebrities alike are using live video as more people continue to demand it. Clearly, this trend has been driven by mobile – in both the supply and demand of live video – but for it to become the norm, bandwidth needs to improve; we need better battery technology and more brands need to offer it.
The time is now for businesses to get one step ahead of their competition. Let’s look at advertising for example. Why would people pay for expensive advertising slots when they can reach a bigger audience through Facebook Live? If you’re a big star, it’s a no-brainer; you already have large numbers of followers that will watch and share your content.
For smaller brands, live video lets them broadcast at a fraction of the cost. Sky high TV advertising costs may have previously prevented small brands from using video to reach potential customers, but the movement to live video starts to level the playing field. By working with an industry influencer, a brand can take advantage of their follower base and reach their target audience at any time.
As we move into 2017 and beyond, live video may not be a significant threat to broadcast TV and advertising yet, but it’s clearly changing the game. The time is now for brands and businesses to start taking advantage of these powerful capabilities and put themselves at the forefront of the live video revolution.
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