According to eMarketer, there will be upwards of 163.4 million consumers of live-streamed content in the United States alone this year. Real-time live video content is one of the most engaging mediums on the internet right now. We’ve seen some hugely significant trends in recent years. eSports has become a major player in the live streaming sphere, with many leading tournaments beamed to budding gamers worldwide. The speed and clarity of streams have also transformed the iGaming industry, with operators holding the ability to adopt high-definition (HD) quality broadcasts of table games in real-time. The biggest live casino studios now provide immersive viewing experiences for users. At 888casino, which boasts one of the UK market’s three most popular bonus structures based on the depth of its promotion campaign, there are no less than three camera angles to choose from. Today, live streaming is immersivity personified.
It’s not just gaming where live streaming is becoming increasingly ingrained in our everyday lives. In fact, there are several other trends that are starting to proliferate and are tipped to firmly make their mark in 2023.
Below are some of the likely headline-makers in the live-streaming scene over the next 12 months and beyond.
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The rise of ad-supported live streaming portals
Ad-supported live-streaming services are one of the fastest-growing trends in this market. Netflix and Disney+ successfully ushered in ad-supported streaming platforms, while Amazon has also embraced advertising for its Thursday Night Football brand.
Free ad-supported live-streaming platforms are also beginning to catch fire. Some of these portals, such as Amazon’s Freevee, the Fox-owned Tubi, and Roku are even experiencing levels of growth that outpace the likes of Disney+ and Netflix.
The success of these platforms has captured the imagination of other brands that are thinking of launching their own ad-supported services. Warner Bros. Discovery are reportedly set to license some of their HBO Max content to third-party ad-supported live streaming providers. Its chief executive, David Zaslav, also confirmed the company’s ambitions to unveil its own free ad-supported live stream portal sometime this year.
The emergence of live streamed e-commerce channels
The e-commerce industry is expected to receive a huge shot in the arm from the integration of live streamed video content for online consumers. Live streaming is one of the most engaging trends in e-commerce right now. According to recent statistics, e-commerce brands that utilise live streaming to showcase their products and services in real time are experiencing conversion rates as high as 30 percent. That’s approximately ten times greater than the typical conversion rates for e-commerce platforms.
Think of live streamed e-commerce as a more immersive version of television shopping channels like QVC. The interface makes it possible for interested consumers to ask questions of the studio experts and get answers in real time, solving their problems, building trust, and inviting them to act and make a purchase.
Live streamed e-commerce is all about creating a tailored, personalised shopping experience. Gone are the days of being dissuaded from purchasing due to poor product descriptions. If you have any questions, the on-stream experts will be ready and willing to field your queries. It’s all geared towards maximising conversions and customer satisfaction.
B2C live streamed video marketing strategies
It’s said that around four-fifths (80%) of online consumers prefer watching video content to reading blog posts. Hence the growth of B2C live streamed video marketing among brands. Live video content makes it possible for brands to reach out and interact directly with their target demographic and promote their products to those who have never experienced them before.
Live streaming B2C video content to consumers is most common in Asia. The continent has certainly led the way for live stream commerce, connecting consumers and brands with consummate ease. There are all sorts of products being sold via live video in Asia, whether it’s high-performance cars or real estate. The integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) has also improved the immersivity for consumers. Almost half (45%) of Chinese shoppers are expected to make a purchase through live streamed video content in 2023.
But data suggests that interest in real-time B2C content is on the rise in North America too. According to the 2021 Future Shopper Report from Wunderman Thompson, the appetite for live streamed commerce – including influencer streams (more on that shortly) and real-time video calls with sales experts – has grown in the US. Fourteen percent of shoppers say they would use e-commerce channels more if real-time video content was offered.
Internet of Things (IoT) live video streaming
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another hugely influential trend in today’s 24/7, always-connected world. It’s estimated that almost 31 billion devices with IoT functionality will be capable of live streaming data and video content by 2025. And live streamed video content within IoT-powered devices is already more prevalent than you might think. Take for example doorbell devices, which live stream the area surrounding your front door.
With the rapid emergence of 5G connectivity, live streaming of video and data within IoT-based devices is set to grow further still. Its use in next-generation vehicles is particularly fascinating, with IoT and streaming used to reduce the risk of driver error and maximise driver concentration.
The power of live streaming for influencers
We mentioned influencers and their role in live streaming earlier in the article, but it’s important to reiterate this trend. Brands are increasingly acknowledging the value of partnering with industry influencers with substantial social followings who can publish real-time live video content on anything from product launches to new promotion campaigns.
Brands are acutely aware of the perceived authenticity of live streamed content, especially from influencers they collaborate with. Real-time videos feel more personal, creating an environment that lets consumers engage with influencers to get under the skin of products without even having to venture to the store. This marketing method lends itself perfectly to sectors like the health, beauty and fashion industries.
The biggest risk for digital brands is hand-picking the right industry influencers. Those with genuine reputations and integrity have the best chance of resonating with target audiences. Furthermore, those with confidence and experience in front of a camera are most welcome.
It’s clear that the appetite and potential for live streaming still has room to grow, and the next 12 months are likely to be the most exciting yet for disrupters in the field.