Mario Armstrong, Gary Vaynerchuk and Donkey Kong!

The same way my buddy Gary Vaynerchuk has been rightly getting on all of us for being slow to join and use Snapchat, I’ve got the same passion to educate content creators, entrepreneurs, personal brands, and small businesses about why they need to start live streaming.

The fact is, with my decades of experience with live TV, most recently as the technology expert on NBC’s TODAY Show, as well as my experience with over 1,000 Periscope and Facebook Live broadcasts, I’m in a unique position to tell you exactly how live streaming is different.

Plus, I’ve been talking to hundreds of live streamers from around the country while MC’ing and speaking at live stream events like NYC’s Periscope Summit, the recent #Pericon16 in Atlanta and this Tuesday at Streaming Media East in NYC. I’m studying, living and doing a lot in the live streaming space. I’m even working on launching a new and very innovative talk show with a live, in-studio audience that will incorporate live streaming.

SXSW 2016 talk, #Pericon16 w/Kim Coles, Streaming tests, 2015 Periscope Summit, Periscoping from NBC studio!

Today, I’m going to share three facts with you from the speech I gave this year at SXSW 2016, “Can Periscope equal profit?”

Fact 1: Live video is viewed longer (20+ mins) than pre-recorded video (2–3 mins)

This fact blew me away when I first found out about it!

Getting a viewer to watch 2–3 minutes of your pre-recorded video today can feel like a real challenge. You plan a video shoot, write a script, hire videographers and editors, kill it on camera, and then put out the perfect short form video for YouTube or Facebook. And then you’re LUCKY if they watch more than 3 minutes of your perfectly crafted video.

On live streaming platforms like Facebook Live and Periscope, however, the story is completely different—viewers are watching more than 20 minutes of live videos, on average!

Just take a minute and think about how much more you could be doing with 20 minutes of viewer attention. Think about how much deeper they can connect with your brand, your messaging, and your content.

I also want you to think about how much more business and potential revenue you’ll find, as well as how many more potential partnerships, sponsorships or relationships you’ll be able to really build with nearly half an hour of a viewer’s attention!

Fact 2: On Facebook, “people watch a live video more than three times longer when it is live compared to when it is not live.”

Viewers are getting video content from a lot of different sources right now!

No longer is it just a matter of heading over to YouTube, or Vimeo — today, your audience is watching things everywhere, including Facebook, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Instagram, Snapchat, and so many more platforms!

With so much competition for viewers out there, and with attention spans getting shorter, you have to work harder than ever to keep viewers around.

And while viewers will watch more live video, they’re only really watching significantly more when you’re actually LIVE.

What’s my point? You’ll have more engagement, more views, and more people watching for longer when you can schedule broadcasts that are 20 minutes or longer, and you can make the room in your schedule to broadcast live regularly!

Fact 3: Facebook Live viewers comment “more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than regular ones.”

This fact hit home a really important idea for me when I’m explaining to people why they need to start live streaming. The fact is, all of the metrics are better!

It’s not just that viewers are watching more of you when they tune into your live broadcast, it’s that they’re engaging more with you as well.

When we watch TV, it’s easy to tune out. Bored of the latest Presidential debate? It takes three seconds to pull out your phone and see what’s happening on Facebook and Twitter. And often, that content is more interesting than what’s on television!

But when people watch live broadcasts on Facebook and Periscope, they tune in. That means you’ve got an audience that isn’t simply watching, they’re chatting with you, reacting to your content, engaging with each other, and creating a whole community around your broadcasts.

This is the most amazing thing about live streaming—your audience isn’t a bunch of passive viewers of your content, they are people who are highly engaged and interacting, and they become meaningful participants in real-time during your broadcasts!

PS: This is just a taste of how powerful live streaming can be.

Over the next few weeks I’ve got tons more Medium articles planned. I’ll be sharing my top 10 favorite features and pet peeves of Facebook Live, update you on the technology and equipment I use to make high quality broadcasts, and teach you to overcome your fear of appearing live on camera. Be sure you’re following me here and on Facebook!