Is Live Stream Here to Stay?

A quick history of live stream before I jump into the current situation we have today and why this time it’s different.

Live Streaming is nothing new. There have been numerous platforms such as UStream, YouNow and SpreeCast who have attempted to make a splash in this category for years but have not been successful.

Why? Well there’s two main reasons…..

1. Technology to support the platforms to scale was not ideal : Data was expensive and if you want to stream video you’ll need a lot of bandwidth. Video quality was not worth watching. You don’t want to be live streaming with a 6 megapixel camera. No one enjoys grainy video quality. If you are going to consume live video content, you want to actually see what is being shown. For live broadcasting to make sense — the quality, speed, cost and accessibility should be able to support the medium of technology you choose to invest in.

Founder and chairman of Lowercase Capital and an early Twitter investor, Chris Sacca said it perfectly in a New York Times Article : “All of a sudden, the world’s pockets are full of good cameras and good screens with good data plans and good social platforms to let everyone know you’re broadcasting.”

2. Our behavioral conditioning was not there yet : Less than a decade ago, the social ecosystem was just being born.

Facebook was teaching us to connect with our friends, family and the companies we love most.
Twitter was helping us find the latest and greatest news while we engaged and created communities around things we cared about most.
YouTube encouraged us to create video content like a pro. Produce, Edit, Post. There is now a polished channel for anything from beauty products to chemistry tutoring.
Instagram taught us how to take a beautiful picture, add a filter and become a visual content creator.
Snapchat conditioned us to share fleeting micro moments and stories with many friends at one time.

Every social network has began with the intention of focusing on creating, sharing and consuming one medium of content but video content is still at its infancy and here’s why….

Although video content is present on each of the platforms I listed above, the closest thing we have to live video is Snapchat. It’s introduction into the social media ecosystem has played an integral role in the evolution of how “live” video content is consumed and created.

Snapchat has conditioned us on the importance of constantly sharing our day through videos and pictures. A few fun and probably mind blowing facts about the platforms usage:

- 400 million snaps are sent everyday
- 100 million daily active users
- 4 Billion Daily Video views

What does all this tell me?

People have learned to share their lives and create compelling stories. Like anything, evolution is inevitable. Our social/digital world will more quickly move towards live streaming content because we have the technology, attention, accessibility and conditioned behavior to widely adopt the medium.

Live Stream is here to stay and its only the beginning.

Just a few days ago, I was a guest on True Voice Media’s podcast where I address this exact question — “Is Live Streaming Here to Stay?”

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