New opportunities for interactive video with low latency live streaming

Following the success of HQ Trivia, many similar apps were launched all around the world in a race to claim their slice of the market. There are so many apps available at this point that you can participate in a live trivia game every hour of the day.

In previous posts, we explained how to develop your own live trivia quiz show while discussing the associated requirements and challenges. We also looked at how to improve the format going forward by drawing lessons from TV shows. Most apps still follow a gameplay formula that is similar to HQ (providing trivia questions in an elimination-style format), but the evolution of live interactivity brings with it new opportunities to usher in the next generation of real-time entertainment.

Real-time entertainment that goes beyond trivia

There are several trends driving the growth and adoption of this new type of video consumption. HQ Trivia has demonstrated, for example, the success of appointment-based viewing, and that integrated interactive experiences increase engagement (up to 99% of viewers). In addition, it is possible to stream low latency live video with less than 3 seconds of delay across devices, creating an experience that is both immediate and shared. In this post, we will be taking a look at the opportunities that real-time entertainment can provide for game show formats, video game live streaming, and sports streaming.

1. The Game Show Revival

Considering the success of many popular game show formats like Jeopardy, Match Game, Deal or No Deal, The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, and 1 vs. 100, there is a big opportunity to introduce these play structures to a new generation of consumers: a live integrated experience that invites the viewer to be part of the fun, combining exciting gameplay, high-quality production, an engaging presenter, and often a live audience.

One such example was the hit game 1 vs. 100 on Xbox 360, based on the popular 1 vs. 100 TV format, in which a single contestant — “The One” — is playing against a group of 100, otherwise known as “The Mob.” The rest of the spectating players make up “The Crowd.” The North American version of the game topped the Guinness world record for most contestants participating in a game show, with over 114,000 simultaneous players. Almost 10 years later, fans are still hoping for the game’s return to the Xbox.

The first episode of 1 vs. 100 on Xbox 360

These kinds of live shows can be hosted on owned and operated apps or websites, or can be broadcasted as prime-time content for large media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch. The strength of these shows lies in the combination of live entertaining experiences and heightened emotions, achieved by participants and audiences. The diverse types of gameplay, multiple rounds, and a wide range of prizes make these games wildly entertaining.

2. Esports and Video Game Live Streaming

Both Esports and video game live streaming are rapidly growing in popularity. Popular Twitch streamer Ninja averages 100,000 viewers every day, while large Esports competitions can reach millions of viewers per game. The Beta launch of Call of Duty Blackout’s battle royale mode lasted 8 days, attracting 540,000 concurrent Twitch viewers and garnering a total of 22.4 Million viewing hours on Twitch and YouTube Gaming combined (the equivalent of 90 HQ Trivia games with 1 million players).

Example of live predictions during the broadcast of an EA FIFA 19 Game on Twitch

During TwitchCon 2018, the company announced that it will be focusing on what they call “multiplayer entertainment” — a way of bringing viewers and content creators together through community tools like chat, interactive panels, and stream overlay extensions. These extensions allow game developers and content creators to add an interactive layer to the Twitch experience by displaying real-time game information, enhancing the viewer experience, and providing interactive tools that allow the viewer to vote on, predict, and influence gameplay.

An example is the battle royale game Darwin Project that allows viewers to influence the game by closing areas on the map, select the MVP, and reward players in the game.

Darwin Project allows viewers to influence the game.

3. The Sports Game of the Future

Even though live sports viewership is declining on traditional TV, it is still reaching millions of fans on digital platforms: while most people still watch sports on the big screen, we are seeing the emergence of new ways to watch sports on mobile devices, bringing the game closer than ever to digital spectators. These advancements can provide lower latency, detailed game stats, and oftentimes, a gamified experience that combines trivia with match predictions.

NFL game streamed on Twitch with an Extension that allows viewers to make game projections.

New stadium technology contributes to an enhanced viewing experience as well. For example, the LA Clippers recently announced a new live viewing experience that allows spectators to choose the camera angle, view dynamic graphics featuring player stats and movement, and enjoy easy access to game highlights, effectively syncing the entire digital experience with the game.

LA Clippers augmented viewing experience for NBA games.

What’s next?

These are just a few examples of companies and startups that are changing the way we consume live content. At Ex Machina Group, we expect to see explosive growth for interactive concepts that combine low latency live streaming with the exciting and engaging gameplay formats that are poised to define the next generation of live entertainment. Theses formats are not only developed by existing broadcast companies for media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitch or Facebook — they can be also owned and operated by startups, brands, and corporations.

Want to know more about our experience building groundbreaking apps for TV shows? Do you want to bring your live streaming experience into the future using interactivity? Or are you looking to create your very own low latency live trivia app? We can help you get started by developing the framework, concept, and technology to support your big idea. Take a look at our website to get acquainted with our past projects, or contact us directly.
 
P.S. Ex Machina is growing! We are looking for passionate developers, designers, and project managers in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Montreal. Consult all of our available positions on our website.