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Live Streaming — Turning Gears at Godspeed

Remember the days when we used to sit in front of our bulky TV sets waiting for a new series, debating over the daily news, watching our favorite weekly game shows or the sports match broadcasted live? Many of us don’t even remember the VHS cassettes used to record broadcast television since Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, and other streaming players took over.

This shift from fighting over what channel and series or match will play on the Television to having instant access to it, whenever and wherever you want with extremely affordable monthly subscriptions has fundamentally shifted the users to these OTT platforms. And factoring in the influence of social media, smartphones, increased internet speed, and the addition of Live Streaming to the mix, the way people, especially GenZ audiences, consume content has taken a whole new turn.

Hours spent by video consumers in a typical week on video content worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2021, by platform. Source — Statista
Hours spent by video consumers in a typical week on video content worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2021, by platform. Source — Statista

Live Streaming in the Mix

What’s Live Streaming? It’s simply streaming videos in real-time over the internet without being recorded or stored. When we think about live streaming, we think about platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms. But live streaming dates back to when we were still using CRT TV sets and VHS cassettes. Hard to remember those days? Let’s take a quick glance at its history.

The Rise of Live Streaming

On June 24, 1993, a couple of computer scientists and engineers from a band called Severe Tire Damage, wanting to test out new technology, performed their gig online. The stream that started as a test became the first instance of live streaming both video & audio and could be watched as far away as Australia. Given the technology and infrastructure at that time, the quality was poor, but it was, nonetheless, a proof of concept.

1993–2016: The journey of Live Streaming Technology — Timeline. Source — Rocket Capital
1993–2016: The journey of Livestream Technology

Some major events later, in 2005, YouTube was born, and in 2008 the platform hosted its first-ever live event — YouTube Live. But before YouTube took the plunge to make the feature publicly accessible in 2013, in 2011, Twitch.tv (formerly known as Justin.tv) launched a new streaming platform designed for video games, gaining 45 million viewers per month in 2 years. And with the significant increase in popularity of mobile devices and the adoption of live streaming by social media platforms, the way we communicate, consume, create, and share content — transformed.

Source — Dreamcast
Source — Dreamcast

The Global Live Streaming Market

To say that the COVID-19 made live-streaming the ‘jam’ of the present time won’t be an exaggeration. In the past decade, this technology has made strides but combining it with the effects of the pandemic, not only do billions of people watch live stream videos, but live video broadcast services have now become the go-to tools for businesses. According to Market Research Future, Global Live Streaming Market is projected to reach US$ 247 Billion by 2027, growing at a 28.1% CAGR.

Leading content category for live streamers worldwide in 2020, by age group. Source — Statista, Rocket Capital
Leading content category for live streamers worldwide in 2020, by age group. Source — Statista

This growth is attributed to the surging popularity of esports and video games, growing preference for live streaming over social posts, increasing adoption of smartphones coupled with faster internet, and increasing need for live streaming technology for better brand engagement.

Segments of Live Streaming

Over the years, Live streaming has become an effective and impactful way to accomplish goals & objectives in businesses that leverage video content. It allows brands & people to reach and interact with millions of people across the world. Here are the major segments of the Live Streaming Technology -

  • Events, Entertainment, and Media: From waiting for newspapers in the morning to a notification on smartphones — people can now watch the events/breaking news unfold as it happens. And with the flexibility to watch whatever they want through the medium of their preference at their convenience without the timetables of traditional TV broadcasting, OTT platforms thrived and recorded about 383 million subscribers in 2021.
    Where is live streaming in this picture? Sports, Beauty Pageants, Award Shows, Reality TV Shows, and Concerts, in addition to the TV broadcasting, are all live-streamed on the OTT platforms. It adds a layer of flexibility to watch the events live with the world from anywhere!
  • Esports & Gaming: Live Streaming saw a massive rise in popularity due to video games. Players flocked to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook to showcase what they were playing, and the viewers followed. Just like traditional sports, gaming doesn’t only create moments of excitement but also instills a sense of community. Viewers are getting roped in not just because of the gameplay but also to feel connected & know more about the personality of their favorite player and to spend time with like-minded people. Here is a breakdown of the popular streaming platforms worldwide by the number of hours watched —
Number of hours watched on leading gaming live stream platforms worldwide. Source- Statista, Rocket Capital
Number of hours watched on leading gaming live stream platforms worldwide. Source- Statista

In Q3 2021, Twitch dominated the landscape and controlled about 70.5% of the market share, with Facebook at 15.7% and YouTube at 13.8%. The high engagement and dedication of the audience have attracted broadcasters and big players in the industry to invest in real-time videos, interactivity features, and gamification.

  • Education/Professional — The EdTech industry boomed during the pandemic. Schools and businesses flocked to a live classroom model broadcasting live sessions and visual demonstrations. In addition to the Education industry, during the pandemic, to function normally, organizations leveraged platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet, etc.
  • ECommerce — As the live streaming technology penetrated deeper into the ecosystem, it gave rise to two more terms — social commerce & live commerce. The pandemic exponentially shifted consumers to social media applications like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and others. With that,eCommerce live streaming became a trend expected to grow even more popular in 2022. A significant portion of e-commerce flocked towards “live” with its products and conducting live event concepts such as see-now-buy-now strategies, enhancing the shopping experience of the end-users.
Global increase in live stream shopping purchases during the pandemic

According to a report in Astound Commerce, there was a 76% average increase in Livestream shopping during the pandemic. Social Commerce Applications like Meesho, Evermos, Glowroad, etc., also saw a massive surge.

  • IRL or “In real life”- The content of the “In-real-life” streamer ranges from reading books to the audience (like Andy Kaufman), interviewing people on the street, knitting, cooking, eating, and basically everything they do in their day-to-day lives. Donations or “tips” from viewers are the most important source of revenue for these streamers. The unique selling proposition in this is the “viewer” themselves.

Conclusion

At Rocket Capital, we believe that as the 5G rolls out, live streaming will undergo some major revamps and dominate the online video consumption. It will become the new “normal” of socializing with audiences from across the globe. The marriage of live streaming and metaverse will eventually expand the hybrid and virtual events to a third dimension, pivoting both users and creators to the platforms capable of supporting these interactions. It will emerge as a more powerful marketing tool in the coming years.

If you are excited about this new media technology and want to share your experience, please reach out to us at mark@rocket.capital and akarsh@rocket.capital.

Rocket Capital

Rocket Capital is a VC fund focusing on New Media Technology start-ups globally. We invest in pre-Series A, Series A & B companies and help founders scale in Asia.

Latest investment news from Rocket Capital — Admix raises $25M Series B to scale up in-game ads, and prep for metaverse gaming

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Rocket Capital is a VC fund investing in New Media Technology start-ups globally. We invest in pre-Series A, Series A & B companies and help founders scale in Asia.

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Avani Jain

Avani Jain

Marketing Analyst at Rocket Capital

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