Since the turn of the millenium, when online video content became a mainstream phenomenon with platforms like Youtube and Netflix, the global internet traffic has grown from 75.000 TB a month in 2000 to more than 200.000.000 TB a month in 2019. Unsurprisingly, that increase is mainly traced by the rise of video which makes 80% of today’s online traffic.
Video has been a success story ever since, but why is it live streaming that makes such a difference now? Live Streaming is seen as the most transparent and trusted form of content. It’s immediacy and rawness makes it not only authentic but also engaging. There is that feeling that anything can happen and the format of streaming live creates a two-way connection between the consumers and the creator with an instant feedback loop.
What is more, live video ultimately has the same advertising possibilities as regular video content, however, the ROI from live video is even better as users spend 3x longer watching live videos than on-demand according to Facebook. So it is no wonder the big video and social media platform by the likes of Youtube, Facebook/Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have made significant investments in that space in order to increase the overall engagement of their platforms.
However, especially with video live streaming, we see that the traffic is still a bit messy and the setup is rather complex. Most live experiences tend to centre around an individual streamer, meaning that they have one input signal (eg Smartphone) to capture the signal and sending the same signal to one streaming target (eg Facebook Live). This works for individual users like Youtubers streaming an unpacking of the latest goodies they got. But think of event organizers live streaming their conference stages, media corporates live streaming breaking news or consumer companies live streaming a press conference about a new product launch. All those use cases have to be able to stream various ingests from live video signals to various streaming targets like Youtube Live, Facebook Live or your own website at the same time.
Consequently, most media teams currently just lack the tools and know how which is why they resort to expensive and complex hardware solutions or do not live stream at all. Knowing that they miss out and that they might be late to the game they still struggle with adapting to the changes in the video and live streaming ecosystem.
This is exactly where Contentflow comes into play. Contentflow is a cloud-based all-in-one live streaming solution which allows media teams to distribute live content with optimal ease of use. Their mission is to further democratize live streaming technology and thus make it a far-reaching entertainment and communication medium for a variety of use cases. The key feature of Contentflow — the setup of multiple input/output live streaming which is described in the chart below — is enriched with further useful functions like post production, re-streaming, cloud-based live clipping and audience analytics. All being done live within the cloud-based platform and without the hassle of installing expensive additional hardware and software or employ experienced video editors.
For example, the OMR conference in Hamburg — leading digital marketing event in Europe with more than 40.000 attendees — is using the Contentflow platform in order to live broadcast 26 streams from 3 conference stages and several more masterclasses. The event spans over two days and generated more than 10h of live streamed content. In the end, the OMR conference is not only increasing the average screen time while operating with 40% less resources due to better workflows, but also increasing revenues from ads and sponsorships due to the live streaming setup with Contentflow.
At Speedinvest, we are looking into the video space since several years with early investments in Bitmovin (market leader in transcoding digital video and audio to streaming formats), Hitbox (a live-streaming eSports website) and Admix (a programmatic ad platform for VR/AR). We are now more than happy to add Contentflow to our portfolio family and are excited to work together with the team and our co-investors Investmentbank Berlin and Betaworks out of New York City who joined us in the $2.2M seed round. We strongly believe that high usability, and coverage of multiple use cases will lead to further democratization of the growing live streaming market and we are confident that Contentflow is well positioned to push that development.
The Contentflow team, consisting of a dozen people, is spread over three offices in Germany and US while Sebastian, co-founder and CEO, is setting up the new office in New York City in order to break into the US market where live streaming is even further developed than in their home market. Sebastian is happy to grow his startup out of the media capital of the world and we look forward to supporting Contentflow in their mission to make live streaming better for everyone.