Times are a-changing. And nothing is changing faster, it seems, than how we consume the news. Thanks to emerging platforms, convenience is now the name of the game and to survive you have to be able to both deliver what people want on their schedules and to their favorite devices – and one of the best ways to do that is live-streaming.
Let’s start by looking at two of the most popular live-streaming apps, Periscope and Meerkat. Live streaming has been embraced by journalists, musicians, and athletes – even business owners looking to provide their audience with behind-the-scenes footage. Periscope, now owned by Twitter, allows you to re-watch videos for 24 hours after the initial broadcast—a feature not offered by Meerkat. Periscope also provides broadcasters with analytics on how the video performed (viewers, average duration, etc.).1
These apps have shown a huge and growing audience what live-streaming is and how attractive it can be. That same audience is looking for local news, sports and weather that can be streamed at a moment’s touch – which is why you might be hurting your brand and business without it.
The recent 2016 Rio Olympics are a perfect example of how important it is. Every four years the Olympic games occur, and every four years NBC tries to find a way to convert sports into a primetime reality show. Sports fans go nuts and curse the network. But now it’s 2016 and so many sports fans have cut the cord, sick and tired of commercial television in the United States, eager to find an alternative. Streaming is now as important as over-the-air or cable broadcasting.3
But it’s not without its issues. “The way we’re watching television has changed,” said Billie Gold, vice president and director of programming research at Amplifi.
NBC has been scoring weak ratings ever since the opening ceremony last Friday. While the network is dominating other broadcasters, nightly viewership is down from London, particularly in the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic. While Olympics live-streaming isn’t impacting the TV ratings in a serious way, overall streaming is – because people can watch clips online. And while the network is setting internal records for its Rio live-streams, the alternative mode of viewing is not cannibalizing traditional TV in a meaningful way.2
Thus far, live-streaming seems to help increase brand awareness and is good for business. A recent SocialMediaToday.com infographic reported some pretty remarkable statistics about video consumption and live streaming including the fact that people spend three times longer watching live video compared to video that’s not live.4
And as recently as July 2016, Fox Broadcasting Co. announced it would begin live-streaming its primetime programming in a bid to target viewers who want to tune into programs on the web instead of traditional TV. Other broadcasters have already begun live-streaming their content, with varying business models and reach into the market. CBS, for example, has its CBS All Access service, which made its debut in 2014.5
If you’ve not thought about it for your news department, you might want to – before your audience deserts you for a news department that is.