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When it comes to technology, there are often clear-cut winners and losers. Sure, every company gets kudos for its efforts in furthering the industry, but when it comes down to it, the winners are determined by public opinion, and, well, sales. In this sense, public opinion can change much faster than sales and is generally the more valuable of the two.
We’ve talked before about live streaming and where it might go next, but in today’s blog, we’re going to be discussing the winners and losers (but mostly the winners) of live streaming. Yes, it is still fairly new in its inception but many industries have used live streaming in innovative ways to capture large audiences.
If you search “live streaming” on Google, you’re guaranteed to find one of two things within the first five choices: sports and reality TV or game shows. When you think about it, these are the only two genres that it’s even possible to show “live”. All other genres require a fair amount of post-production and it’s simply not feasible to work live streaming into the equation.
Outside of being the easiest to execute, why are these genres performing so well? It might have something to do with the channels and platforms they’re executing on. One tweet from this week’s Adweek chat stood out, as it echoes the same reasoning why live streaming for these genres is so successful:



Live streaming sports and media planning certainly have their differences, but they share the same strategy. Not so ironically, audiences of sports and reality television use the same social channels to stay up-to-date with current news. Major sporting events – UFC, NFL (Sunday Night Football), Olympics – use hashtags to show support for teams, players and fans worldwide. Reality television does the same. It allows audiences to tune in, regardless of where they are in the world, to join in on relevant discussions and share their opinion.
The reason they do this is quite simple: because the experience is immersive and makes them feel like they’re actually there. With sports, tweets, retweets and favourites are seen as “cheers” which fuels teams and players around the league. With reality television, it can be used as a way to vote for your favourite star and lets you feel like you’re making a difference.
Not many other shows can do that. While social chatter for season finale’s of drama shows isn’t necessarily lower, it is surely different. Tweets for shows like Game of Thrones, Suits and Sons of Anarchy are more reaction based and less cheerful and (generally) less emotional, which makes Twitter an attractive platform for sports and reality television fans.
Enter the NFL. Months ago, Twitter signed a deal to live stream a select bunch of NFL games throughout the season. Yesterday marked the debut for the new Twitter service, which resulted in major kudos for the channel. While the broadcast wasn’t available in all areas, it was heavily regarded and has already sparked opinion of the beginning of cable-TV subscription cancellations.
When looked at objectively, it’s easy to crown Twitter, the NFL, other sports brands and reality television shows the winners of live streaming. Whether it is because they faced the fewest amount of obstacles remains to be seen, but we’re positive other genres will take a stab at live streaming in 2017.
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Chris Stasiuk

Author Chris Stasiuk

Chris is commercial director and founder of SVG, a Toronto based video content agency.

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