How Live Streams Are Moving Away from Traditional TV

Wed, Jul 25, 2018

When most people think about live streaming, the first picture that comes to mind is either a choppy, unsteady video being recorded from your Facebook friend’s smartphone, or a gamer sitting at his PC playing Fortnite. But once in awhile, you’ll see live streams that are professionally produced, like Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp Q&A live stream on Facebook last month, used to promote the launch of the movie.

The truth is, companies & organizations are starting to see tremendous value in producing live content and broadcasting on social media platforms. 80% of people would rather watch a live stream from a brand than read a sales-pitchy blog post, with even more preferring live to social posts. When you have more people spending more time on social media than watching TV these days, it’s very clear where the trend is going.

Unscripted and Candid

But people don’t want to see traditional TV shows on live streams. The foundation for live content is built upon its unedited and unscripted side, with viewers yearning for a raw, honest experience. It’s the spontaneity of these shows that catch people’s attentions.

A recent broadcast by White Castle (yes, the fast food franchise) on their Facebook Page showcases this perfectly. Check out this witty live stream where the hosts incorporated humor, presented a product and responded to comments all live:

“Humor plays a big role in keeping people engaged on branded live streams, so our goal was to be as witty as possible while also promoting White Castle’s new chicken rings. We used those crazy-hilarious TV jewelry auction shows as the premise, pretending that the chicken rings were diamonds or some sort of priceless jewelry. We even had someone surprise his girlfriend with a live marriage proposal...and a chicken ring” said Carrie Stett, Director of the live show.

The same can be said about live Q&As, breaking news and even sportscasts like The MMA Hour, where TV-structured shows meet an online audience who want a slice of authenticity.

The New Way to Live

“Viewers don’t want the same kind of content as traditional TV, where shows are over-polished and over-produced. In the live streaming space, viewers tune in for something candid, unscripted and unique. That’s the direction live media is going.” - Carrie Stett.

Live streaming presents an opportunity for content creators to be experimental in ways that would never pass in traditional TV or Video-on-Demand content, yet still reach a wide audience.

White Castle’s Facebook Page already had over 1.2 million followers, which resulted in over 200k views in the 40-minute broadcast. With Facebook Live, it now lives on-demand on their Page and continues to have a life after the event.

“Viewers on live platforms want to interact with content that is personable. They want to be able to engage with brands and relate to them. White Castle were great because they were willing to take some chances and do something innovative and it paid off.”

But just as content is important, so too is maintaining robust video all throughout the show. Carrie and her team relied on the Teradek Bond to broadcast the show and ensure the video stayed exceptional the entire time.

The Bond is a streaming encoder that sends video over IP networks, using up to five 4G LTE USB modems for maximum redundancy. This ensures that if a single connection encountered latency issues, the extra networks would fill in to eliminate this.

“We always carry two Bonds with us, one as the main encoder and one as a backup. When you’re working with clients like Facebook or major companies like White Castle, the quality of the content and video reflects on their brand reputation. Having bonded Internet gives us the ability to broadcast without having to worry about Internet strength, and allows us me to focus on directing a great show for my clients.”

Carrie Stett directs live and traditional content. She is represented by Washington Square Films for commercials. Check out her portfolio and contact her at www.carriestett.com.

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