Use of Live Video is Increasing Amongst Companies

Companies are increasingly using live video broadcasting. Source: AdWeek

While it’s already been determined that placing ads on live videos is quite powerful (for more on this, see this article), companies themselves are increasingly using live video broadcasting to engage consumers and reach large audiences without the use of ads. Branded live streaming allows consumers to be more intimately involved with companies with glimpses into otherwise inaccessible moments and locations.

Several companies have already been using live video and are taking advantage of the holiday season to test its effectiveness. Taco Bell, for instance, live broadcasted its fourth annual Friendsgiving feast a week prior to Thanksgiving, according to a recent AdWeek article. The 150,000 people who tuned in to the event on Facebook Live were able to experience the celebration that was once only enjoyed by celebrities and social media influencers. Since the broadcast that took place on November 17, the video has reached 1.2 million views. These have been impressive results for the use of live video by Taco Bell, and according to Jozlynn Rush, the company’s social and digital strategist, Taco bell plans to continue to use Facebook Live in the future months.

Lowe’s used live video broadcasting to unveil Black Friday sales this year. Source: AdWeek

Lowe’s is another company that has hopped on the live video bandwagon, as the company used live video to unveil 10 Black Friday sale products. Lowe’s was able to reach 32,000 people live, and up to 891,000 people with the video over the next two days. There are many other companies and individuals that have been using live video this holiday season, such as Bill Nye, who hosted a fundraiser for the nation’s parks on Giving Tuesday using Facebook Live.

There are several platforms on which companies and individuals can broadcast live video, such as YouTube Live, Periscope, and Facebook Live, according to the AdWeek article. YouTube Live was first launched in 2011 and was used primarily to live stream presidential debates. Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, was launched in March of 2015 and has since powered 200 million live broadcasts. The newest of these, Facebook Live, was launched in August of 2015 and seems to be gaining traction with its large audience. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has also recently launched its own version of live video, in which users can broadcast up to one hour of live video. Unlike on the other live video platforms, however, the videos on Instagram disappear once the broadcast ends.

The use of live video seems to be growing in popularity. According to the AdWeek article, the research firm MarketsandMarkets forecasts that by 2021 the live video industry will be a $70 billion industry. Facebook Live is proving successful, with 10 times more comments on live videos than on regular videos. Michelle Klein, Facebook’s director of marketing for North America, believes that live video “is something we’ll see more of,” according to the AdWeek article. On the other hand, Jessica Liu, an analyst at Forrester, believes that while live video is likely to stick around, much of its success is due to its novelty and that “it’s not necessarily going to explode like we might expect.”

While it seems that live video is convenient and increasingly popular with companies and individuals, it is still quite new. For now, forecasts signal good news for live video in 2017, but its long-term future is yet to be known.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • What are some of the benefits that live video offers companies?
  • Research other companies that have recently used live video. Do they seem to have benefitted from it?
  • How might the increased use of live video by companies affect current advertising?