The Current State and Future Outlook of Livestreaming

The Rise of Real-Time Content Creators & What it Means for Digital Content

Livestreaming is growing in popularity as yet another platform for digital content creation. From scripted episodes to impromptu interaction, new communities are forming around the personal brands that connect users in real-time.

Digital influence has never been more influential, and now more than ever, entertainment executives and brand strategists must look beyond the traditional perspectives that defined yesterday’s “celebrity” and entertainment platforms. Establishing new channels for digital content creation will foster more engaging and rewarding opportunities for brands.

Female taking a photo with a mobile phone

As seen in my Forbes article, I have found the key trends that outline the state and future of livestreaming and real-time digital content creators and audiences:

Why YouTube no longer holds its monopoly on video content

While YouTube has largely held the monopoly on transforming online personalities into bona fide celebrities, its domination is a thing of the past. The golden age of YouTube is losing its luster in the wake of increased competition with apps like Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram, and livestreaming providers such as Periscope, YouNow and Meerkat.

What the beginning of livestreaming tells us about the future of digital content

In 2007, Justin.tv and USTREAM popularized livestreaming platforms, dedicating entire networks for anyone to broadcast their life in real-time. Similarly, YouTube launched a live video service in 2011, with Facebook following the trend as it invests in episodic content from livestreaming creators. Despite the category’s struggle to gain mass popularity over the years, live video seems to be the next frontier as new platforms are rolling out each year.

Where livestreaming is today

Now an entirely new breed of livestreaming apps is gaining in popularity. With a perfect combination of mobile devices, simple user interfaces, and a fixed feature set, apps such as Periscope, MeerkatYouNow and Blab are turning everyday moments into the equivalent of live programming. Unlike YouTube and Facebook, single-purpose mobile apps are simplifying the experience for creators and viewers.

How livestreaming interacts with Generation C (Connected)

Both Twitter’s Periscope and Bebo’s Blah are finding new ways to interact with the Generation C (Connected). Periscope allows users to “explore the world through someone else’s eyes” as it allows Twitter flowers a glimpse into their favorite host’s world. Similarly, Blah is another take on livestreaming as it facilities live engagement via Google Hangouts. Both allow users to comment and engage in discussion in real-time, connecting the host with livestreaming users.

Why this is just the beginning in livestreaming

When it comes to livestreaming, we haven’t seen anything yet. The landscape is still very new, undeveloped, and incredibly volatile with more players, pivots, acquisitions, and failures in the future. While YouTube, Facebook, and others are competing on multiple fronts to cultivate creators and monetize popular content, dedicated livestreaming apps will establish new market segments across platforms.

An entire industry is emerging around these popular livestreaming apps to explore promotional and revenue deals beyond just content. There has never been a time when original content, new talent, and individual opportunity has been so accessible and attainable in the video community. As these trends continue to evolve, we will see how livestreaming services are disrupting the traditional perspectives on digital influence and its role in consumers’ lives.

This post was written by Brian Solis – a Principal Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet Company. Read more about the latest trends in livestreaming in his latest column on Forbes.

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