Video streaming has grown into a primary method for viewing video content. At the height of its popularity it was used as a means for “cord cutters” to save money by watching their favorite shows online, rather than paying a cable company. Armed with this insight, online video streaming companies have taken advantage of the plugged-in generation and have taken it one step further, by building original programming portfolios and tapping into live streaming content.
Recently, Google has joined the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, by launching their paid subscription service, YouTube Red. Capitalizing on its reputation as a video powerhouse, Red started as an ad-free space for viewers to experience uninterrupted videos. It is now offering members original content featuring popular YouTube personalities. Considering video bloggers and social media “icons” have some of the biggest and most loyal followers, it’s no wonder YouTube decided to leverage the opportunity and tap into an already engaged audience. Their biggest selling point for video streaming is the ability for subscribers to view content offline and download videos, which is ideal for the metropolitan commuter and travelers.
Original programming is definitely a nice cherry on top; however convenience, flexibility, and cost are the main draws for consumers to make the leap to digital video streaming. According to the Cowen and Company report entitled, “Netflix: Upgrade to Outperform on Improving Sub Trends and Rising Original Content,” only 23% of respondents cited original programming as a reason for subscribing to Netflix. While original programming may not have prospective subscribers coming in droves, studios want to be where the eyeballs are and in many cases, bypassing TV networks to partner with the online video streaming services of the world.
Live broadcasting is starting to see the same level of success and is quickly being adopted by those seeking live entertainment, or looking to share live video, via mobile devices. Applications like Meerkat and Periscope have been around for a good part of a year and allow users to stream live video on a public platform. Brands have even jumped on the bandwagon by incorporating live content into their marketing mix. And they are proving quite successful. “A July 2015 study by Izea, which connects media content creators and brands, found that 61% of US social media users polled ranked social messages on Periscope as the most effective marketing tactic, ahead of TV commercials, print ads, search ads and social messages on other networks, among other ad types” (Paul Verna, eMarketer).
In the early part of 2016, Facebook implemented Facebook Live that allows users to post live videos to their timeline and notify friends and family to view. Because Facebook is already a strong social network, monitoring views, shares and comments are made simple – an ideal situation for any brand or anyone trying to build a fan base.
While it is evident online video has had, and will continue to have, an impact on the TV landscape, it also affords brands the opportunity to be innovative and change the way they market to consumers. Native advertising and content marketing will become a primary way to intercept audiences digitally. Video streaming allows for authentic, real-time interaction and brings a human element to digital marketing.