The State of Live Video: Mobile, Global, and More Immersive Than Ever

It’s been less than two months since video-streaming app Meerkat launched, and not much longer since Twitter’s Persicope joined the digital scene.

Brands didn’t waste any time jumping on board with the new apps.

Marketers are well acquainted with video’s worth. It’s a medium consumers crave, gobbling it up on desktops and, more recently, their mobile devices. While live-streaming video isn’t new, the ease with which smartphone users can now produce live mobile video is following in the footsteps of video advertising and Snaps to become a tertiary Internet content stream. And marketers are eager to integrate it into their campaigns.

Among the companies experimenting with live-streaming events are Mountain Dew, Red Bull, and Spotify, all of which have used Periscope. “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon has used Meerkat to stream his opening monologue, while automaker Smart USA employed Meerkat to debut its new model at this year’s New York Auto Show. With mobile video on the rise (it’s expected to account for 72 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2019), these apps could be the ideal tool to help brands connect with busy, on-the-go consumers. But the value of live video goes even deeper.

Let’s take a look.

A World of Mobile Viewers

Earlier this month, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that mobile video consumption has increased by 50 percent in the US and 42 percent in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa since 2014. Apps are now the primary method for viewing mobile video, with 48 percent of respondents more likely to watch a video through an app than on a mobile site. In other words, consumers increasingly favor the convenience and simplicity of mobile apps over mobile websites and even desktop video. It’s a big world out there, full of potential viewers.

Live Video Can Drive Word of Mouth, Action

Brandlive explores the appeal of live video in its new report, “Content, Conversation, and Conversion: Using Live Interactive Video to Bridge the Gap Between Physical Products and Digital Audiences,” with some interesting results. According to the interactive video platform provider, enhancing brand communications with live video can strengthen customer relationships, boost brand storytelling, humanize companies, and generate longer view times than pre-recorded video. Adding social interaction, meanwhile, stands to make content feel even more relevant.

Case in point: Bourbon brand Maker’s Mark has been hosting live virtual tastings wherein consumers watch mixologists through a customized online platform. According to Brandlive, the brand’s #RedFriday event (so named after a drink recipe featuring Maker’s Mark) generated more than 613,000 Twitter impressions as viewers shared their experiences with the event online.


Similar sites have been created for Rockwell Tools and TaylorMade Golf to afford the brands the ability to host live demos. The TaylorMade video stream saw 78 percent of the brand’s target audience click through to schedule a demo or complete a purchase.

Live Video is Timely

In addition to appealing to consumers’ insatiable appetite for video, real time content is predisposed to being fresh and relevant. On the recent Summer Solstice, CPG brand Nestle launched a branded Periscope campaign that used multiple video streams to promote its Drumstick brand of ice cream.

The company worked with social influencers to create authentic summertime scenarios, including trips to amusement parks, the pool and the beach. According to reports, the Drumstick brand purchased Promoted Tweets to drive traffic to the clips.


There’s Room For Longform, Too

Mobile apps like Snapchat are facilitating the creation and distribution of short videos, but there’s a demand for longform mobile video content, too. In the IAB’s Mobile Video Usage report, the company states that 36 percent of surveyed worldwide mobile users watch videos 5 minutes long at least once a day.

The US, Canada and East Asia in particular appear to favor long mobile videos, including full-length TV shows and movies. In North America, an average of 30 percent use their smartphones to watch TV shows, while 20 percent do the same with films. Consumers’ increased comfort with – and reliance on – their mobile devices represents an opportunity for marketers to distribute longer live broadcasts and events. Live streams needn’t be abrupt, and that opens up more possibilities for richer, more immersive campaigns.

Now more than ever, consumers are ready for live video. Are you ready to create it?

Homagepage image via Shutterstock.

Related reading

A QR code which leads to the URL for the ClickZ article about QR codes. Meta.