Getting Under The Skin of the Global Live Streaming Culture

Written by Chris Baxter
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Smile for the camera: Why live streaming is such big business

There is no denying that we now live in a world that is 24/7 connected, in every sense of the word. As consumers, we have become impatient and more demanding than ever before. The internet era has ushered in an age of convenience, giving consumers the information and entertainment they desire on tap. Improvements to internet speeds and connection reliability have allowed live streaming to become firmly embedded within everyday culture. The concept of live streaming has taken engagement and interaction to whole new levels across a range of industries, some of which we’ll now explore in greater detail.

The live streaming phenomenon is transforming professional sport

Although live broadcasting of sporting events is nothing new, the ability for broadcasters to stream live action to online viewers as well as traditional television viewers has helped to bring even more fans closer to their favourite sports, teams or players. Some of the biggest sporting events on the planet are now broadcast online to subscribers, from the FIFA World Cup to the Super Bowl.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, the NFL season is now streamed live via DirecTV to over two million members, generating over $1 billion in revenue for the gridiron industry. Across the pond, the English Football League (EFL) has begun allowing overseas fans to stream home and away games online via iFollow accounts. Furthermore, this season will see fans within the UK able to stream away midweek games, allowing supporters to watch their team and feel part of their season, even if they cannot afford to drive 200 miles to watch them in person.

Place your bets please: A new era of interactivity in iGaming

It is not difficult to see why the iGaming industry has embraced live streaming with open arms, too. The live-streamed casino experience allows players to join the hustle and bustle of a brick-and-mortar casino, without having to leave the confines of their own homes. Players can interact in real-time with professionally-trained dealers and croupiers via the live chat box, along with the other human players at their table. Most sites utilise optical character recognition (OCR) technology to provide statistics overlaid on-screen, which help players make informed betting decisions at the tables.

The ability for live streams to create new online communities also helped to lay the foundations for the fast-emerging eSports industry. Video gaming has been a huge revenue-driver in the global entertainment industry since the 1980s when home entertainment systems were first distributed into the mainstream. The advent of the internet helped to take the interactivity of computer games to a whole new level by allowing individuals to play with other human gamers as opposed to simply relying on the intuition of the console’s Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Introducing Twitch: The number-one portal for live streamed video gamers

The rise of the live streaming platform Twitch has certainly helped cement eSports as a credible industry. Today, the platform boasts more than 100 million monthly users. Professional gamers can now stream their live gaming sessions to fellow gamers and beginners; giving viewers hints and tips and allowing them to revel in their successes and failures. It is almost as if they were sitting alongside them in their living room or bedroom.

Some of these Twitch streamers have even become genuine eSports personalities, with budding gamers logging-on nightly to watch their favourite gamers do battle. Twitch has become so integral to eSports that it is now more popular than traditional broadcast networks such as CNN and MSNBC. Twitch boasted 962,000 concurrent daily viewers on average in January, considerably more than CNN (783,000) and MSNBC (885,000) respectively.

As millennials grow increasingly accustomed to living streaming, it’s hard to see the technology dying out any time soon. In fact, it won’t be long until the next generation begin to acknowledge the value of live streaming both as an entertainment and learning tool.

Read 3285 times Last modified on Monday, 09 November 2020 20:10
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Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter

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