The Future of Live Video: 26 Influencers Share Their Thoughts

Live video came into its own this year as a social media staple. The past year in live video has changed the way we interact with brands, artists, and organizations. Producers are reaching new audiences with tools like Facebook Live and Livestream’s Mevo camera.

The new year ahead of us will mean incredible things for the future of live video. What do thought leaders predict for this powerful new medium? Livestream asked 26 live video influencers to share their thoughts:

Jesse Hertzberg, CEO, Livestream: “I believe the focus in the livestream industry will shift to the content creators more so than the content distributors. Tools to make this possible, like Mevo, will continue the march of progress, and quality “TV” will move further and further away from the rarified confines of the broadcast booth.”

Al Roker, Weatherman and Entertainer, Roker Media: “Livestreaming is NOW; unique, interactive, attention-grabbing, newsworthy, and tailor-made for a #FOMO generation.”

Sam Sheffer, Creative Producer, Mashable: “One billion people use Facebook on a daily basis, and now a large portion of them can go live at a moment’s notice, and share what they’re seeing. And what you see is what you get. It’s raw. It’s real.”

Brian Tong, Host/Editor, CNET: “Live video is the ultimate form of engagement.”

Stephanie Leke, Media Relations Manager, New Republic: “In 2017 we’re going to see a major uptick in the use of live video as an added revenue stream for brands and media organizations.”

Susan Piver, Founder, Open Heart Project: “The beauty of live video is the human component.”

Chapin Clark, EVP/Managing Director, R/GA: “Video isn’t reliant on written or spoken words to tell an affecting story. It’s universal.”

Alicianne Rand, Former VP of Marketing, NewsCred: “In 2017, video will take center stage as the format of choice.”

Michelle Morrison, Organizer/Host, Designersandgeeks.com: “Technology continues to break down the barrier between people’s highlight reel and what they experience in the moment.”

Mark De Couteau, Product Manager, EDGESport/WME: “Success will come to companies who are able to make improvements quickly by listening to their users.”

Sarah Lacy, Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Pando Daily: “I still don’t see a world where everyone is a highly paid ‘life-caster’ ever emerging.”

Max Haot, Founder, Livestream: “Now anyone can create professional quality live video content.”

Will McInnes, CEO, Brandwatch: “Take everything that’s addictive about real-time social and add moving sound and color – bada bing! Is it any wonder consumers love it?”

Amora Brown, Operations, Hack Reactor: “Expect live video to become as common as texting in 2017.”

Kathryn Minshew, Co-founder, The Muse: “Live video is a phenomenal medium for engagement because of the rawness, immediacy and authenticity of it.”

Toby Daniels, Founder, Social Media Week: “Live — powered by social media — has the potential to reach more people, faster and on more devices and screens than ever before.”

Jason Lemkin, CEO/Founder, SaaStr: “Look at how your kids (or your friends’ kids) use YouTube. The enterprise will be like that.”

Danielle Bullen, Founder/Designer, Diasporadic: “The line between consumer and creator is becoming more and more blurred.”

Mark Kornfilt, Founder/SVP Product and Technology, Livestream: “Consumers are more and more expecting brands, organizations, and the companies they work at, to communicate through livestreaming.”

Max Altschuler, CEO, Sales Hacker: “Live video is the next best thing to face-to-face conversation.”

Michael Krigsman, CEO/Founder, CXO Talk: “Video activates our senses – sound, visuals – and brings us into a scene, making it come alive.”

Sherna Lee, Marketing Director, MOJO Marketing and Media: “Brands that nail live video will be those that figure out the type of content that works well live versus just going live.”

Niv Dror, Social Key, Product Hunt: “Facebook Live and Periscope matured from being new apps for early adopters to utilities that anyone can use in the mainstream. Mobile networks have really improved to make this possible.”

Keegan Forte, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Ceros: “It’s a natural next step for those social channels to become smarter on how to monetize live video streaming with brands.”

Dayanada Nanjundappa, Founder/General Manager of India and SVP Technology, Platform Products, Livestream: “I believe the solutions we offer at Livestream will play a pivotal role in providing a complete solution for producers to showcase their events live.”

Phil Worthington, Founder, SVP, Research and Development, Video Products, Livestream: “New tools will emerge that simultaneously lower the creation barrier while at the same time driving production values up in new and ever more intuitive ways. ”

For more information about the state of live video – including in-depth predictions, raw data, and resources, visit our 2016 Live Video Retrospective.

[Case Study] How ISC Sports Network blends live streaming with video subscriptions

When Greg Maish, President of ISC Sports Network, began using Vimeo Livestream, his goal was to live stream sports from around Indiana into the homes of surrounding communities. “We had this vision of a single place where people can come and see local sports,” he said. “We wanted it to be accessible and readily available, for all of our sports fans.”

In just four years, ISC Sports has grown from strictly live streaming games into a full-fledged online channel, using Vimeo OTT to offer live and on-demand sports content. Learn more about how Maish used Vimeo to scale his local sports business, grow his audience, and monetize video content in our interview below.

Growing from live streams to on-demand video

Working in telecommunications for most of his career, Maish understood the trajectory of cord-cutting behavior, especially those who opt into OTT content, or services that go “over the top” of traditional cable providers. “At the end of the day, we all are TV consumers — but we are also very much OTT consumers, whether it’s Roku, Amazon, Chromecast, or even on our mobile devices,” he said.

After digging into his viewers’ behavior in Vimeo Livestream’s analytics, Maish made an interesting discovery. Despite the in-the-moment experience of live sports, there was a surge in broadcast views after the events ended. “It’s an interesting dynamic. We’ll get maybe the same number of views that we get during the game itself,” he said.

With this intel, Maish saw an opportunity to grow his audience with OTT. “Vimeo OTT was the piece that was missing,” he said. “We wanted a ready-to-go, fully developed solution. It’s been a real easy way in [to the OTT industry],” he said, referring to the simple content management tools and branded apps available in the platform.

Generating and growing ad revenue with Vimeo

For many broadcasters, advertising is a critical source of revenue. Admittedly, “local sports is not always that easy to sell,” Maish said (ISC Sports competes with 10 Division I NCAA colleges in the Hoosier state). Using Vimeo OTT’s analytics, Maish was able to pinpoint the number of viewers his productions brought in, where those views came from, their watch time, and more.

“[The analytics] give us great feedback on stuff we would normally guess on,” he said, and unlike other television measurement models, the data is precise. “It’s not a guess, it’s not an estimation — it’s really what’s happening.” Providing quantitative data to advertisers, and subsequently guaranteeing that their product or service will be seen, makes for a straightforward transaction.

Tips to live stream sports

ISC Sports is a prime example of starting scrappy and scaling quickly. How did they achieve their success with building a local sports network in just four years?

1. Know your vision. “You’ve really got to have a vision when you get started,” he said, while acknowledging that it can (and likely will) change. “Ours has evolved over time.

2. Top-notch, reliable distribution. Your business won’t gain traction unless you’re broadcasting quality content to bring in and maintain viewership. “That’s where having a partner like Vimeo plays into our business strategy,” he said. “With Vimeo, we know that when we’re out streaming, it will work. It’s always just worked, and that’s been a key ingredient in our success.”

In the end, Maish remains invested in and reliant on Vimeo to support ISC because of the team behind the platforms. “One thing we’ve learned as both a community-facing service provider and from dealing with vendors, is that loyalty is everything to us,” he said. “If we feel secure in that relationship, we will preach it from the rooftops.”

“When a vendor does what they say they will do and they do it well, we will be vocal to say, ‘These are the guys you want.’ Looking at what we have with Vimeo, we will share the good news with anyone who needs to hear.”

Engaged audiences spark business growth

Through their highly-engaged audience and growing advertising base, ISC Sports now broadcasts all over Indiana. “Our production team continues to grow,” Maish said. “Even for a local game, we may have 10 guys there doing things. We’ve had to evolve into multiple crews, trying to cover as much as we can.”

Fortunately, as demand grows, so does ISC Sports’ bottom line. “What we’re spending is very manageable,” he said, referring to Vimeo’s Livestream and OTT price points. “[It’s] something we can not only pay for, but it makes it a profitable endeavor for us.”

Learn more about how to grow your business — and audience — with on-demand video in our guidebook, The 2018 OTT Revolution. By analyzing 1.3B consumer data points, we took the guesswork out of how viewers consume and subscribe to video content, empowering you to focus on expanding your reach and maintaining subscribers.