The future is coming to you live…..

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The launch of live video on Twitter and Facebook represents a major change in the way we will consume live video in the future. 

Don’t believe me?

What about the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey? He says the future of Twitter is live video – specifically Periscope. Dorsey, who is tasked with turning around Twitter, told investors that he is focusing on what “Twitter does best”- and a key part of his strategy hinges on Periscope, the live streaming app it acquired last January.

Or maybe you believe Mark Zuckerberg.  ‘Facebook Live’ is making a huge splash already – with the potential to reach over a billion people. The head of Facebook said “live video is one of the things I’m most excited about.”

Both of these apps allow you to stream live video from your mobile device – to a closed audience or to the whole world. Zuckerberg, like Dorsey, believes we’re entering an era in which live video will be the primary form of content we share.

What both of these platforms represent is a liberation of the means of distribution; the ability to reach audiences direct, and en-masse, without a traditional broadcast channel or a hugely expensive streaming platform.

The potential is enormous, not just in the world of broadcast but also in advertising, events and PR. In many ways we are only scratching the surface of what is possible. Facebook says that people spend more than three times longer watching a video when it is live

This week’s Oscar ceremony made heavy use of the new app. They streamed live video exclusively on Facebook, shot on smartphones before, during and after the show. The Academy’s Facebook live streamed unfiltered action from the red carpet and backstage to allow users watch live ‘as if they were there at the festivities’.

“Perhaps the day will come when a live video feed on Facebook or Periscope receives many more times the audience than the live TV feed.”

Meanwhile news channels have begun streaming content live from the field. RT recently streamed a live overview of the battered city of Aleppo, (https://www.rt.com/news/333890-syria-rt-periscope-live/).  The recent Paris attacks were streamed heavily on Periscope, while US channels are starting to embrace the idea of ‘additional coverage’ via live mobile video.

While this currently represents an exciting ‘2nd screen’ or compliment service – it has the potential to become the primary platform for viewers to engage in live coverage. Why bother with a TV channel if you can reach a billion people directly?

Here at Celebro Media we are using both services (as well as YouTube live) to push live content directly from our studios to the audience. This is a step up from the quality you get from a mobile device and we believe it is the first step towards a fully online TV channel.

Perhaps the day will come when a live video feed on Facebook or Periscope receives many more times the audience than the live TV feed. That is the moment advertisers will start to look seriously at where they are spending their money.

This service also offers the potential for innovations such as live advertising, not to mention product placement, and let us not forget at that at the moment this sector is largely unregulated; sitting well outside the purview of OFCOM or the FCC.

The big broadcasters may not yet have fully embraced these new platforms, seeing them as a sort of novelty, but they also pose a huge risk to those who fail to embrace the future. Live video is something that broadcasters have always done well but now they are not the only ones with the means of distribution.

Wesley Dodd is the CEO of Celebro Studios – A globalTV studio and production house. www.celebromedia.com

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