Whether you’re a power user or a casual user, chances are you’ve recently seen a live video on Facebook or Twitter, likely captivated by the unpredictability and shared excitement as you watch along with people all over the world.
As the amount of live video content increases, so does the level of impatience from brands that are waiting for the inevitable announcement on how the new medium will be monetized.
Whether it’s Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live or Kanvas, live video is one of the fastest-growing mediums in 2016. Platforms are quickly iterating their user experiences to accelerate audience growth, and brands are anxiously awaiting the ability to associate their marketing to content providers’ live video broadcasts.
Remember when BuzzFeed went live with “Watermelon Explosion?” This live video, at its peak, had more than 800,000 viewers all watching at the same time. That’s just about the same as population of the city of San Francisco.
What about the #TrumpClimber broadcast on Periscope? Did you know that 386,000 live viewers tuned in to watch him? That’s more than three times as many people who can fit in the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games was held.
Watching an event live and in-person attracts major advertising dollars, and platforms are aware of this massive opportunity causing them to plan out their monetization strategy.
For the marketers starting to plan for 2017, here are a few predictions on how social platforms will monetize live video:
- Timed sponsored video similar to commercials on TV: The content provider might see a countdown on their screen alerting them that the broadcast will be halted briefly to show the viewer a short brand video.
- Branded player skin: Old-school in execution, but a seamless brand experience for the user.
- Pre-roll: Auto-skip would be nice for those must-see live videos you just can’t wait to join in on.
- Post-roll: My personal favorite. The brand is aligning with the content and isn’t intruding on your experience, but rather saying, “Hey that video was cool, check this out as it relates to what you just watched.”
- Amplified live video: From the content provider’s perspective, imagine you start a broadcast and are prompted with a question, “Would you like to extend your video’s reach?” By selecting “yes,” your video will be pushed to the top of users’ timelines/feeds. The monetization comes from the advertisers who pre-select the brands they want to align with and pay for their short video to serve along with the content provider’s live video on likely a fixed CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis.
- Product placement: Content providers will have the option to extend their reach by mentioning a brand in their broadcast.
- Live video marketplace: Brands will be allowed to assign their short branded video to a content provider’s upcoming broadcast. Once a content provider starts a live video, the brand will pay on a CPV (cost per view) basis on the number of times their video gets shown while the live broadcast is playing.
- Branded watermark: Similar to how TV networks brand their TV shows, a logo will be placed in the top-right-hand corner of the screen.
- Comment reward: Often times on Periscope, the comment feature is too full. Imagine if Twitter opened up the comment feature to users only if they watched a pre-roll video–quick branded video that allows you to comment on live video? Sign me up.
- Cross-promotion buy-outs: If I were an automotive company, I’d love to sponsor all live videos from Major League Baseball. Imagine a deal where a brand could secure exclusive rights to a seasonal event and the platform could broker a deal with guaranteed impressions, video views, number of live videos, etc.–big opportunity here.
Live video is a powerful medium: It’s unpredictable, captivating and viral by nature. It’s no wonder brands are starting to incorporate it into their marketing strategies.
Christopher Puga is the head of sales, west for social media advertising agency Adaptly.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.