Live streaming has emerged as a critical tool for publishers seeking new monetization opportunities and deepened engagement with audiences. Audience consumption of live content on the Internet is accelerating rapidly, and content creators are rushing to make the most of what that promises. Platforms like Facebook Live offer an attractive option for getting started with live streaming for a wide range of publishers. For smaller organizations without video infrastructure experts on staff, it’s a free platform that allows them to reach into potentially millions of members’ daily lives. For larger organizations, including Buzzfeed and The New York Times, Facebook Live’s paid initiative to jumpstart live streaming on the platform has been a compelling way to experiment with the medium. Additionally, Facebook continues to offer new video features and opportunities to reach audiences across devices.
However, media companies and content producers of all sizes should not start and end their live streaming strategies with social platforms alone. Engaging audiences on one’s owned and operated (O&O) sites with live streaming content also offers publishers and broadcasters a number of advantages.
Control Over User Experience & Monetization
As live-streaming has matured, it’s become clear that monetization models can be varied and creative. A best practice is to explore and leverage multiple revenue sources, which could come in the form of various forms of advertising, pay-per-view (transactional) options and subscription models. All of these are best supported on publishers’ and broadcasters’ O&O properties.
Also, publishers may exercise greater control over user experience with O&O live streaming. One major example of this is the ability to support live streaming on mobile web. Another is customizable video player branding, which opens up the possibility of additional revenue models, such as sponsorships.
In the case of sporting events, conferences and concerts, event-based content has significant value beyond the relatively short window that it’s live. Being able to archive an event video so a company can re-post it on their own website, not just on social media, and continue to monetize it in a wide range of potential ways, is yet another option that empowers publishers.
Aside from the enhanced monetization options, publishers who also engage in O&O live streaming can also find themselves at an advantage when it comes to content discovery. A recent tweak to the Facebook Live algorithm that favors loosely defined “longer content” highlights how social platforms can choose to hide content based on certain parameters with little notice or explanation. That means that at any given time, the platform can become less aggressive with embedding live streams into user feeds, making it harder or impossible to see them. On O&O sites, publishers fully control which streams and related content are highlighted.
Put simply, publishers who are using social live streaming such as Facebook Live to reach new audiences should strongly consider developing O&O live streaming strategies to retain and monetize those audiences.
JW Player’s Unique Approach
In order to help publishers and broadcasters reach viewers across the full range of social sites and O&O online outlets, JW Player has developed JW Live. It is a simple and flexible way to distribute, manage and monetize live videos. Organizations can set up once for simultaneous publishing to their own destination as well as Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, and others.
JW Live offers agility, reliability and a rich feature set—at a fraction of the investment overhead that complex corporate video packages require. With the same amount of effort that a company puts into developing video for Facebook Live, publishers can take a multipronged approach. This means that publishers can control the user experience and monetization by driving traffic to their own sites, while benefiting from the broad exposure that social platforms offer.
Want to know more? Check out the previous installment of this blog series, “Is Your Live Social Video Strategy Working?” And, stay tuned for Part III, “The Future of Live and Video Everywhere.”
Businesses that don’t get on board with live streaming video are missing important brand and customer engagement opportunities. Contact JW Player today to talk about how to do it right—including how to get more out of your social platform presence.