Live, virtual, experiential – where is video streaming headed to for 2021?

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Cat Mules

Video streaming is booming. Here's the latest outlook.

As we engage with smartphones and consoles video streaming has the power to distract us from uncertain and troubled times, to deepen connections with families and communities, and to promote powerful and persuasive business messages. Further, from the 3.4 hours we spend on our mobile devices every day, much of it is on video.  Email chains, messaging threads and even phone calls are being replaced by popular one-to-many video streaming options.

Pivot to video – in full swing

A recent survey by video creation platform,, found that 49 percent of people watch more than five videos per day. Respondents also described that video ads are more relevant than other platform content. calls out that “pivot to video” is trending in full swing for our digitial selves, both video communicators and receivers.

It’s what branding guru William Arruda terms “YOUcasting”. It’s a trend that also speaks to the trending reality of employees using video for remote work, enabling new realms of ‘presence without actually being present’. Arruda believes video “will ultimately replace email and texting as a more powerful and valuable medium.”

YouTube persists as the central hub for video creation and live streaming, and impacting consumer behaviour.  In 2020 a survey of 1000 video creation consumers found that YouTube outranks even social media behemoth Facebook as the top platform.

6 convincing live streaming statistics for 2021

  • 87% of audiences prefer online viewing versus TV because they value behind-the-scenes content (Source: Livestream).
  • Of the most-watched live content, breaking news makes up 56% (Source: Livestream).
  • Streaming video content accounts for over two-thirds of internet traffic. This is expected to leap to 82% by 2020 (Source: Go Globe).
  • Consumers’ tolerance for a bad streaming experience is very low. For many, 90 seconds is the most they will tolerate a spotty stream (Source: Techradar).
  • In the past year, streaming has grown by 293% in Oceania (Source: Conviva).
  • The live streaming industry is predicted to reach $70 billion in 2021, as compared to $30 billion in 2016 (Source: Research and Market).

Paving the production path 

Video influencers are by no means an elite group of ultra popular or ultra perfect content producers. In fact, the polished and professional look is out. Authenticity sells because it’s a way to communicate your message in more real terms than the digital communications of yesterday.

the future of live streaming may be more real than you think. One study, into e-commerce behaviours, finds that the more vivid and authentic a live video the more likely the audience is to trust the content, and take the recommended action.

Another study suggests that users are drawn to video content that is customised to individual behaviour and preferences.

Traditional video content production would usually require an intricate configuration of software programs. Not only does it require a camera, but hosting and a platform need to be set up. Live streaming, on the other hand, can be done with the ease of a console and a click.

Live videos can be easily created. It just takes a laptop with a camera or even a smartphone. It is simple to make an account with a chosen platform, like Facebook Live or Periscope. Specific live streaming channels – like Twitch – offer packaged up options for streaming. Another option is to just spot a platform that works for you and jump on and get started. If you take this approach, you’ll learn as you go.

What you will need though, is presence and clarity around your message. Live videos take off when they’re built around a consistent personality and messaging.

Live videos can be easily morphed into other forms of content. Infographics can be created on Videos can be reproduced on YouTube. A published video transcript can be posted on personal blogs. Repurpose live streamed content again and again –but remember you want your authentic self to come through as much as possible.

It’s something that risks being brushed off by CEOs – for example, when word hasn’t gotten around. First, understand the goal of the video, then go to your CEOs or c-suite with a variety of styles, from a how-to video, mini-doc, lifestyle, explainer, recruiting scenario, and animation. All of this should be tied into the buying or other value chain cycle, as well as budget fit. Although traditionally communications has been one of the first on the chopping block, it’s value add to long-lasting relationships, and boost in market share and sales, can be impressively carved out with sustained efforts.

Live streaming, in customisable, authentic formats, is the current – and future – of video content. There’s a large audience awaiting you if and when you decide to take part.

Read this next:

Facebook introduces live gaming app

Why Quibi failed – and what other streaming services can learn from its demise

Every TV streaming service, rated and reviewed

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

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