Kyiv, Ukraine , 06/22/2021 / BeLive Studios LTD. /
KYIV, UKRAINE / JUNE 21, 2021 / The live video streaming industry increased by 99% in 2020, according to a StreamElements report. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, many businesses turned to live streaming to engage with their customers. Live streaming platforms and live apps have been popping up left and right to cater to the different industries and types of content. The industry’s growth has also paved the way for new trends or has made previously obscure content mainstream. Be.Live shares six note-worthy live streaming trends for 2021.
Live Sales/Live Shopping
Without a doubt, live shopping is the most popular and profitable trend in live streaming in 2021. Live shopping initially gained traction in e-commerce apps in China in 2018. But when the COVID-19 pandemic started, the retail industry took a massive hit because of the lockdowns.
Live selling allowed retailers to sell their inventory online to their existing customers. Tech giants, such as Amazon and Facebook, immediately responded to the need for live sales. Only influencers and celebrities initially used Amazon Live, but it is now available to professional sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry. Facebook also released a Live Shopping tab with Facebook Live so that sellers can feature products from their shop. Third-party live streaming platforms like Be.Live offers features that make it easy to highlight products during a live stream.
Live Travel Tours
Another trend that became hugely popular is travel tours. With travel bans still in place for most countries, most couch surfers have temporarily become couch potatoes. New York and Tokyo are a few of the top favorite cities. For example, The Urbanist by Ariel Viera provides Facebook Live tours of places “you won’t find in guide books and history that isn’t in the textbooks.” YouTube broadcasts of ex-pats in Japan, showcasing life in the country during the pandemic, have soared in views.
Turning In-Person Events to Streams
In-person conferences, concerts, and product launches are also streamed and will continue to be a massive trend in 2021. Apple is the biggest brand that produces its product launches remotely. Additionally, artists globally are streaming their concerts and even organize virtual fan meets. Some of the most prominent summits will be done virtually this year, including CES and Mobile World Congress. With the help of live apps, it’s now easier to stream events, as long as there is a strong Wi-Fi connection.
Love it or hate it, audio-only app Clubhouse is here to stay. As of April 2021, the app has 10 million users, a massive jump from 2 million users in January. Twitter also released its audio-only feature called Spaces. While Facebook hasn’t officially and publicly released a similar feature, news broke in March 2021 that something similar is in development but without a specific name. Audio-only content is a great alternative to streaming, especially for people who don’t want to be seen on camera but want to share their expertise.
More Ways to Monetize Live Streams
When Facebook Live was released in 2016, monetizing live video content was far from everyone’s minds. At that time, streaming was used mainly as an engagement tool, especially for big brands and influencers. In 2021, however, content creators are only limited by their imagination when it comes to monetization. Even Facebook is now offering a subscription-based model similar to Twitch, where viewers can subscribe to their favorite creator for a small monthly fee.
Other monetization options include selling sponsorship spots, earning passive income by promoting affiliate products, and revenue sharing. Twitch even added new categories, such as “hot tub” streams, which is a trend that became surprisingly popular during the pandemic. Adding this category helps streamers keep creating unconventional content while giving advertisers an option not to show their ads in this category.
Repurposing Streams Into Shorter Videos and Podcasts
Brands and marketers are also becoming more strategic with their live video strategy, prioritizing timeless content with a lot of replay value. On average, more than 50% of the total views are from replays. A stream can be turned into short YouTube videos, TikTok or IG videos, and even a podcast. With a repurposing strategy, businesses and content creators can make the most out of their broadcasts and potentially reach more people.
As COVID-19 continues to render people indoors, expect to see new trends or a twist on existing trends, especially around live shopping and stream monetization. Lastly, expect existing live streaming platforms to add more comprehensive features or new live apps to surface.
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