Content Industry Connect: Live Streaming Is Changing the Content Game

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Los Angeles — While media companies are still trying to navigate how best to monetize and maximize the reach of their content in the current digital landscape, the emergence of live streaming is throwing another curveball into the mix, according to a panel of digital television executives and producers.

Speaking at the “Secrets of Mastering the Multi Platform Universe” panel at Content Industry Connect LA Wednesday in Los Angeles, moderator Fred Graver, TV creative lead, Twitter, discussed how the company’s live streaming app Periscope is differentiating itself.

“There is a huge intimacy,“ he said. “There is the privacy of the creator actually holding the camera up. … You are literally held in somebody’s hands.”

Mike Cioffi, digital media director, Jimmy Kimmel Live, noted that the late night show’s foray into live streaming is far more produced than what Graver was referring to.

“The closest parallel we have is our live streaming music concerts series, which are produced like a TV show,” he said. 

Mickey Meyer, cofounder of Jash, who works with many comedians, including Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera, said live streaming could be “terrifying” for talent. 

“We deal with performers and comedians who work these [routines] for years at a time,” he said. “The idea of not being prepared is terrifying.”

No matter how companies are applying live video to their business, seeing how the audience responds and what they demand will dictate how it evolves in the space, the panelists contended. 

One thing the panel could unanimously agree on is that there is no formula for how to successfully conquer every platform. They discussed the strengths and weaknesses of mainstays Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, concluding they all added a certain value to the larger business goals.

According to Jason Ahmad, cofounder and chief product officer of Epoxy, YouTube represents a user’s search and intent. 

“They meant to be there,” he said. “They didn’t accidentally get there. Facebook and Twitter have a lot less intent.”

But, he believes Facebook owns “the social discovery game,” serving as a hub for the masses to reach new content.

All agreed that Twitter is the best way to assess engagement and receive instant feedback.

Cioffi recalled a Twitter campaign for Kimmel asking for stories about why people disliked their jobs, which was in turn used on the show.

In that way, “we are bringing people back in to the broadcast” from social, he said.

When asked what they see themselves focusing on a year from now, Meyer’s answer had little to do with social or digital platforms.

“I think virtual reality is going to push people to go see things in person,” he said, using an example of watching a concert spurring a desire to experience the real thing.

“People are starting to realize the value of interaction,” he said.