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How the Brit awards will be broadcast digitally this year


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

February 24, 2016 | 4 min read

From Cadbury’s real-time outdoor campaign to Mastercard’s live tweeting, the Brit Awards have been one of the more innovative live events for some time and tonight’s (24 February) promises to be no different.

The Drum spoke with Steve Ackerman, managing director of Somethin Else, a digital content agency which manages the digital distribution of the Brit awards, on the strategies it will employ this year as live streaming gains momentum at big industry events.

One of the biggest questions the strategy has to answer is which platform out of Twitter's Periscope and Facebook Live works better for broadcasting these kind of events, as the two battle it out for live streaming opportunities. Both platforms are still very new - Periscope launched in March last year, while Facebook Live launched in August - so marketers are still experimenting with which platform fits their strategies best.

“We’re not using Periscope this year - we looked at lots of different mechanics in the run up to the event to launch Brit's Periscope, but simply put it’s not that good unless there is a constant stream of activity and the nature of something like Brits is that the interesting activity all takes place on the day," said Ackerman .

"We could have looked at Periscoping rehearsals etc but because of our deal with ITV, we cannot show the set in advance of the live show.”

Ackerman went on to discuss the restrictions of Periscope as a platform, which is limited to streaming directly from a mobile phone, a format that does not suit those wanting to produce high-quality content.

“We did talk about having a single angle stream of the show locked off on Periscope, but as it has to be streamed directly from a mobile phone, we decided against it - there’s no way of taking a high quality feed and pushing that to the platform.”

So for the Brits, the Red Carpet Live stream will be broadcast through Facebook predominantly. It is not the first time media has favoured Facebook’s offering: earlier this month The Drum interviewed Mashable’s chief marketing officer Stacy Martinet, who outlined the benefits of Facebook over Periscope, saying: "Facebook Live is better for interviewing influencers and celebrities, and has the advantage of an excellent video shelf life, with videos spending longer in Facebook’s news feed than Twitter can offer."

Ackerman added: "What we're doing is focusing on slickly-produced and polished live stream content over more rough-and-ready Periscope; namely our Red Carpet Live stream on Facebook - a first for The Brits - and another first, the *live* links during the international YouTube live stream within the show. This will drive enormous engagement, particularly as Dan and Phil come with their own huge fanbase, as does George Shelley (of Union J), one of our two brilliant Facebook hosts."

Interestingly, the content agency eyed up Snapchat for its behind the scenes coverage over Periscope, with Ackerman saying: "Though not a live stream, it will provide similar content, in carefully curated snippets, to ensure that the most interesting content is being served up to our audience as quickly as possible."

This comes as Snapchat is expanding its offering for brands and events, with more publishers looking at the Discover platform to push content to a younger audience.

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