In the US, it is estimated that 63% of US Internet users age 18 to 34 have watched live video - with the majority of young people feeling quite comfortable with live streaming video online, while older users now consider live video the norm.
Marketers have grappled with the vast potential of live video with and continue "experimenting with live video, even if they’re not yet sure how or if they’ll be able to monetize it,” said Paul Verna, analyst and author of eMarketer’s latest report, “US Live Video 2017: Still Buffering."
“Consumer-uploaded streams tend to be especially challenging to monetize because of their unpredictable nature, but content from publishers and brands offers more potential,” he added.
A January 2017 study from consulting firms Warc and Deloitte Digital noted that live video has the greatest potential when it centers on newsworthy events that attract high rates of sharing and commenting.
A June 2016 study from Trusted Media Brands (TMB) and Advertiser Perceptions found relatively little enthusiasm—and lots of caution—from agencies and marketers when it came to their outlook on live video. Only 17% of agency decision-makers and 19% of marketers said they definitely planned to invest in live video in the next six months. Perhaps more surprisingly, 12% of agencies and 21% of marketers said they definitely wouldn’t. And in each group, a clear majority of respondents were on the fence, eMarketer reports.
The data points to the challenges of using live video for marketing purposes—or even the challenge of getting started. It should be noted, however, that it took marketers years to embrace YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, largely for the same reasons that make live video, in its current incarnation, problematic. As social media platforms, brands, publishers, media companies and consumers get more used to live video and figure out more effective ways of using it, a clearer case for monetization is likely to emerge.