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In the US, the majority of young people have watched live streaming video online, and even among older users, live video consumption is not that unusual.
Broken down by age group, millennials are the most likely to watch and create live streaming video. A November 2016 UBS Evidence Lab study found that 63% of US internet users ages 18 to 34 watched live video.
Marketers, in turn, are paying attention. “Many marketers are 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” (available only to eMarketer PRO customers).
“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.
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.
eMarketer Pro subscribers can read more here. Not a PRO subscriber? You can hear more from Verna about trends in live video on the latest episode of eMarketer’s “Behind the Numbers” podcast. Listen in below, or subscribe to the podcast to stay on top of the latest trends.
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