Streaming has become one of the hottest topics over the last decade. The concept began with a small video game platform called Justin.tv back in 2006, which was a project put together by a gamer who wanted to share his gaming sessions with his friends. This platform transformed slowly into the modern Twitch, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014.
While some might point to Netflix as the OG streaming giant, Twitch helped launch one of the most prolific tech trends: live streaming. A live stream brings real-time content straight to a device via live video links, which adds a degree of immediacy to this type of media.
Early live streams on Twitch, which were focused solely on video gaming, have since diversified greatly. After helping launch the start of a global eSports industry, live streaming technology has started to bleed into other entertainment sectors—and even farther beyond, including e-commerce and marketing. Let’s count down some of the most unique applications of live-streaming technology today, along with how it might change in the coming years.
In casino gaming, live streaming capabilities have led to a few unexpected trends. So, let’s focus on the casino industry first of all. One of the hottest trends for virtual platforms is the live casino experience, which many players are looking for.
A live casino game bridges the excitement of a brick-and-mortar location with the convenience of remote play by streaming a real-life dealer onto your device. Just like they would in a physical casino, this dealer manages the game, adding a social element to the proceedings. It’s easily one of the most interactive experiences available for casino players—and it’s going to continue evolving over the coming years.
Above, we outlined how Twitch helped launch eSports by bridging live streaming with video gaming. Overwhelmingly, the majority of streams on the platform were geared toward gamers—but that’s since changed. Over the last few years, Twitch has diversified in terms of channels, categories, and streams.
In fact, users today might not even know anything about gaming. Instead, they might subscribe to channels that include makeup tutorials, footage of wildlife conservation areas, language learning content, and much more.
So far, we’ve outlined how live streaming has improved entertainment value in a few different sectors. However, it’s now becoming a more practical tool for companies. Specifically, live streaming technology is being used to improve the customer support experience.
Rather than toil over a difficult phone call or chat support, certain companies are leaning on live streaming to create a fulfilling and simplified customer support interaction. Through a live video, customers and support staff are better able to communicate, solving problems more efficiently. It’s a bit dry to watch—but it’s highly effective.
One of the industries currently shifting to onboard live streaming is event planning, which might apply to concerts, performances, sporting events, and more. There’s a growing movement for ‘hybrid events’, which include both physical and virtual guests.
Through the magic of live streaming, planners can expand their reach to invite remote guests to events. Not only does this help performers and athletes include more of their guests, but it’s also much more affordable. Rather than shell out thousands for a ticket and possibly even a plane ride, fans can opt for a more accessible virtual pass.
E-commerce is beginning to experiment with live-streaming technology in order to reach remote customers, similar to event planners. However, the goal here is different. Alibaba, for example, launched its Taobao Live as far back as 2016, which allowed viewers to participate in shopping at a store via a live video link. Since then, the experience has improved greatly.
By 2020, Taobao was generating billions in major sales for certain holidays and events. Remember that this trend has taken off in China, but is still slowly trickling westward. In the coming years, it’s likely that many leading brands will start rolling out more accessible live-streaming experiences like this.
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