Multi-screening is the new buzzword, the simultaneous use of multiple screens at the same time. For example, watching TV while browsing social media on a smartphone. It’s not just limited to screens, however, and the latest MAPS publication from the Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) provides data on media concurrency1.
It’s not a new phenomenon, and likely dates back to the mid-1930s when pollsters Hadley Cantril and Gordon Allport were studying multitasking and simultaneous media use2.
“The housewife does her household to the accompaniment of music, counseling and courtship: in the afternoon she is allowed to sew, read or play bridge with the same background… In the evening the radio can provide a setting before which dinner is served and guests are entertained.”
Back to today, and both streaming and live streaming are regular additional arrows in the quiver of media platforms to be leveraged to engage with an ever-changing consumer.
Streaming can be defined as the continuous transfer of audio or video files from a server to a client. In simpler terms, streaming is what happens when consumers watch TV or listen to podcasts on internet-connected devices. With streaming, the media file played on the client device is stored remotely and transmitted over the internet a few seconds at a time3.
The way people watch TV, movies, series, etc. has changed dramatically over the years. Gone (for many) are the days of linear television. Streaming is increasing because people have more choice and more flexibility. They can catch up on their favorite shows whenever they want. Viu and eVOD are like “catching up” on the go.
Therefore, it is imperative for marketers to adopt the strategic direction of placing their brands on streaming services wherever possible.
The advent of influencer marketing means that audiences are now much more comfortable with the idea of being communicated directly through their screens – regardless of the setting of the show. It means brands don’t necessarily need to rent a set either – They can get away with streaming wherever they are and whatever device they are using.
According to the latest Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS – BRC Report 2022), there is an upward shift and growth in streaming in terms of audience and their behavior. That’s why advertising on live streaming platforms is no longer new to marketers, and agencies should update their strategies on how to reach this audience – which is essentially the same audience as before.
A live video strategy engages viewers in an immediate and authentic way that other social media formats cannot. Live streaming has the power to expand the viewership of an event attended by hundreds to millions, connect a global audience and reach that audience on an unprecedented scale – for example – product launches, fashion shows or exclusive fan releases.
The average consumer is very different today than it was 20 years ago. Now they want to get to know a brand and really trust it before spending any money. Not only do they want to learn about their environmental behavior, they also want to see the character of a brand. Live streaming offers this possibility.
Does live streaming bring a return on investment (ROI)? Compared to traditional videos, it has an interactive character that usually attracts more viewers. According to Facebook, live video is watched three times longer than standard video, and considering the investment, it’s generally easier to live stream than create a video. With a live stream, you press the live button, do your stream, and then end it. A standard video requires all sorts of editing, filming, and creation. Therefore, you get more engagement with a lower investment and a higher ROI.
We seem to be facing a lot of “new norms” lately! It’s an exciting time with many of the rulebooks being thrown out. What’s the new norm of watching your favorite show? Anywhere, anywhere on multiple devices.
Xhanti Lungu is a Media Planner at Meta Media, Cape Town.
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