By Susannah Magers
Ian Jones, Senior Director of Sports and Entertainment at BlueJeans, doesn’t want you to worry about FOMO (or “fear of missing out,” for the acronym-averse out there). With BlueJeans live streaming, you’ll never have to. “It just doesn’t exist anymore because we all have a camera in our pocket,” says Jones. Jones is referring specifically to the livestreaming video broadcast system Facebook Live, launched in spring 2016, which allows users to instantaneously begin a live video stream with one touch from their cell phone or tablet and share with their followers.
Livestreaming technology has a multitude of applications far beyond the individual update: for television networks, sports teams, musicians, and chefs alike, BlueJeans live streaming enables users to leverage their exclusive content—such as press conferences, behind-the-scenes footage, Q&As, performances, and multi-participant interviews and panel discussions—and live video broadcast this content so that it’s fully interactive and above all, seamlessly integrated and easy to use.
This access, achieved with the customizable live streaming platform, provides a level of personal intimacy that is not only appealing to viewers but actually makes them watch longer and participate more through liking, sharing, or commenting on a livestreaming broadcast event.
What differentiates BlueJeans live streaming from Facebook Live? It's all about versatility, the ability to bring multiple voices into the conversation simultaneously in a dynamic, authentic way. “Anyone can take their phone and go on Facebook Live. The multipoint perspective and functionality is where BlueJeans comes in.”
A BlueJeans live stream enjoys the same tools that users have come to expect and feel comfortable using with Facebook Live: liking, sharing, and commenting (those ubiquitous smiley face and heart emojis that float, bubble-like, across the screen during a livestreaming event).
The beauty of live streaming is that it creates a sophisticated platform that connects the local to the remote in ways that would typically require multiple cameras and extensive equipment, similar to how news outlets deploy different anchors to various locations to cover a story. Live streaming events through Facebook enables anyone to conduct the highest-quality live event broadcasting, at all levels of production savvy. From a major press briefing to one-person cooking shows that would benefit from many different camera angles—the cook chopping carrots, the sauce simmering on the stove, and the ingredients waiting to be added—all of this can be achieved at an affordable price, regardless of scale.
The increase in engagement with live event broadcasting using live streaming is exponential and striking. “In the short time we have measured engagement with our clients, we have found that more people in their audience stay longer, react and engage by liking, commenting, or sharing the content when viewing a live stream broadcast, versus the other video broadcasts they do.”
For example, the Outdoor Channel experienced unprecedented viewership during a live broadcast roundtable discussion of the Most Influential Women in Bowhunting in June 2017. “They primarily use live streaming to promote upcoming shows on the network.” Connecting these speakers from locations all over the country, the Outdoor Channel live-streamed this conversation to cultivate viewers thirty minutes ahead of the airing of the show.
To date, the video has received more than 95,000 views. Prior, the Outdoor Channel’s top performing video content was garnering in the 1,000 to 7,000 viewer range. Live streaming mobilized exclusive, live content to the network’s viewers, while also acting as an effective catalyst for driving viewers to the network’s show immediately following the live streaming conversation.
“This was a promotional use of Facebook Live using a multipoint event broadcast. You’re not going to send a television crew out to film these participants. You’re going to send a link in an email and test the connection with them before you go live. That’s how a lot of people use it.”
When asked about best practices, Jones pointed out that sometime it’s those unpredictable, if humorous, live moments—like when Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green fell out of his chair during a June 2017 live broadcast event, supposedly in reaction to nicknames like “Durantula,” that the announcer rattled off for teammate Kevin Durant—that turn into welcome engagement boosts. “That got a million or so hits.”
BlueJeans allows media agencies the opportunity to curate this content to steward the image and brand of the talent they represent. And the response from top talent to participating in live streaming broadcasts? They love it. “We advise people to livestream events for thirty minutes, but these live video broadcasts tend to run over an hour. The talent enjoys the interaction, and really drives that. It’s hard to tell Kevin Durant he has to stop!”
BlueJeans live streaming is ideal for companies that want to tailor and target content to specific audiences. Jones describes how live streaming is often deployed in the sports and entertainment industries: “Virtual press conferences using BlueJeans Events or live streaming allow teams to invite their fans, shareholders, and sponsors to attend remotely. They can broadcast this privately, so that participants can ask questions individually, while still providing that access to players.”
Jones thinks that companies are looking for “what’s next” after Facebook Live, and BlueJeans live streaming is that “next big thing.” Being “thought leaders,” as Jones asserts, and perceived as tech savvy is important to companies, and to staying relevant and competitive. “live streaming helps create that brand and persona with fans.”
These companies are also leveraging this increased live streaming engagement to run promotional contests, by entering viewers or fans who like, share, tag or comment into the pool of potential winners—opening up potential sponsorship opportunities as well. “When Facebook Live first launched, the prevailing industry standard was to not exceed thirty seconds for a live streaming broadcast. That’s what people are used to. But if you want to do something truly innovative and different, that’s where live streaming comes in.”