Flexible Live Video Streaming on Facebook for Any Use Case
September 7, 2017 by
Live-streaming video on Facebook has come a long way in just a year. First launched through Facebook Mentions, a premium app for celebrities, it was reborn in 2016 as Facebook Live—putting live-streaming capabilities in the palm of every user’s hand.
Today, Facebook Live is one of the top live-streaming platforms in the world, with 500 million people watching Facebook videos every day. By some measures, it’s even becoming more popular than YouTube: 17 percent of all U.S. internet users watch video on Facebook Live, versus 16 percent who watch on YouTube. Facebook also bests YouTube among those who watch live-streams every week.
The “anytime, anywhere” nature of Facebook Live streaming makes it a perfect fit for all kinds of use cases. Not only is this platform used for behind-the-scenes peeks with actors, athletes and musicians, but it’s also used to broadcast a huge variety of other content that users can directly interact with. From live events to breaking news, audiences can react, comment and participate with broadcasters from within the live stream.
To learn more about how organizations are using Facebook Live, Wowza Media Systems surveyed more than 700 streaming-video professionals. Our Facebook Live Streaming Benchmark Report 2017 reveals some interesting insights about the kinds of content broadcasters stream, the benefits the platform brings and the challenges people have when using it.
In this final installment of our blog series, we’ll look at the flexibility Facebook Live offers for just about any streaming-media use case.
Most Broadcasters Go Live on Facebook With Event Coverage
Over three-quarters of our survey respondents stream live events—and event types run the gamut, from concerts to sports to red-carpet coverage. But it doesn’t stop there; organizations broadcast all kinds of other content, as well (respondents could select multiple answers).
“Facebook Live is a relatively easy way to communicate our message to our followers, who then share with their network and thereby build the audience.” —Ken Wimer, pastor at Shreveport Grace Church
One-on-one interviews, conference panels and press events are popular use cases. Many respondents also stream breaking news—and they’re not alone, since social media channels are now a major news source for 62 percent of Americans, and 66 percent of Facebook users get their news from the site.
Here are some of Facebook Live’s most popular streams for different use cases:
- Holiday celebrations from around the world, such as Good Morning America’s Independence Day stream and CNN’s Bastille Day coverage.
- Q&As with film and TV stars, including cast members from Game of Thrones, The Bachelorette and War of the Planet of the Apes.
- Live sports coverage from the Golf Channel and the World Surf League.
- Breaking news coverage from BBC News and Fox News.
- Announcements of the 69th Emmy Awards nominations and highlights from The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
Facebook Live Broadcasters Represent a Wide Variety of Industries
Whether they’re a news outlet or a small church; an enterprise or a concert-video producer; broadcasters from all backgrounds are jumping on the Facebook Live bandwagon. Our survey respondents represent a variety of industries:
The possibilities to engage viewers in deep, meaningful ways are endless on Facebook Live. For example, with live news or TV broadcasts, viewers can ask questions for on-screen talent to immediately answer. With awards shows or other live events, viewers can vote in live polls and see instant results. Some broadcasters even stream “choose your own adventure”-style videos, where viewers vote on the on-screen action they’ll see next.
Broadcasters Benefit From Free, Flexible Facebook Streaming
Adopting new software and systems usually means ponying up some serious cash—but Facebook Live is free for both broadcasters and viewers. For this reason, many respondents (47 percent) say affordability is a top benefit of Facebook Live streaming.
By simply opening the Facebook app and tapping a button to go live, broadcasters can easily capture unique moments, report on breaking news and capture spontaneous thoughts and ideas. Since broadcasters can stream anytime, from wherever they are, they have unique flexibility to try out exciting new concepts.
“It basically gives anyone the power to do what only a few people/organizations with a lot of equipment could do a few years ago.” —Jean Pierre Cardoso, Radio Alternativa.NET
While many streaming platforms charge fees for bandwidth usage, Facebook Live offers free, unlimited distribution to viewers around the world. There’s also no need to buy airtime or schedule studio hours. From a cost-per viewer standpoint, Facebook Live is the most affordable way to reach audiences—so dollars can go toward higher-quality production techniques and professional hardware and software.
“As a live-streaming platform provider, we like to offer all the options as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each to our church customers, so they can provide their members a quality and consistent broadcast ... within their budget.” —Joe Garcia, president of Your Church Live
Facebook Live is changing the face of live-streaming video, offering unparalleled flexibility and interactive live-streaming to meet any use case. There are many benefits of broadcasting on this platform—but it also brings some unique challenges. To learn more about the experiences broadcasters are having with Facebook Live streaming, read our complete research report.