The Best Interactive Video Platforms With User-Generated ContentJune 6, 2018
Today’s consumers turn to the internet to discover products and services. But with a growing number of brands competing for their attention on social media, apps and websites, how can yours stand out?
In a word: authenticity. A staggering 86 percent of people say authenticity is important when choosing which brands to support, and 20 percent have unfollowed a brand on social media because they found its content “inauthentic.” To avoid the same fate, many brands are creating apps and services that allow users to contribute their own live video content—and this strategy is working.
Providing a destination for user-generated live streaming video content (LiveUGC) allows consumers to build a community around your brand, product or service offering. This offers unique opportunities to deepen customer engagement; organically raises awareness for your organization; and creates SEO value in ways that traditional marketing cannot.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the most successful interactive video apps and platforms utilizing LiveUGC today.
Social Media and Networking LiveUGC Platforms
This social networking and communications platform allows users to broadcast original content or to video chat directly with contacts. Building on Wowza Streaming Engine, Streamago climbed to the number-one position in the Apple and Android app stores shortly after its launch.
Snapchat started as a person-to-person platform for sharing photos and videos with friends that disappear a short time after being posted. It now also includes news and “Live Stories” from around the world. Snapchat has also focused increasingly on stickers and augmented reality (AR) elements that can be added to photo and video messages.
YouNow encourages users to broadcast to the world, incentivizing its top-performing streamers with financial payouts. Many users live stream musical, artistic or humorous performances. Direct viewer-to-broadcaster engagement is integral to YouNow, and gamification elements allow broadcasters to capitalize on rewards from fans. Built on Wowza Streaming Engine software, this app can also be used for direct video chat with family and friends.
Streamers across industries have adopted this platform to create live content that engages audiences in unique ways, with use cases that range from celebrities talking with fans to the local news sharing stories to sports teams offering exclusive sidelines coverage. And with the Wowza ClearCaster™ appliance offering deep integration with the Facebook Live API, any broadcaster can now deliver professional streams that make users want to participate.
Built on Wowza Streaming Engine, Periscope has famously been used for UGC coverage of protests, political events and other high-profile streams, since it allows any smartphone user to go live in seconds and to broadcast for an unlimited amount of time. Users can choose whether to live stream publicly or just to friends and family.
Gaming and Esports LiveUGC Platforms
The biggest name in gaming offers streamers access to huge, highly engaged audiences, while viewers get to watch the world’s top gamers play. And Twitch just happens to be built on Wowza technology, delivering high-quality, reliable game streams to viewers anywhere in the world, on any device. Most importantly, Wowza supports the low-latency delivery needed for real-time gaming and esports streams.
This gaming and esports platform puts viewer-to-broadcaster interactivity front and center; not only does it allow real-time chat, but it also lets viewers control elements of the game itself by choosing weapons, changing the surroundings, creating bosses and more. To support this, Mixer has the lowest latency of all the major gaming platforms we recently tested. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2016.
In addition to game streaming, Smashcast is home to major esports tournaments. After being acquired by Azubu and rebranded from its former incarnation as Hitbox, the service has sought to decrease latency, with a stated goal of improving interactivity between esports champions and their fans. For example, a recently launched feature called the “Hype-o-Meter” lets viewers virtually “cheer” for their favorite player.
This mobile app allows users to live stream content from their smartphone or tablet while chatting with viewers in real time. While not exclusively a game-streaming service, Mirrativ is most commonly used to broadcast mobile games, and is one of few ways to share this type of gameplay with viewers in real time.
LiveUGC Live Event Broadcasting Platforms
While users could live stream anything they want, Live.ly was an offshoot of the video-sharing network Musical.ly, and was largely used to share LiveUGC musical and lip-syncing performances. The platform was developed on the request of Musical.ly users who wanted the ability to interact in real time. Live.ly was home to many influencers, who can monetize their streaming through donations from fans.
This solution for managing youth sports leagues offers a live-streaming component, SL Live. This gives coaches, parents, administrators and athletes the ability to live stream games and highlights from their mobile devices, and to share them both within the app and on social media. SportsLogic also receives and time-syncs feeds from multiple devices to offer multiple camera angles.
Built on Wowza Streaming Engine, G9MD is the first health care-specific platform for live and on-demand video streaming. G9MD is used to broadcast surgical meetings, medical procedures, physician lectures and other educational content, and is easy for those without a technical background to use.
Anyone can stream sporting events with pro-level quality using the Meridix platform, which is built on Wowza Streaming Engine software. Whether it’s a youth league, a college game or a professional championship, Meridix puts the power of LiveUGC in the hands of anyone with a smartphone.
Influencer Marketing and E-commerce Platforms
Livby was the first live-streaming shopping app, letting users add their favorite brands and influencers to participate in live shopping experiences whenever they want. Conversely, brands can either create their own live videos, or they can choose from the platform’s own network of influencers to host their live streams for them.
Men’s fashion app Revel featured interactive, shoppable stories told through video, photos and text and created by brands and influencers. The platform focused on curated products from up-and-coming brands, which users could select from the stories and purchase directly within the app. They could also “like,” share and discuss products and stories with other users, both within the app and on social media.
Japan-based Live Shop offers an app built around live-streaming influencer videos. Influencers are selected by the app creators and required to produce professional-looking streams. This startup-founded platform originally made money from affiliate links posted by influencers, but now has its own inventory, so viewers can click to buy directly from within the app.
Wowza’s technology can help you create interactive video experiences in many different verticals.