Facebook last year signed contracts with nearly 140 media companies to create videos for its live streaming service. The brand agreed to pay nearly $50 million to video creators. The contract for larger publishers like Buzzfeed and NewYork Times exceeded $3 million. Facebook was a relative rookie in the live video space compared to its competition till last year.

Recent data from Facebook reveals that live videos are watched three times longer than any other form of video. Live videos also generate 10x more engagement than regular videos. In May 2016, Candace Payne’s video Chewbacca Mask Mom became the most watched Facebook Live video generating over 170 million views. In response to the video, Khol the American Retailer where the mask was purchased from rewarded Payne with $2,500 gift cards.

Live streaming is also seeing considerable attention in the gaming world. YouTube according to the latest stream labs report is giving tough competition to Twitch (now owned by Amazon).  The report also suggests that long time streamers get more views than new ones.

YouTube also launched live-on-demand streaming service in the United States partnering with leading networks like CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC. The service is available for a price tag of $35 and allows up to six people to use the same account.

5 Ways to Leverage Live Video

Create Conflict

Buzzfeed uses live video to showcase experiments, long-form content and more. Last year Buzzfeed’s experiment with Watermelon got over 11 million views. In the video, two people put rubber bands on a watermelon, one by one, to see how many it would take before the watermelon burst. At 45 minutes the video captivated the audience as it created tension and kept the viewers glued to the video.

Behind the Scenes look

Target last year teamed up with Gwen Stefani to create a music video for the song ‘Make Me Like You’. The Facebook live video gave viewers a behind the scene look at the collaboration between Target and Gwen Stefani.

Ask for Viewer Participation

Women’s Magzine ‘Grazia UK’ for its round table debate concerning Brexit allowed viewers to ask questions during its Facebook Live. The audience would felt they were an integral part of the debate rather than just a passive participant. The video received over 74K views, with over 100+ questions and opinions coming from viewers on the platform.


Timing Matters

Benefit Cosmetics uses the series approach for Facebook Live. ‘Tipsy Tricks’ the brand’s video series is streamed at Thursday at 4.15 PM.  The brand also uses a lot of hooks to engage the audience. For instance, the host conducts a poll after the first four minutes into the video to get viewer feedback. The viewer feedback is also used by the brand to plan for the next episode in the series.

TV shows come on at certain times so people get in the habit of watching them. You can do the same with Facebook Live.

Laura Vanderkam, Author 

Live VR & 360-degree video

Viewers can now watch NBA on-demand using the NextVR platform. To watch the live stream viewers need a $200 subscription to NBA League Pass across devices. NBA’s NextVR broadcasts have generally received positive views. Live VR & 360-degree video will become more acceptable as the cost of VR headsets and the cost of production drops further.

Right now, (virtual reality is) probably the best advertisement you could have for the in-arena experience.

– Jeff Marsilio, NBA Vice President of Global Media Distribution