Everywhere you turn, people are creating and bingeing live streaming content. But why is it so popular? In a nutshell, mobile live app streaming provides users a highly engaging interactive digital experience, and offers companies a fantastic avenue to drive brand awareness, build relationships, and increase sales. It’s no wonder that live streaming is becoming increasingly popular with content creators and consumers alike!
Indeed, mobile streaming software was a factor in leading consumers to spend $6.78 billion via social apps, and this number is set to rise to $17.2 billion annually by 2025. The market size of the global live streaming market will exceed $4.2 billion by 2028.
LinkedIn found that live videos are 158% more popular, gain 7X more reactions, and have 24X more comments than on-demand ones. Meanwhile, viewers spend 27% more time per viewing on live streams than on-demand video content.
Brands that are working to leverage live streaming by using mobile streaming software are poised to reach many more consumers than competitors who are not. In this blog, we’ll break down the biggest live streaming opportunities by industry and cover the best platforms or mobile streaming software on which to host a live stream. We’ll also talk about why you should make your own live streaming app!
Examples of live streaming opportunities by industry
How do you make live streaming work for your business? Here are some use cases to get your gears turning.
Gaming and entertainment
Gaming – sports events, concerts, and video games – is the staple of live streaming. Video game live streaming market leader Twitch experienced year-over-year growth of 96% in streaming hours during Q3 2020. Meanwhile, YouTube reported that its users watched 100 billion hours of gaming content in the same year.
Partnering with game influencers to drive awareness can even work if you aren’t directly in the gaming and entertainment industry. KFC collaborated with Twitch streamer Ben Lupo to integrate the brand into his live streaming content to get in front of his fans.
Retail and live commerce
Live commerce will account for $35 billion in retail sales in the U.S. by 2024, with apparel and fashion accounting for 36% of all live-stream shopping events. Retail brands can use the opportunity to interact with their audiences, answer questions, and demo their products. These events often include a social component, such as live chat, in which shoppers can interact with each other.
Consumers enjoy live commerce for various reasons. The top benefits of live streaming include exclusive discounts, inspiration and ideas, information to make decisions, engagement with brands, recommendations, interactivity, behind-the-scenes content, and access to influencers — so make sure to include these benefits in your events.
Education and training
Universities and schools leveraged live streaming technology extensively during the pandemic and will likely continue to do so. 86% of colleges and universities have a YouTube presence, 77% offer online courses, and 55% of college presidents predict that students will take at least some online classes.
Live streaming allows instructors to increase productivity and gives students more flexibility to participate in classes in formats that suit their learning styles. Successful online instruction must incorporate community and interactivity in a moderated environment so students can communicate with their peers and teachers in real-time to enhance the learning experience.
Global live events
We’re all familiar with the surge in virtual events and spending due to the pandemic; maybe you’ve attended a business conference or virtual concert from your home. Now more than ever, consumers enjoy participating and connecting with people globally – in a virtual environment.
Many brands have expanded their audiences during this time and leveraged the opportunities to build global communities. They will continue to use live streaming in their campaigns, such as partnering with artists, sponsoring events, or getting their products featured in live streams.
The best mobile streaming software in 2023
Many social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, offer live streaming features at no cost. This is helpful for small businesses and startups that want to gain exposure and build brand awareness. By relying on the top mobile streaming software, you can easily stream to followers and other viewers that come across your stream.
Live streaming on TikTok is available once you hit 1,000 followers. Still, that audience milestone can be fairly easy to hit once you start regularly posting with a content strategy in place.
TikTok is massively popular amongst Gen-Z; 60% of TikTok users are Gen Zers! TikTok users love this video-sharing app; users spend an average of 95 minutes per day in the platform and open it nearly 8 times per day!
The live stream features on TikTok are simple to use and include a chat interface that allows users to comment and communicate with the streamer. Audience members can also send gifts during the stream. Live videos have a 60-minute time limit and are subject to TikTok’s community guidelines meaning that you have to follow their rules to continue streaming.
The easy-to-use video streaming app offers monetization options and is most suitable for live shopping, how-to or product demos, games and contests, ask-me-anything (AMA) events, and viral videos on politics, fashion, and music.
YouTube has a massive user base of over 2.6 billion active users worldwide. It’s the most popular live shopping platform in the world, with 40% of people confirming that they later purchased products discovered on YouTube.
YouTube offers robust features such as live chat with moderation tools, monetization options, channel membership, notification functions, and video analytics. The mass appeal of the platform allows brands to reach a broad audience. You can broadcast live events, concerts, webinars, product launches, interviews, workshops, tutorials, live vlogs, and more. Anything that can be live streamed, you can probably do on YouTube.
However, due to the sheer volume of content, it can be hard for streamers to cut through the noise. You need 1,000 subscribers to go live on mobile and 4,000 hours of watch time to qualify for monetization options.
You’re probably familiar with Twitch if you’re in the gaming or tech space, but creators in other niches can also use it to promote their brands. This mobile streaming software offers several ways to monetize your content, and it has a robust live chat feature that allows viewers to interact with streamers in real time.
Besides gaming, Twitch is also popular for esports tournaments, talk shows, live podcasts, arts and crafts events, contests and giveaways, and ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response).
This widely used platform can help you attract new audiences and offers long-term revenue potential with subscription options. However, it’s challenging for new streamers to build a user base on the crowded platform, and the monetization option is only available to Twitch Affiliates.
Let’s not forget the B2B market! LinkedIn Live is the place to be if you want to drive engagement with a professional audience, including employees and investors. Well-known brands like Vimeo, Hootsuite, and Thrive Global use LinkedIn Live for their business updates and events.
The live-streaming features are best for promoting events, hosting product demos, showcasing innovation, and attracting employees. The platform is also popular among individuals who want to grow their personal brands and professional circles.
Besides live stream analytics, LinkedIn Live offers chat and chat moderation tools that allow the host to block, report, or delete inappropriate comments. However, the live broadcasting feature is only available for members whose applications are approved by the platform.
Other examples of mobile streaming software
Of course, we can’t forget about Facebook Live and Instagram Live, which are two of the most popular apps. There are also apps dedicated to live streaming, such as Tango and Switcher Studio. You can also use software and encoders such as Dacast, Restream, or Wirecast Go to stream to multiple platforms or directly to your website.
Why third-party mobile streaming software may not be the best fit for your business
While streaming on these apps and social networks offers you the fastest and cheapest way to get started, they may not be the best option for businesses that want to deliver a cohesive branded experience and create a seamless purchasing path.
This is because viewers can get distracted easily by other content in their social media feeds, and there are limited options to create an on-brand experience outside the video player. While you can interact with viewers via comments, you have less control over content moderation to ensure a safe, on-brand experience.
Plus, all these third-party platforms own the user data, so you can’t access granular audience insights to inform other digital marketing strategies. Moreover, you can’t capture user information to follow up after the event. For example, you can’t track who has viewed your content and for how long; this means that it is more difficult to deliver personalized messages via email or remarketing campaigns.
How to make your own streaming app
To get the most out of the growing opportunity offered by live streaming, businesses must keep their data and customer journey under a single umbrella. Owning your own live streaming capabilities, instead of relying on third-party mobile streaming software, means operating under your brand, data, and rules.
Sendbird Live is a high-quality, sub-second-latency, webRTC-based video broadcasting API and global video infrastructure spanning 6 AWS regions. On one hand, the Sendbird Live UIKits for iOS, Android, and React offer off-the-shelf live video, live chat, and moderation in one package. This helps to streamline development with ready-made UI components for mobile apps and websites. On the other hand, the SDKs offer maximum flexibility for developers to customize the look and feel of their mobile applications and websites.
The feature-rich Sendbird platform offers many opportunities to create a one-of-a-kind live experience:
- Private group chats or video calls help users engage in watch parties, creating a higher sense of community.
- Polls are a fun and interactive way to engage and get a pulse on your live audience.
- Announcements is a powerful campaign API to send built-in promotional offers to thousands of participants in real time.
- The Notification Center enables marketers to create and send promotional messages to their apps via engagement platforms like Braze.
- Push notifications are the most effective way to remind users outside of your app to remind them about a live stream status.
- Support chat and bot integration can help customers across their buying or live user journey.
- Webhooks allow developers to create subsequent actions to conversation-based events.
In addition, the Sendbird APIs interoperate well with other APIs, allowing developers to integrate payments, set up shipping, and more to create perfect workflows to wow your customers.
Lastly, to enable even more engaging global live streams at scale up to a hundred thousand participants and world-class chat, Sendbird Live will now support cloud recording and 3rd-party camera filters APIs.
Want to get access to OBS support/RTMP transcoding, screen sharing, and live reactions in the video stream? Contact us, and we’ll help you take your app to the next level.