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How is live streaming media changing our lives?

THE WAY we communicate, absorb content and entertain ourselves is constantly changing. Mobile apps, social media and Wi-Fi have combined to give us more freedom to interact with others than ever before.

Live video is one of the latest forms of media to take off in this way. We can now experience live visual content on our favourite social media platforms, immerse ourselves in live action gaming and talk face-to-face with our nearest and dearest.

But what has live streaming video given us that previous formats lacked?

BUSINESS

Those impersonal quarterly conference calls were always awkward, weren’t they? A disembodied voice preaching from some undisclosed location. With the advent of live video, virtual conferences put you and your colleagues in the same room. Meetings can go ahead as they would if you were all there together.

The main use of live video in the current climate is product marketing. We are likely to spend longer watching a video featuring a product than read a detailed write-up of its benefits.

Videos are more fun, can be interactive and could feature celebrities or sports-people we enjoy, even if it is just for a promo. Live media gives marketers a powerful tool to spread the word on social media and elsewhere about their brand.

Live streaming is such a big deal now that it has become an extensive business itself. Twitter’s live video format Periscope is one of the top five most downloaded apps in existence, while Facebook Live has had similar success.

GAMING

Until now, online games inhabited a virtual, walled world that we had limited access to. We could only peer in through our screen at the action and dictate what happened with our fingertips. But live video in iGaming suites is changing all of that.

For instance, you can now enjoy the live drama of the casino with real croupiers and high-definition detail. Games that can be played in real time include casino roulette and blackjack, which can be enjoyed on all of your various devices and, most importantly, from the comfort of your own home. Immersive surroundings and camera angles are redefining the virtual iGaming world as superior graphics take us to the sights and sounds of the real casino.

Watching other gamers is easier too. Services like Twitch are helping us see our favourite professional and amateur gamers compete through top-quality live video; it's like sitting in the room next to them. Popular gamers like KSIOlajidebt frequently live stream on social media and through their YouTube channels.

SOCIALISE

Scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed is now the best place to find live video content for your perusal. Your liked or subscribed pages will regularly post videos in addition to their regular posts or shares, which are easily watched in the newsfeed window.

YouTube is also a popular place to host a live video stream, as this is where most of us are used to going for video content. It has never been easier to find, view and share live visual media with our friends and families.

Many of us prefer video content over text and static images, as it is immersive, shows creativity and can be highly entertaining to watch. Used correctly, it is a marketing tool, a means of communicating and a way of enhancing our favourite online games. What’s clear is that live video has made the digital experience more interactive and fun than it was before.

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