Facebook LiveThis is the hot new platform. The BIG DEAL with FB Live is that so many people are on FB so often, that anything that goes Live here gets INSTANT viewership without having to be “appointment viewing” like other platforms. Anything Live on FB automatically appears at the top of feeds for the duration which brings huge eyeballs. Plus, the ability for people to actually interact with comments lends viewers to stay. (A producer - or two, or a host - should plan on having an iPad just to queue up questions or comments and respond to the audience). For numbers, one client, the University of Phoenix, sees high hundreds of thousands to millions of impressions on their Commencement FB Live broadcasts; multiply this by leveraging multiple FB pages and you can see big numbers.
Most platforms require video-on-demand after the live event to be uploaded separately. FB Live makes the VOD available immediately following the event. This brings even more viewers! Clients should be coached to retrieve numbers at 12-hours post-Live and 24-hours post-Live to see the long tail of viewership and brand impressions. But note that what you stream out is what is made for VOD. So although we usually do a 30-minute countdown on most live events, I suggest only a 1-minute countdown or none at all for FB since what you put up is exactly what goes VOD. (I'd love to see them allow a trim function in the future.)
While anyone can truly stream to FB Live using just their phone, major brands understand that viewer experience and professionalism are required of anything with their name. Corporations are not grass-roots fly-by-night handheld cell phone operations. Their productions must meet consistent quality equitable with broadcast TV for consumers to have positive impressions of them. Poorly produced content may live on infinitely on the internet and you do not want your brand tarnished over a few thousand dollars in production value. A blogger or college student has very little brand equity, reputation, and consumer-quality-impression to lose... a corporation has exponentially more. Add in the legal ramifications if copyrights or licenses are inadvertently violated (background music) and hiring a professional becomes a non-questioned option.
Failure is not an option
An impromptu webcast may work via cell phone for a quick hit one-off. But for a promoted, timely event, that MUST go out to viewers without problems, relying on one cell phone may cause problems. What if that carrier has congestion at that cell site? What if the crowd at the location taxes the cell infrastructure causing failure? What if the location is loud and the tiny cell phone microphone doesn't pick up the talent? When a lot rides on a production, professionals must be hired.
You get what you pay for. For casual, personal use, simple live streaming tools are great. But when you step up to a real event that faces an audience and has any kind sponsorship, brand equity, or longevity behind it, you need to use quality-proven tools that give the flexibility to work interchangeably within a broadcast environment. Essentially, you are making TV and all the rules still apply.
Check out my review of the LiveU Solo here