Live events: What are they and why you need them

Article22nd March, 2024
  • Live events

Live events have long been a cornerstone of entertainment and communication, captivating audiences with their immediacy and authenticity. Whether it's watching a virtual concert, tuning into a corporate webinar, or getting caught up in the action of a live sports broadcast, these events bring us together in real-time, creating moments we can all share. And now, with technology, live events aren't just limited to physical venues. They've expanded into virtual gatherings, blurring the line between what's happening in the real world and what's happening online.

Live streaming lies at the heart of this transformation, enabling individuals and organizations to connect with audiences in real-time, regardless of geographical barriers. The live streaming industry has grown exponentially in recent years, and it will continue to grow from $1.51 billion in 2023 to $1.83 billion in 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.4%, and is projected to reach $3.95 billion by 2028, experiencing a CAGR of 21.6% from 2021 to 2028.

Live events in the streaming era

The concept of live events is not new, with roots dating back to ancient civilizations. Fast forward to today, and live events have taken on a whole new level of excitement. Whether it's the thrill of a live concert, the excitement of a sports match, or the energy of a political rally, there's something for everyone in the world of live entertainment.

But what about live streaming? Well, that's where things get interesting. Back in the early days of the internet, platforms like YouTube and Twitch gave us a taste of what it was like to broadcast our lives to the world. Then came social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, opening the gates for anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection to share their experiences in real-time. It's like being able to invite the world to join in on your adventures, right from the palm of your hand.

Today, live streaming has become an integral part of our digital culture, with platforms like Twitch and YouTube Live dominating the landscape. In fact, live video has emerged as the favored content format for many, as evidenced by a report from Livestream and New York Magazine. The study revealed that a staggering 80% of audiences prefer consuming live video content from brands over reading blogs. Furthermore, a remarkable 82% express a preference for live video over social media posts from brands.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of live streaming across various industries, reshaping the landscape of live events. With restrictions on in-person events and the need for social distancing, organizations have turned to live streaming as a safe and effective alternative to traditional events. According to a report by Statista, global live streaming viewership surged by 45% in 2020, reaching over 1.1 billion hours watched per day. This unprecedented growth underscores the pivotal role of live streaming in maintaining connectivity and engagement during times of crisis.

In today's dynamic landscape of video streaming, OTT (Over-the-top) platforms continually seek innovative strategies to captivate audiences and drive business success. One such strategy gaining prominence is the integration of live events into their content offerings. Live events offer a myriad of advantages for OTT platforms, from enhancing audience engagement to fostering revenue growth.

Live events: Who should use them?

Live events have become indispensable across various industries, catering to a diverse array of professionals. Here's a breakdown of who can benefit and why:

     1.   Sports industry:

Sports organizations leverage live events to engage fans globally, offering real-time coverage of matches, tournaments, and behind-the-scenes content. By streaming events live, sports leagues enhance fan interaction, broaden their audience reach, and increase revenue through advertising and sponsorship deals.

Discover success stories related to live events in the sports industry:

    • Alpha Networks’ collaboration with Cognacq Jay Image for bEIN MEDIA GROUP

    • Optimized streaming OTT platform for the French National Volleyball League (LNV) 

     2.   Content producers:

Content creators and media companies capitalize on live events to captivate audiences with exclusive experiences. Live streaming enables them to connect directly with viewers, fostering community engagement and brand loyalty. Additionally, it provides an additional revenue stream through pay-per-view or subscription-based models.

Read the success story of Europe's #1 yoga & wellness online platform

     3.   Entertainment industry:

Concerts, festivals, and award shows harness the power of live events to deliver unforgettable performances and immersive experiences to audiences worldwide. Live streaming these events allows artists and organizers to extend their reach beyond physical venues, reaching fans in distant locations and driving ticket sales and merchandise purchases.

     4.   Businesses and corporations:

Companies use live events for corporate communications, product launches, and virtual conferences. Live streaming enables businesses to deliver real-time updates, training sessions, and interactive presentations to employees, clients, and stakeholders globally. It enhances communication, fosters collaboration, and reduces costs associated with travel and logistics.

Why use live events?

Live events aren't just about entertainment - they're powerful tools for engagement, communication, and connection, offering several compelling reasons to incorporate them into your strategy:

  • Real-time engagement:
    Live events offer immediate interaction and engagement with audiences, fostering a sense of connection and community. By broadcasting live events such as sports tournaments, concerts, or industry conferences, OTT (Over-the-top) platforms can offer viewers an immersive experience that keeps them engaged throughout the event. Additionally, live events enable interactive features such as live chats, polls, and audience Q&A sessions, further enhancing viewer participation and creating a sense of community.

  • Wider audience reach:  
    Integrating live events into OTT platforms diversifies content offerings to appeal to a broader audience base with varying interests. Whether it's a major sporting event, exclusive concert, or niche industry conference, live events cater to diverse demographics and preferences, allowing OTT platforms to attract and retain a larger audience. Furthermore, live events have the potential to reach global audiences, transcending geographical boundaries and expanding the platform's reach to new markets.

  • Enhanced brand exposure:
    By curating compelling live content and delivering seamless viewing experiences, platforms can position themselves as go-to destinations for live entertainment and information. Additionally, engaging with viewers during live events through personalized interactions and exclusive offers can deepen brand affinity and encourage long-term viewer retention.

  • Monetization opportunities:  
    One of the most significant advantages of live events for OTT platforms lies in their monetization potential. Through flexible monetization models such as pay-per-view, subscription packages, or advertising, platforms can capitalize on the high viewer engagement and demand associated with live events. By offering premium access to exclusive live content or incorporating targeted advertisements during live streams, OTT platforms can generate substantial revenue streams while delivering value to both viewers and content creators.

  • Authenticity and transparency:
     Live streaming creates a sense of authenticity and transparency, allowing organizations to showcase their culture, values, and behind-the-scenes operations in real-time.

Incorporating live events into their strategies empowers businesses and organizations to connect with their target audiences effectively, drive engagement, and achieve their goals in the digital era.

How do successful live events look like?

Live events encompass a wide range of experiences that unfold in real-time, captivating audiences with their immediacy and authenticity. Whether it's a music festival streaming live to millions of viewers worldwide or a corporate webinar connecting professionals from across the globe, live events offer a unique opportunity for engagement and interaction.

Several real-life examples underscore the immense success and impact of live events in the digital era:

     1.   FIFA World Cup:

A global football tournament held every four years, captivating billions of viewers worldwide with its electrifying matches, passionate fans, and iconic moments. The 2022 Qatar World Cup saw approximately 5 billion viewers engaging with the matches across an array of online platforms and devices.

     2.   Apple Keynote Events:

Apple's keynote events are eagerly anticipated by tech enthusiasts worldwide. These events, which unveil new products and innovations, are live streamed to millions of viewers, allowing them to participate in the excitement of Apple's latest releases.

     3.   Coachella Music Festival:

Coachella stands as a pinnacle in the music festival landscape, drawing massive crowds and top-tier performers. In recent years, Coachella has embraced live streaming, enabling music fans from across the globe to experience the festival's electrifying performances remotely.

     4.   E3 Gaming Expo:

The E3 Gaming Expo is a mecca for gamers, where industry giants unveil their latest gaming innovations. E3's live presentations and press conferences attract millions of viewers online, showcasing the excitement and anticipation surrounding new game releases.

     5.   Virtual Concerts:

Amidst the pandemic, virtual concerts have soared in popularity, offering an alternative to traditional live music events. Artists and bands have embraced live streaming to deliver unforgettable performances to fans worldwide, transcending geographical barriers and bringing people together through music. The artist who has had the most success holding a virtual concert in the metaverse was Travis Scott in April 2020 inside the famous video game Fortnite, gathering 12 million viewers around the world.

These examples illustrate the versatility and impact of live events in the digital age, highlighting their ability to entertain, inform, and inspire audiences on a global scale.

Looking ahead: What's next in live events?

Live events represent a powerful tool for businesses and content distribution platforms looking to elevate their offerings, engage their audience, and drive business growth in the competitive landscape of the video streaming industry. By harnessing the immediacy, interactivity, and excitement of live events, companies can unlock new opportunities for revenue generation through flexible monetization models.

In the upcoming blog series, we'll delve deeper into the world of live events, exploring topics such as audience engagement strategies, technical considerations, and the latest trends shaping the industry. Stay tuned for more insights into how to navigate and thrive in the dynamic world of live events.

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