Live Digital Video’s Market Reality

In the recent interview with Buzzfeed News, Mark Zuckerberg shared why Facebook went all in with Live Digital Video: “The big decision we made was to shift a lot of our video efforts to focus on Live, because it is this emerging new format; not the kind of videos that have been online for the past five or ten years.”

live digital video

Taking on the likes of Snapchat, Periscope and traditional TV, Facebook threw the company behind a massive push to add a slew of new features to its live digital video.


While this sounds ambitious, its far from a reality. According to data aggregated by the Pivotal Research Group, time spent watching television now exceeds all other leisure activities — including socializing, sports, exercising, reading and relaxing — combined.

Also Read: Common Sense that Digital Marketers Ignore

In addition, the data show that when it comes to live digital video content consumption, computers, tablets, gaming consoles and mobiles represents a little over 10%. Where is the remainder 90% you ask? Live TV takes 80%. The goal for social platforms to be a second screen is admirable and encouraged, but no where near the haughty goal.

It’s also worth nothing that numbers aren’t the point. Context will matter more in the longer run. But this factoid hurts those that are good at drawing huge audiences and counting it a success. Like when 10 million people waited 45 minutes to watch a watermelon explode. Or that time half a million people stopped working to end global poverty. No wait, they watched people dodge a puddle. Doesn’t seem like high net worth individuals that value their time.
We live in a world where a 1% conversion rate is considered to be a point of pride. A world where you are statistically more likely to complete NAVY SEAL training, survive a plane crash, win the lottery, and do a slew of other ridiculously uncommon things than you are to click a banner ad.

While the “young people and teens” that Zuckerberg and client-brands want to attract look good on paper for a number of reasons that fuel vanity metrics, its the baby boomers that ultimately have the deeper pockets, which is why context impressions will matter more and marketers must redirect their energies in that direction.


Earlier this month, Twitter beat the likes of Verizon, Facebook, Amazon and Yahoo for the rights to live stream 10 NFL Games, even though Recode reports that Twitter bid under US$ 10 million, much less than what Yahoo paid in 2015. By doing this, Twitter shift itself from being the place where you just talk about current events to be the place where you watch events unfold.

Twitter didn’t have to outbid its competition because the monetization options created for Amplify work for content creators, and its yet to be seen how Facebook will evolve to suit the market’s demands.


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