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Streaming: A Level Playing Field

The democratisation of virtual entertainment

Exactly two years ago, we entered the first lockdown. Adults, stuck indoors, turned to the TV, spending on average 40% of their waking hours in front of a screen and subscription streaming services doubled. 12 million people joined a service they had not previously used, with a quarter of these people subscribing for the first time ever.

Much of this “pandemic induced” streamed content was not from big-name streaming TV services. We saw events of every type and scale streamed, using a variety of platforms, from global conferences, product launches and fashion shows, to live music gigs, live theatre performances, and even live court trials.

The public’s lives are often still in a state of flux and constant change, but streaming as a service has remained popular – perhaps even more popular than ever. Here, we will look to answer why – and what that means for those who stream, not just those who are streamed to!

Why is streaming good for business?

Streaming has stolen a march on traditional broadcasting (see our recent blog on this topic here). People are moving towards an environment where they have more control over what they view, and more choice in what is viewed.

The benefits of streaming appear obvious - on-demand content you want, when you want it – but for content owners the upside doesn’t stop there.

The fact is, you don’t need deep pockets and blockbuster budgets to start streaming directly to consumers. Streaming-as-a-service – enabling you to stream content without having to pay for expensive streaming infrastructure - means barriers to entry for newcomers, and those needing to keep costs low to test out a business case, are relatively minimal, offering untapped potential.

You don’t even need to have your own service to partake. Streaming services such as StagePlayer +, for example, launched by Easel TV during the pandemic in collaboration with PlayerPlus, enable smaller, lower-budget content providers to access online audiences without prohibitive start-up costs and outlay – and they also enable content owners to cluster together in thematic categories that will be of specific interest to their target audiences.

Alex Ryan of Easel TV, explains: “As Director of User Experience, my job is to ensure that our platforms ultimately perform, for the viewers of course, but also importantly for the businesses that are choosing our technology to get their content, and indeed streaming e-commerce offerings, out there. Streaming is now a tried and tested solution, that’s scalable and affordable – critical factors for most of our clients”.

Fast, financially-viable, fool-proof

The speed at which a company can upload content, for people to start streaming it, is one of the greatest advantages of this approach, together with ease of adoption. This makes it a perfect business model – easy adoption, quick to master and lucrative.

And streaming has certainly been a major disruptor to the established value chain¸ with smaller players now genuinely able to compete against their larger counterparts. But even the bigger players are getting in on the long tail, niche and genre market. Whilst these could potentially distract from their core business, or indeed harm reputation should they fail, they can use outsourced Streaming-as-a-Service operators like Easel TV to test the market and mitigate this risk, and thereby serve different markets using different platforms. Separately branded, this offers a tiered and de-risked approach to an organisation‘s content distribution.

Streaming ahead – what does the future hold?

By 2026, the live streaming market is expected to grow to well over 100 billion dollars. This is certainly credible given there has been a 99% growth in live streaming hours since April 2019. And technology is no longer divisive; every generation is growing more confident with streaming technology, both as consumers and as content providers.

Popular platforms that are not necessarily, at their core, about streaming per se are also homing in on the success of streamed content, such as Eventbrite, who have documented that 67% of viewers are more likely to buy a ticket for an event or a concert after watching a live video, and HubSpot revealed that 54% of buyers want to see more video content from the businesses and brands they support. Live streaming, in particular, is preferred to blog posts or other written content as it is perceived to be more engaging.

There is, then, arguably a pretty strong business case for organisations to stream content.  

As streaming takes over from broadcast TV, the future of live entertainment becomes the focus of attention. Whether it’s being able to instantly switch to selling virtual tickets for events that cannot host a live audience owing to unforeseen circumstances, or you are an organisation addressing your carbon footprint responsibilities - the streaming of virtual digital events is an essential emerging market and one you can lucratively tap into.

What’s not to like?

A consumption-based business model without long-term contracts or tie-ins, that enables you to test the market without extortionate overheads or outlay must be a winning formula.

At Easel TV, we have been providing complete end-to-end video streaming solutions since 2009 and are the outsourced streaming service provider behind many well-known brands. Our OTT service has enabled companies to deliver seamless interactivity between channel and app, and make the service universally accessible across PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast and TV operator set-top-boxes.

So are you ready to take your entertainment into the metaverse and grow your revenue through digital?  At Easel TV, we can help you do just that.  

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