Facebook Live. Periscope and Twitter #golive. Live-stream video seems to be a huge fad. A number of these services have come and gone (Meerkat and Blab to name two). With video watching so prominent on the Internet, why does live-stream appear to be floundering?
Blab, the most recent live-stream video service to go belly-up, shared some insights in an article one of the founders wrote. In his writeup, Shaan Puri reports that in its first year of operation, Blab grew to 3.9 million users. The average daily user spent over 65 minutes per day on Blab. So, why did the service die?
Shaan believes there are two reasons that contributed to the demise of Blab.
1. Most live-stream videos aren’t engaging enough.
With Blab, only 10% of the 3.9 million users returned to the service on a regular basis. The reason was because most live-stream videos aren’t interesting enough to justify stopping what you are doing to watch.
2. Blab became a place to hang out with friends, not create content.
In essence, content creators quit using Blab because they did not get enough traction from viewers. The people who stayed on Blab did so to hang out with friends.
I think authors can learn a couple lessons from Blab’s closing.
1. Your video content must be engaging and informative.
Whether people are stopping what they are doing to watch your video or they are taking time away from other activities to watch your video, your content must be compelling enough to capture and keep your audience’s attention. It is best to keep your videos short—under two minutes in length. Studies show that 60% of viewers stop watching a video by two minutes.
2. Your video content should be accessible on the viewer’s time frame, not yours.
It would appear that live-stream is not the best channel to collect an audience. Instead, providing videos that people can access at any time that is convenient for them is more important. This may explain why Periscope recently updated its app so that users can stores their videos long-term, not just for 24 hours.
Internet video watching will continue to grow in 2017. Experts predict that video watching will consume 69% of Internet traffic this year. Because people view so much video on the web, it can be a very useful tool in marketing books.
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