Multi-screening is the new buzzword the simultaneous use of multiple screens at the same time. For example, watching TV while browsing social media on a smartphone. It’s not only limited to screens, though, and in the latest MAPS release from the Marketing Research Foundation (MRF), data on the simultaneous use of media is provided1.
It’s not a new phenomenon and probably dates back to the mid-30s when public opinion researchers Hadley Cantril and Gordon Allport were studying multitasking and simultaneous media use2.
“The housewife performs her household duties to the accompaniment of music, advice and advertising: in the afternoon she may sew, read or play bridge with the same background…in the evening, radio may provide a setting against which dinner is served and guests are entertained.”
Back to today though, and both streaming and live-streaming are regular additional arrows in the quiver of media platforms that need to be used to engage with an ever-changing consumer.
Streaming can be defined as the continuous transmission of audio or video files from a server to a client. In simpler terms, streaming is what happens when consumers watch TV or listen to podcasts on internet-connected devices. With streaming, the media file being played on the client device is stored remotely and is transmitted a few seconds at a time over the Internet3.
The ways of watching TV, movies, series, etc has changed dramatically over the years. Gone (for many) are the days of linear TV viewing. Streaming is increasing because people have more choice and more flexibility. They can catch up on their favourite show’s whenever they want to. Viu and eVOD are like ‘catch up’ on the go.
It is therefore imperative for marketers to take the strategic direction of placing their brands on streaming services wherever possible.
The advent of influencer marketing means audiences are now much more familiar with the idea of being communicated to directly through their screens – regardless of the broadcast’s setting. It means brands don’t necessarily need to hire a set either – they can get away with streaming from wherever they might be and whichever device they’re using.
According to the latest Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS – BRC report 2022) there is an upward shift and growth of streaming in terms of audiences and their behaviour. For this reason, advertising on live streaming platforms for marketers is no longer a novelty and agencies should update their strategies on how to reach this audience – which is essentially the same audience as before.
A live video strategy engages viewers in immediate and authentic ways that other social media formats cannot. Live streaming has the power to expand the viewership of an event attended by hundreds into the millions, to connect global audiences, and to reach these audiences on an unprecedented scale – for example – product launches, fashion shows, or exclusive fan releases.
Today, the average consumer is very different than 20 years ago. Now, they want to get to know a brand and really trust them before spending money. Not only do they want to learn about their environmental behaviours, but they also want to see the character of a brand. Live streaming provides this opportunity.
Does live streaming attract a return on investment (ROI)? Compared to traditional videos, it has an interactive nature, which normally draws more viewers. According to Facebook, Live videos are viewed three times longer than the standard video and considering the investment, it’s generally easier to live stream than create a video. With a live stream, you hit the Live button, do your stream, and then finish. With a standard video, there’s all sorts of editing, filming, and creation involved. Therefore, you get more engagement from a smaller investment and a bigger ROI.
We seem to faced with many ‘new norms’ lately! It is an exciting time with many of the rule books being thrown out. What’s the new norm of watching your favourite show? Anywhere and everywhere on multiple devices.
Xhanti Lungu is a media planner at Meta Media, Cape Town.
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