Product Marketing Manager Shifali Jamwal
Live streaming delivers videos to millions of viewers through various streaming protocols over the Internet in real-time and without any video latency. The growth of this market is backed by the surging popularity of esports, video games, and online content creators, the growing preference for live-streamed content, and increasing smartphone adoption and internet penetration, especially during COVID. In 2021, 548 billion hours were spent on mobile live streaming apps worldwide. The live streaming market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.4% from 2021 to 2028 to reach $4.26 billion by 2028. With the steep growth of live streaming, the focus increasingly shifts to finding engaging ways to increase the retention rate of the viewers.
Regarding viewer engagement, live streaming is a step above on-demand video. Having a live stream allows the creator to connect with the followers or audience at a more personal level. A step above live streaming is Interactive Live Streaming, which allows creators to have the option to invite a few participants on-stage to interact with them to keep the audience engaged. Being able to address millions of viewers and having the option to allow several of them to video chat in real-time, builds credibility for the creator and adds to the sense of community for the audience.
The images below showcase the simplicity and uniqueness of Interactive Live Streaming. The first image is of an American football game being streamed live as two commentators or moderators are visible on the screen.
The second image is a screenshot from the moderators' view, where they can see a list of Attendees. Here, Participants list refers to people who are on the screen and can interact. The mouse is hovering over the icon that can promote a person from an Attendee to a Participant with a simple click.
Once an Attendee (or multiple attendees) is promoted, they appear on the screen along with the other Participants (in this case, Commentators) for an interactive session. The moderators can very easily click the cross on the Participant's square to demote them back to being a Participant.
Interactive live streaming allows content creators to provide more engaging experiences for audiences of events across industries. Here are some examples that can elevate their audience experience by incorporating the interactive element.
Connecting Artists to Fans:
Creators will be able to start a live broadcast at any time from anywhere and fans will be able to tune in to a show live from anywhere. Millions of fans can tune in to the broadcast via the fan app, and any of those people can request to participate in the conversation live. Creators can seamlessly allow a requestor to be part of the broadcast conversation and just as easily switch that off to return them to listening only. The idea of access makes the fans stickier to the app and increases subscription as well as retention rate.
The experience of streaming a live game is elevated when the creators/gamers not only share their screen and gameplay with the viewers but also let them join the conversation or even allow them to play a game with them while on the stream. This brings the gaming community closer to the creator and builds a strong following. This unique interactive experience will help the subscription numbers go up and make the subscribers more sticky as they feel more personally involved. SignalWire Interactive Live Streaming allows creators to stream to a massive audience with the ability to interact with the audience in real time with no lag throughout the streaming process.
Live Sports Betting:
If there’s an event that needs super low latency and interaction, it’s live sports betting. When bettors are predicting and placing a wager on the outcome throughout the game, the bettor has to be quick on the draw; their opportunity to make a decision and place the wager may only be available for 5 to 10 seconds. Latency makes it more challenging for those who want to bet on the play or the outcome of the current drive. Therefore, low latency of less than 500ms will allow the bettors to get data in real time, and they can waste no time before placing a bet. The interactive live stream facilitates peer-to-peer interaction making online betting not a solitary activity but an intrinsically social activity creating close and meaningful relations and a sense of belonging.
Townhalls or Public Meetings:
Townhalls are a perfect example of where an Interactive Live Stream can be used to elevate the experience of a massive crowd yet connect with the audience at a more personal level. In a town hall that is been streamed by millions of viewers, the public official or political candidate addressing the audience will be able to accept requests of individuals to allow them to join them on stage and have a live interactive Q&A session, making the entire experience more natural. These interactions from a live audience add credibility to the speaker and empower the people.
Interactive live streaming is a powerful tool that provides a massive audience with a unified and consistent shared experience. Having this shared experience is critical especially during a large-scale event since it provides a sense of belonging to all the viewers. As participants from the audience are promoted to be active participants who can interact with the host, the quality of the experience remains stable for everyone. All the transitions happen real time with little to no latency, and despite the stream being watched by millions of people, there are no lags or glitches. It is the highest quality streaming experience with the lowest expense to audience devices/bandwidth.
A consistent shared experience at a large scale is only made possible by SignalWire’s unique cloud-streaming approach that selects the best technology in real-time, making it seamless to have millions of viewers and hundreds of audiences interacting simultaneously. This approach mixes the streams from participants and audiences into the cloud (SignalWire Server) and sends one stream out to all audiences, resulting in much lower latency (<500 ms).
The one-stream-in, one-stream-out technology allows superior studio quality audio + video regardless of the number of passive or active audience members. The bulk of the task is done in the cloud-based infrastructure putting little load on the local devices, irrespective of the number of people watching or interacting in the live stream.
Besides the unique advantage of the highest quality at the lowest bandwidth expense, SignalWire also offers an option for the viewers to join the live stream via telephony where the audience may join by calling in (PSTN and SIP integration). The ability to join the stream from the phone expands the breadth of how many people you’re able to connect with.
An added benefit of using SignalWire Interactive Live Streaming is that you control exactly when and how to use it. Using SignalWire SDKs, you get access to APIs that your application can use to enable or disable streaming, promote participants, and more. As with all our other features, Interactive Live Streaming is fully programmable. In practical terms, when requesting a Video Room Token from the REST APIs you will be able to specify whether that participant should join the room as an audience or as a member. After joining from the Browser SDK, you’ll be able to call methods for promoting/demoting participants, which in turn will trigger events that you can subscribe to.
If you’re intrigued and would like to know more about SignalWire Interactive Live Streaming and find out how you can use it to fit your need, join our live session on Oct 5th. Sign up here and get in early on the list!