For some festival promoters, the idea of trying to build an audience in living rooms around the world with live streaming will seem like the antithesis of what they’re trying to do. Why throw a festival when people can experience it from bed, right?
But others will understand that live streaming is an incredible marketing tool, one that can offer the power to induce serious FOMO, which is perhaps the most desirable marketing phenomenon achievable. Live streams present an optimal funneling experience in introducing new customers to the unique wonders of your event and has become one of the most successfully integrated tech developments in the event industry.
A combination of faster internet speeds, affordable equipment, dispersed audiences and free platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube has brought the festival into living rooms around the world. But if you weren’t an early adopter of this, or a Coachella or Electric Daisy Carnival, you might feel like you’ve been left behind by the pace of development. That’s not the case.
Here are some reasons why it’s still a great idea to consider live streaming your event…
Live Streaming is Cheaper Than You Think
When you consider the relatively meager start-up costs associated with streaming nowadays, you might wonder why everyone isn’t doing it. With almost every major social media platform having a live streaming functionality, all you really need to invest in video and audio equipment that plays nice with these platforms. At the low end, you can easily use a smartphone or Go-Pro ($500-$1000) but if you’re looking to add some production value you can look at something like SlingStuido or PTZOptics ($1300 – $2000). While an even more complex setup with multiple cameras and crew would really sell the experience, just giving your audience at home a real-time glimpse of what they’re missing out on is still better than tolling away in offline obscurity. So what are you waiting for?
Facebook Live is Still Going Strong
After rolling out its live streaming platform with a celebrity fanfare in August 2015, Facebook has continued to gobble up the market for both high production and fan-generated live streaming for festivals and events. The platform’s videos are viewed, on average, three times longer than non-live videos, while their total video views are set to surpass 64 billion views per day.
With your own engaged audience already built-in, ease of sharing, tagging and commenting and a straightforward ad spending (though this can only be done after the live stream has ceased), Facebook Live is still performing strongly in terms of engagement and audience size. If you add Instagram into the mix since its acquisition, Facebook is not only performing, it’s a powerhouse.
Keep in mind: Facebook has a reliable track record for getting you hooked on its platform and then restricting access to your audience, so be wary about building your business model around “free” access to your audience.
Live Streaming Platforms Make Good Partners
Given that the streaming industry is expected to be worth $70 billion by 2021, there are a multitude of companies in the space offering solutions to all your streaming needs. It is important to determine whether you want to push it out via your social channels, or to work with a media company with a built-in audience.
Boiler Room, Mixmag and Be-At TV are all leading the charge in the electronic music space, bringing not only a high quality stream but a portal to their very engaged audiences. All of these do deals with festivals and clubs to both facilitate and broadcast live streaming to their audiences. Boiler Room for instance has over 450m views and 1.3m subscribers on YouTube. Although those are the big name brands in that niche, there are specialized streaming outfits in every genre and region.
You Can Access a Massive Audience
In 2016, Coachella registered around 100,000 people each day on-site, but their stream was viewed by 21 million people. Dreamforce Conference registered some 165,000 people through the gates, but their live stream touched over 12 million people! The numbers are hugely compelling, and it doesn’t matter what perspective you view it from, more people paying attention to your brand can only be beneficial to your profile year on year.
Extra Advertising Dollars!
As well as generating ROI the following year in ticket sales—Digitell found that 30% of people that watch a live stream event or festival buy a ticket for it the following year—live streams can be a great source of extra revenue. In 2015, Ad views on live streaming were up 113 percent, while festivals like Coachella partnered with T-Mobile to bring the full branded streaming experience–the “brandcast.” Even if you can’t quite snag a major global telecom brand to pony up some cash, partnering with a more modest brand to cover the cost of the live stream is a great way to save money and maximize reach.
Are you convinced yet? With such a low overhead cost and countless benefits, live streaming offers an additional channel for your event’s marketing efforts you shouldn’t miss. So for your next event, consider taking it to the next level with a live stream of your festival.