Films based on popular video games are received by critics about as well as a vegan at an outback steakhouse. Titles like Prince of Persia, Resident Evil, Sonic The Hedgehog, Tomb Raider and the onslaught of Pokemon films disappeared faster from screens faster than Kevin Spacey, each failing to achieve a 50% rating on RottenTomatoes (the millennial Bible).
But it would be remiss of both the production industry and video marketers to overlook the valuable lessons the gaming industry offers. As cinemas and theatres close, global video game sales increased over 60% in March as the industry experienced a boom in job creation. The progressive nature of the industry means that it offers a reflection of our future; the future of content, the future of distribution and the future of monetisation. Adopting the lessons learned can unlock new financial and creative opportunities for enterprising content creators.
How To Livestream
Livestream is to the gaming industry what VHS was to pornography in the 1980’s. Mainstream adoption of both technological advances is attributable to the rise of the respective industries. Today, gaming influencers like PewdiePie have amassed over 100 million subscribers, are signing exclusivity contracts with streaming platforms like Youtube Live and have a direct line of communication to an entire generation. For aspiring content creators and marketers looking for a brand ambassador, look no further than his fusion of popular culture and sporadic antisemitic comments as a crash course in how to live stream.
How To Monetise Content
PewdiePie’s revenue model is also a case study in how to monetise video in the Age Of Streaming. For such content creators, the bulk of monthly revenue consists of advertising, donations and sponsorships. But as Youtube looks to compete against the premium production quality of Netflix for eyeballs, expect a consolidation of influencers. New channels will struggle to grow as platform celebrities with large, existing subscriber bases are prioritised in a fickle algorithm.
Though the odds may be stacked against new content creators on Youtube, the global pandemic has seen an explosion in new audiences for live content. While traditional gamers paved the way for streaming, these new audiences with different tastes are consuming lifestyle content. Live streaming everything from surfing tutorials to rap battles on Twitch, Caffeine, and Youtube Live is seeing a rise in the next generation of lifestyle streamers. With a novel audience comes new opportunities for monetisation in which donations, apparel and new sources of revenue become available.
How To Distribute Content
The emergence of new online streaming platforms yields enormous upside potential for creators, but also presents challenges. The core advantage of live streaming over traditional video production is its potential to forge deeper relationships between a creator, a brand and a community. This can be undone by creators distributing content across too many platforms, diffusing their community in such a way that undermines the bounty of network effects.
Maintaining multiple streams across multiple platforms fragments your audience and the community faster than a blackout. Yet in order to find a winning formula, you’ll first need to experiment. In broadcasting to Vimeo Live, you can simulcast to Linkedin, Youtube, Facebook and Vimeo. Doing so enables experimentation with the format, platform and audience for your content, after which you can either consolidate your energies on a single platform or use one to funnel traffic to another.
How To Build a Community
The ability to reach millions of viewers while simultaneously offering interactive, real time conversations is a content creator’s wet dream. Venture capital firms in Silicon Valley predict further growth, observing “livestream gaming combines the reach of a public broadcast with the intimacy of a small, group community”. As people become increasingly removed from traditional sources of community during the pandemic, lifestyle streamers are going live to help fill that void.
For some, the sense of community afforded by video game live streaming lies in its inclusivity. But with 81% of all Twitch users being male, there’s a clear gender imbalance on video streaming platforms to be addressed.
How To Blend Real and Virtual Worlds
With a Michael Jordan sized hole in the NBA’s fanbase as a result of the Coronavirus, the league found a novel solution to engaging viewers. Throughout April, the NBA had star players play one on one in NBA2K for a knockout series that raised money for charity.
Similar approaches have been taken by marketers of global sporting codes. NASCAR drivers raced each other online. Major League Baseball players battled it out, and La Liga footballers packed virtual stadiums bigger than anything they’d played in before. All made possible by livestream on Twitch.
The polarising nature of Coronavirus has unleashed clear winners and losers in the entertainment sphere. As Australian production companies liquidate, cloud servers enter meltdown as live stream platforms like Twitch reach 22 million daily active users. Identifying the lessons behind this trend and adapting them as both video producers and video marketers provide an unfair advantage over competitors in an uncertain future.
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