Last year over 500 people applied for the first edition of our Youth program; a training and mentorship program to help young people discover and take advantage of opportunities to advance their careers. We went through the tedious task of selecting 15 of the best applicants to attend the physical training at our office. We printed branded materials and T-shirts, provided launch and another logistic cost. However, if we had thought about it, we could have allowed all 500 applicants to participate in a live streaming event. Every one of them would have benefitted from the wealth of knowledge and experience from our seasoned facilitators, and we could have avoided the more demanding approach of selecting just 15 people for a limited physical meeting.
It took the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic for most people to realize the potential of live streaming. The live streaming industry has been growing gradually over the years. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything quickly. Hundreds of millions of people around the world confined to their homes quickly gravitated towards live video streaming to consume entertainment, education, and enlightenment.
According to Research and Markets, the video streaming market was worth an estimated $30.29 billion in 2016, is expected to reach $70.05 billion by 2021, and $184.3 billion by 2027. Due to the current pandemic, these projections are sure to grow given the recent trends.
As live-streaming continues to skyrocket, potential content producers are left wondering: is live-streaming here to stay? If so, what are some of the popular platforms in the industry, how can one get started, and does it offer a stable income? Once the outbreak is under control, will there be any long-term impact for those making a living via live streaming? Let’s try to answer these questions in this video. Before we get to it, be sure to subscribe to After School TV for more insightful videos like this.
The Live-Streaming Market
Live-streaming is the broadcasting of live video in real-time via the internet to bring worldwide audiences together. This makes live-streaming completely uncensored, unlike pre-recorded videos which are usually edited. Today, video games, professional sports, TV broadcasts, and social media can all be live-streamed over the internet.
While there’s nothing quite like the experience of watching an event in person, for many content consumers live-streaming has quickly become the next best option. As for marketers and businesses, live-streaming is the closest they can come to physically connecting with their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To better understand how the current crisis has impacted the live streaming market, Payoneer, a global payment company, surveyed 200 live-streamers from around the world, asking them to explain the benefits live-streaming offers, how COVID-19 has affected their earnings, and what they believe the future holds for the industry once the current crisis subsides. The report showed that since the height of COVID-19, the live streaming sector grew by 45%. Almost 51% of live-streamers surveyed have been earning from live-streaming platforms for less than a year. 38% of streamers expect their earnings will increase during the pandemic. 62% of streamers expect their earnings to grow once the pandemic is over. Many respondents stated that live-streaming in the past six months has enabled them to easily and safely earn extra income while at home during the pandemic.
Some of the popular live-streaming platforms include YouTube, Zoom, Periscope, Twitch, TikTok, Facebook Live, Mango Live, Mixer, and Live me. In addition to social, gaming, and music live streaming, businesses are also using this innovation to reach, engage, and sell to more customers. Global and local businesses are jumping on the live-streaming bandwagon promoting products, discounts, and giveaways.
6 Ways to make money from Live-Stream
Below are four ways to expand your business, brand or creative effort to wider audiences and monetize your live-streams.
- Launch and Sell your Product
If you have an existing business, you can use live stream to hold question and answer sessions relating to your industry to deepen customer engagement and promote your products. As an author, you can live-stream to promote and sell more copies of your book. When we wanted to launch our book, we held an interview-style live stream with a multiple award winner to discuss how to access funding opportunities. This helped us to engage and create deeper connection with our audience. The after effect was more book sales. Promoting your own products is an excellent way to get paid to live stream. Your product can come in different forms; from t-shirts, mugs, and fashion accessories to books, apps, online courses and training. The type of product you offer will depend on your niche, and relevance to your audience and brand.
- Find a stream sponsor
Sponsorship can be a lucrative way to make money from your live stream if you have high viewership. Typically, a sponsor will require you to introduce or mention their product or to share a short personal testimonial in the course of your stream. How much the sponsor pays will depend on the size, quality and interest of your audience. You also need to be sure you are promoting a product that is relevant to your audience, and do not turn the entire session into an advert for the sponsor.
- Run Ads
Ads have made their way to live-streams. If you build a strong base of followers, on Facebook, for example, you’ll be able to display ads in between or during your live-streaming sessions. The revenue is then calculated by the total number of ad views. You’ll have to invest time and effort to grow your viewership before you can make a substantial income from running ads.
Today, fans and viewers of live-streaming can support their favorite creators via online donations. This is among the most innovative ways to make money from live-streaming. For example, YouTube Live’s Super Chat feature lets viewers pay a small fee to get their chat message pinned to the top of the comment section for a select amount of time; the revenue made from their purchase goes to the streamer. However, this feature is not available in every country.
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The simplest way to make money from live streams is to use Patreon. With a Patreon account, you can ask for monthly “pledges” from your subscribers to provide them with premium benefits. Patreon pages are easy to set up and, if you have a large enough following, you could start earning donations from your live stream right away.
- Affiliate Programs
Participating in affiliate programs is another excellent option when looking to profit from live-streaming. Affiliate programs give the opportunity for even the smallest creators to earn from their content. You sign up to an affiliate marketing program and get an affiliate link or promo code. When someone clicks your link and purchases the product, you’ll receive a percentage from the sale.
You want to make sure the product you are promoting is related to the topic of the video and do not over-promote the product. Brevity is key. Affiliate programs are a great place to start earning because they are low risk. And, as long as the products are relevant to your subscribers, they would mind hearing about them.
- Redistribute the recordings
The fact that most live streaming platforms allow you to record your live stream videos and redistributed them as you wish is a huge advantage. You can use the recorded version of your live streams to build content to use across social networks.
For instance, some of the videos in the early days of this channel were snippets from a Facebook live stream we ran. The duration of the video was over an hour. We broke it down into several videos by segments addressing different sub-topics and uploaded them on YouTube. This is an effective way to maximize the potential of the content you created from your live stream. You can build your video collection from it.
In the COVID-19 era, our digital viewing habits have completely changed, possibly forever. Demand for live-streaming has increased more than anticipated during the first half of 2020 and the industry has continued to become even more creative. As demand continues to grow, businesses and entrepreneurs will have to embrace this trend, though the smart ones are already ahead of the curve.
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