I spent a fair bit of last night (when I wasn’t travelling back to work because I’d left my keys there) watching live video streams. The first was from Chris Pirillo; tuning into Chris I found him talking to Kosso, whom I mentioned in an earlier post. Sharing the broadcast with Chris was Eric Rice and he was later joined by Ben Metcalfe. With 2 laptops set up, I could have the video in one place and the chat and other browsers open in the other so I could multitask and it came closer to tv type entertainment, in the background until something interesting happening.
Over the course of the evening, there around 120 people in the chat, on average (I think). Many of these had come from various forums and sites or from the front page of ustream and were asking the questions about why this was being done, why people were watching it etc. I know why I was watching it – I read the blogs of Chris and Eric and I know Kosso and Ben in person. I was also trying to get my head round the service and see how if it could be used at work. By making it easy to set up and stream, from a mobile situation, it opens up the possibilities to allow direct connection with users of a brand. So far, these are what immediately spring to mind.
- Straightforward sponsorship. For someone with a following in the right demographic, sponsoring their costs is a good way of connecting with that demo, in an unobtrusive way.
- Adding it onto an event. If a brand is running some kind of event, then it can be extended out to the web to increase the audience. Live streaming and feedback to the people on camera through the chat. Even if only a couple of hundred (there are scaling issues at the moment) they are likely to be early adopters and ‘sneezers’, spreading the word. Capturing the live feed and posting it later also increases the spread.
- You could take this slightly further and add the feed into banner ads. More disruptive but able to spread to a wider interested audience but may be prevented by the scaling issues
- Supplementing a chat. One of the brand I work on already runs chats a few times a year; adding video to this would increase the value and the engagement as the attendees get to see the hosts.
There’s bound to be more once I get my head around it more. This is not currently mass media, but for offering a direct and immediate connection between a brand and its fans, it could be perfect.