Live streaming has exploded over the past couple of years. Twitch streamers have become multi-millionaire household names, and sites like YouTube and Facebook have allowed established pages to expand their reach through live streaming.
It has also become clear that live streaming’s growth can be monumental with the correct developments in technology. The technology used in live dealer games or eSports competitions is only the beginning.
Live streaming is used in a variety of ways. This includes everything from gaming to art and discussion, but in general, it is mainly used to disseminate various types of entertainment.
Streaming has also extended into broadcasting events, such as eSports tournaments and other sports like boxing.
Use in eSports
eSports has been an area in which we have seen streaming being used to influence both how a game is played and the conditions in which it is played. People watching streams for certain events can vote on rules for the game; what is allowed, and what isn’t.
While this wasn’t used for a long time, in fact only for one game, it proved that streams could be a lot more than just watching a screen. Television is just about watching a screen, with the watcher having no control over what happens in a TV show or movie.
We are already moving in a direction where we could see reality shows or competition shows like Survivor, where certain conditions are decided live by the viewing public. This adds a level of interactivity that we have never seen before.
Live streaming can and will expand far beyond the entertainment industry, with different uses already in place and being used around the world.
TV shopping isn’t a new concept; we have all seen those shows where a very excited person tries to sell you something at a limited-time price. While those salespeople don’t feature, live shopping has advanced into the world of streams.
Facebook especially has seen a boom of people selling their goods during live streams, with other businesses holding auctions for their interests. Facebook and Instagram have developed tools that make this process easier and more streamlined.
Apply this concept to your weekly shop, and suddenly, you don’t have to make time to do it. You can buy what you want while watching a stream, or have someone shop for you at the store, and you can see the products and shop virtually.
Live learning is another field that has grown in the past couple of years. We have seen that you can still participate in lectures in classes, as long as you have an internet connection, no matter where you live.
In this area, technology is moving toward making the class available, along with the resources and work. Considering intern access is becoming more widespread, compared to the building of schools, it is only a matter of time before students worldwide can have access to education without stepping foot in a school.
This isn’t going to replace visiting a doctor or mental health professional, but the ability to have a doctor on stream available for consultations is undoubtedly in our future. Once again, many people lack immediate access to a medical professional, and streaming can help this.
They wouldn’t be able to provide a diagnosis at this stage, but asking questions, sharing symptoms, and the like will help put you on the right path and let you know what you should do next.
Mental health professionals being “on-call” to talk can be a game-changer in the field. Having someone, especially a professional, to speak to at any time could save lives in some instances.
Fitness streams are going to start rivaling gyms. While the stream can’t provide you with all the equipment, you will be able to access specific classes and have one-on-ones with trainers or nutritionists.
Once again, you can access these professionals no matter where you are and have access to their expertise. This will allow people who can’t get to a gym or need to be at home to look after their kids or a loved one, the chance to exercise and stay fit.
Live streaming also allows for a new type of subscription. A good example would be access to a movie premiere, where being a member or having a specific kind of subscription can gain you access to brand new content of any kind streamed straight to your computer or phone.
Some creators are already doing this, where they sell tickets to a streamed event that is not saved to Youtube and can’t be downloaded, and therefore is only available for those who have subscriptions or tickets.
Streams Creating Content
A stream creating the content itself is one area where streaming has already changed and can only get bigger and better. A while back, a playthrough of Pokémon was done, where all the choices regarding movement, which Pokémon to catch or fight, etc. were all decided by votes on stream.
If you decide to go left or right, you type in your choice, and whichever had the majority after a specific time would be the choice made in-game. One player made no choice, and instead, it was made by the viewing public.
This was one of the first instances of a game being played entirely by a group on steam and showed what was possible with just a few commands. It is mind blowing to think that stream viewers can create the content they watch. This is an area that can evolve and grow into something we didn’t know was possible.