Live streaming technology is impossible to ignore. The platform came into being in the early 2010s, but shot to worldwide notoriety after Facebook introduced its live feature to the public in early 2017. Within a year, there were 3.5 billion broadcasts. Now, businesses in diverse industries are using live streaming in different ways, and companies that don’t jump on board are at risk of being left behind. Belfast businesses have realised this, and the platform is clearly on the rise in the city.
Live Streaming is Becoming Increasingly Popular in Various Industries
One of the main reasons for live streaming’s success is the fact that it can be used in a variety of ways and, therefore, appeals to business owners from widely disparate sectors. Before the recent mass appeal of it, though, it was initially used in the gaming industry. Twitch.tv began using live streaming all the way back in 2011. It allowed gamers to live stream their content for spectators online, bringing players closer together and effectively kick-starting the eSports industry, which is predicted to be worth more than $1.6 billion in 2021.
The online casino industry also began to utilise live streaming, finding that it was a good way to bring players closer to the action and provide an immersive experience. Players can access live links to real table games run by dealers. When taking part in a game of blackjack, for instance, the dealer will deal out real hands, and the value of the cards will appear on the player’s screen. This type of game has become ubiquitous at online casinos, and now it is used as a selling point. There are even lists that show players where to find live dealer casinos offering such games, which is in itself a testament to their popularity.
After Facebook made live streaming famous, the platform has moved beyond gaming and permeated a number of other sectors. In the retail sector, business owners can use live streaming to show off their products and answer questions about them in real-time. This form of live Q&A can also be used by schools and universities with students who are doing distant learning. The person watching the stream feels closer to what’s going on, and is able to interact with the speaker.
Live streaming can also bring worthy causes to the attention of customers. Starbucks has famously live-streamed its community work in New York where the company has helped promote the importance of voting.
Businesses in Belfast Incorporating Live Streams
Live streaming is going to become more common in Belfast in the years ahead. It is already being used by some companies in interesting and innovative ways. The Lyric Theatre, for instance, has been using live streaming to provide entertainment for people in their homes. Over the Easter period, the award-winning theatre on Ridgeway Street put on Peter Pan the Musical by Paul Boyd. It was met with widespread approval.
A number of churches, including St Mary’s Church on Chapel Lane, have been using live streaming to bring their services to worshippers in their homes. Some of the bars and clubs around the city have also been getting in on the act, using the platform as a way for everyone to enjoy entertainment in the city. The Cabaret Supperclub, Oh Yeah Music Centre, and the Sunflower Pub have all been streaming music and performances for their clientele who are able to watch from desktop or mobile.
Belfast has embraced the rise of live streaming and started implementing it in a number of useful and engaging ways. It feels like this platform is only going to get bigger and better in the years ahead, and businesses need to get on board with it or risk losing out to the competition.