We all love to stream our favorite shows, YouTube videos, and other content. According to the research portal, MarketsandMarkets.com, our love for streaming is only going to continue to grow as they estimate that the global streaming market will grow from $30.29 billion in 2016 to $70.05 billion by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.30%. MarketsandMarkets further states that traditional media and TV companies continue to enter the market, increasing demand for corporate live events and conferencing solutions, and consumer streaming will power the strong growth. In addition, PwC is also forecasting very strong growth for video streaming through 2020, as seen in the “total electronic home video OTT/streaming revenue” chart below:
When most people think of video streaming, usually Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Hulu, or Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)’s Prime Video may be the first to come to mind. However, there is an entirely new dimension of the video streaming market, which is beginning to gain significant momentum: live video streaming.
Live Streaming Market Overview
One of the main early pioneers in the live streaming market was Periscope. Periscope Founders, Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein, came up with the idea while they were traveling in Istanbul in 2013. During their trip, the Taksim Square protests happen to break out and the pair wanted to show the protests live to people around the world. However, they realized while there were social media platforms that could post real time news and information, there was still no way to see the news or events in real time. In February 2014, Beykpour and Bernstein helped to create one of the first live video streaming apps, Periscope.
Since then, the small start-up has seen unprecedented demand and interest, that was so extensive, the company was able to raise $1.5 million in funding just two months after its foundation, in April 2014. Early investors in Periscope include: Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Stanford – Start X, Founder Collective, Maveron, and more. In March 2015, Periscope was acquired by Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) for $86.6 million.
Right around the time Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was making its acquisition for Periscope, another live streaming application was beginning to see a rise to prominence. Live-streaming app, Meerkat rose to a brief prominence following the South by Southwest 2015 festival. However, Meerkat’s fame would be short-lived, as Periscope’s dominance grew and Meerkat’s influence waned. In August 2015, Periscope announced it had surpassed the 10-million accounts metric and would later be awarded the “iPhone App of the Year 2015” by Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Meanwhile, Meerkat use was entering the “beginning of the end.” Ultimately, Meerkat ceased to exist in September 2016.
Today, Periscope continues to thrive and was a major feature in the U.S. House Democrats’ sit-in protest, which took place in June 2016. The Periscope video was viewed more than a million times and help gave American citizens a chance to see live, in-person action of how the government works (or doesn’t). As of September 2016, Periscope had 4.3 million iOS users and 1.2 million monthly active users on its Android app.
While Periscope managed to survive, and thrive after Meerkat’s decline, the Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR)-backed company now faces its toughest test yet: Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB).
Facebook, Inc. and the NFL Are Making Big Bets On Live Streaming
It is not hard to imagine that Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) founder, Mark Zuckerburg, was closely watching the Periscope-Meerkat battle throughout 2015. The social network giant’s CEO has publicly stated he is “obsessed” with live streaming video. While Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) easily could have been the company that ended up acquiring Periscope, the company wanted to take live streaming in a slightly different direction. In April 2016, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) launched its own live video platform, Facebook Live.
The social media giant’s live streaming application has been a huge hit with users, since being launched about ten months ago. Since the launch, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has learned that its social media users were 10 times more likely to comment on live videos than regular videos. In addition, Mediakix.com found that Facebook Live videos were viewed 3 times longer than regular videos on the social media website. This shows that live streaming can increase user engagement and interest, which is also a boon for digital advertising. According to Tubular Labs, Facebook Live saw total user accounts grow from 374,000 in April, to 529,000 in June 2016. Furthermore, the number of views grew to 6.8 billion 4.3 billion, during the same two-month period.
A vast majority of the awareness and user growth could be attributed to Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB)’s plan of hiring top-name celebrities to help endorse and raise awareness about the new live video app. The social media giant has paid out $50 million to media companies and celebrities to help generate live videos and bring awareness to the new social feature. This is certainly a shift in Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB)’s traditional business model, which has relied upon its users creating content and simply running ads on the user-created content. Now, it appears the social media giant is in the business of creating content and willing to pay significant sums to obtain the content desired.
However, technology companies are not the only businesses that are interested in live video streaming. The National Football League (NFL) is continuing to expand its live streaming footprint. On October 25, 2015, the NFL partnered with Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) to live stream the very first NFL football game, which featured the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, the NFL did not stop there.
In April 2016, the NFL selected Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) to live stream 10 Thursday Night Football games. Under the deal, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) has agreed to pay the NFL $10 million to live stream the ten games. In return, Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) says they hope to generate roughly $50 million from the NFL live streaming deal. While the NFL continues to slowly invest in live streaming, the long-term trend suggests this could be the method we watch football games in the future.
Watch: Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) Enters the Live Video Streaming Market
Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) is a social networking company, which focuses on sharing the present, rather than the past. The company’s mobile app allows users to connect with other nearby users that have similar interests or for an activity that they are “Friendable” for. Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL)’s mobile application has seen considerable user growth in 2016. Part of the user growth can be thanks to the strong celebrity integration that Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) has received throughout 2016. The company has worked with celebrities, such as: Jennifer Lopez, Austin Mahone, Daya, Meghan Trainor, Redfoo, and more.
In October 2016, Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) took a step into the live video ring with a strategic investment in Hang With, Inc., a live streaming video technology company. In addition to the strategic investment, Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) acquired a royalty-free, perpetual license for the use of the live video streaming technology and access to 8 million Hang With, Inc. users.
Under the deal, Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) will now be able to integrate Hang With, Inc.’s live streaming technology into the Friendable mobile app. The Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) social media app will continue to be free of charge for users to sign up and begin using the new features. The company is looking to establish partnerships with local businesses that are interested in becoming featured meet-up spots for Friendable users. This provides local businesses with advertising on a large social media platform and the ability to profit off hosting Friendable live events.
In addition, the social media company is using the technology to develop an entirely different live streaming application, which is currently in development: Code Named – “Broadcaster”. The Broadcaster app will be a premium subscription service that will live stream backstage concert events and other exclusive content from some of your favorite music artists. Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) will set up revenue-sharing agreements with music artists, who will collect a portion of subscription revenue raised. Therefore, there is an incentive for these celebrities to reach out to their millions of followers to sign up for the subscription service. The Broadcaster app is scheduled to be released early 2017.
“Our strategy is one of diversification as we look ahead to 2017 and with the addition of live streaming video we are now able to leverage our existing relationships with major A-list celebrities, which have been cultivated over the past six months for an entirely new app that will focus on an artist’s fan base to provide a new and unique experience to their global audience, because most fans can’t always be there in person. Additionally, our phase two integration of live video to our existing user base of Friendable app users will provide a feature upgrade that brings the level of social interaction to a whole new level,” details Robert A. Rositano Jr., CEO Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL).
Overall, live video streaming has shown extremely impressive growth over recent years. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, only 11% of the top 500 media company Facebook pages had a live video, back in January 2016. However, that figure jumped to 44% in May 2016, just one month after the release of Facebook Live. Furthermore, Twitter, Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) says that 15% of the “top brands” are currently utilizing Periscope as a marketing tool to reach new audiences and the company has roughly 200 million live video broadcasts in its platform. The industry has experienced such intense demand and growth over the past year and with the market for live video streaming set to take off, Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) is prime to benefit from this growth; both from a music and social standpoint. In addition, with the celebrities doing the marketing for them, Friendable, Inc. (OTC Pink: FDBL) could expect to see a very strong 2017.