Samuel Westberg, chief commercial officer at interactive tech firm LiveLike, tells TBI how the pandemic has kick-started interest from broadcasters in engaging their audiences and why now is the time to act.
The public health lockdown has presented the world with a giant pile of questions. How do we protect the elderly? What should I do with my life? How can I cope with so much uncertainty? What will it be like when we go back to Live?
In 2020 and beyond, you just have to embrace novelty – don’t be scared of it. Covid has ended up giving you a kick-start
Broadcasting is one of those industries that has been resting on its laurels for too long. This crisis has forced it to re-examine what it’s future will become. How long can broadcasters operate like nothing is changing while tech giants wait in the wings, ready to pounce with their sizeable pocketbooks and innovative tricks already refined?
How far can I survive in my old model without rethinking my future? The pandemic has forced a much needed change amongst governing bodies, obliging them to adopt the consuming trends of younger generations and in doing so, accepting what a brighter future for them might look like, even if it means leaving their old habits behind.
Swipe & like
Part of that future will be interactivity. Younger generations swipe, like, search, push. They consume content where it is and where they can take it: on social media, on the bus, where it’s free, where it fills uncomfortable gaps. Social media has provoked that need for younger generations, and older ones have become just as addicted. But what does all this mean to the traditional broadcaster?
If you are a broadcaster, it’s now possible to allow your viewers to interact and share moments on your platforms. The tech giants aren’t the only place for sharing anymore, and your viewers want this. To stay in the game, your viewers have to be able to exchange, not on social media, but where you serve them the content. This will allow you to listen to them, understand them, and give them a voice in what you are offering them. When it is time for dessert, don’t you like being able to choose the ice cream flavour on your chocolate cake? With viewers interacting directly on your platform, you will be able to listen to them so you can serve them better.
Make the experience more fun – people like to be able to challenge, answer, think, bid. They now choose to consume your content and their attention span is a luxury
Make the experience more fun. People like to be able to challenge, answer, think, bid. They now choose to consume your content and their attention span is a luxury. Give them a reason to have fun on top of it by gamifying the experience and allowing them to feel part of something bigger, of a community of followers. This could work for sports, news, concerts, reality TV, anything. Don’t be scared of having an audience with better opinions than your commentators. Culture is out there and some people do a good job at taking advantage of it.
Covid’s kick-start to novelty
It is not a lockdown thing. It’s a trend that has now been going on for a decade, that you were too scared to embrace, and that has given a space for the Google, Amazons and Facebooks of this world to come challenge you in your comfort zone. Don’t be scared, fight back.
You have learned how to deliver and your storytelling capabilities have proven extremely effective. But in 2020 and beyond, you just have to embrace novelty, don’t be scared of it. Covid ended up giving you a kick-start. For example, companies like Sky Sports and Canal+ have been ahead of the curve when it comes to adding interactivity to live broadcasts. We recently began partnering with Canal+ to bring fun features to ‘Expert Mode’ on the myCanal platform and so far it has been quite popular.
We, at LiveLike, have experimented, tested, convinced ourselves that one product can fit all… only to realise that we don’t have the exact answer but that we can help you in finding yours. We built a toolkit to allow you to offer your own answer, on your own platform, with your own audience. It’s a combination of social, interactive, gamification, that should fit entertainment, sports, politics, education, conferences etc. And if it doesn’t fit your need, our technology is only our religion, it doesn’t have to be yours.
But make decisions, act soon, or your future might drift away.
Samuel Westberg is chief commercial officer at LiveLike, whose technology is designed to allow content owners and platforms to engage with their audiences through interactive and immersive experiences.