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The State of Live Video 2017

To get an idea where live video will go in 2017, we spoke to two experts: Mark Peters, a partner with IBB Consulting Group, and Brett Sappington, senior director of research for Parks Associates.

Can Facebook stay on top of live video this year? Peters thinks it can. With its built-in audience checking in daily, and the ability to put videos directly in members’ feeds, it has a powerful advantage. Facebook doesn’t have to pull people in, because they’re already there. Expect Facebook to be a favorite of viewers and sports leagues this year.

Facebook Live quickly became the de facto leader in live streaming, rolling out the service first to celebrities and then to all Facebook users.

Brands, however, are another story. Brands love advertising on Facebook, but after a revelation in September when the industry learned Facebook had inflated its video performance numbers, buyers have been more determined to get solid stats about how many people are watching and for how long. Ever a closed garden, Facebook has so far resisted opening access to viewer data, something that likely won’t change in 2017.

“I don’t know how much they’ll open up. Facebook knows the value of the data. I think that Facebook is going to want to retain control of that to be able to monetize that,” Sappington says.

Live video will gain viewers on many different platforms this year. Peters sees 2016 as a foundation year for live streaming, with an explosion of different platforms waiting to show what they can do in 2017. Last year was about learning what works in terms of marketing and packaging. This year, networks and publishers know how to attract an audience. He expects more live sports deals along the lines of CBS All Access streaming the NFL. Amazon will stream a lot of high-end premium sports, although the leagues might be niche rather than mainstream. 

From the article "The State of Live Video 2017" by Troy Dreier.

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