Measuring the Success of Live Streaming in Singapore

1. Introduction to Live Streaming

The success of live streaming Singapore is that it allows the interactions between broadcasters and audiences. Audiences are not mere consumers of traditional broadcast programs, but participants in various social activities in which they can influence other audience performances. Live stream service is not only used for entertainment, but it is also utilized for many other social purposes like sales marketing, online learning, webcasts and mini TV series. Newspapers and broadcasters may also consider live streaming as a new opportunity to extend their digital market.

Live streaming is an online streaming media that is simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time. It is becoming more popular, transforming itself from simple video streaming into what Yu terms as “social TV”. Live streaming provides audience participation, comments or other features and has become a profitable business among internet businesses in Asia.

1.1. Definition and Importance

The significance of this paper comes in threefold. First, there is a growing corpus of literature in media research that focuses on television and radio streaming, with only passing references to live streaming, which is relatively less explored. That is despite the rapid growth of online live streaming platforms that now allow people to enter the online video industry, making the field rapidly evolving. Second, there are pauses in various parts of our discussion we term ‘the productivity gap’ which long overshadowed our interest in how people make use of live streaming to earn a living. Third, knowledge of the growth, strategies, and operations in live streaming is in high demand. A deep understanding of the live streaming industry can shed light on factors that contribute to the growth of various internet services and institutions that regulate creativity. Our principal goal in this paper is to develop a robust method for quantifying the success of live streaming initiatives.

In recent years, the internet has experienced a growth in live streaming of content, thanks to technology that has made the dissemination of audio, video, games, and other interactive applications a viable broadcasting medium. As a result of the swaying consumer demand toward live streaming, several online live streaming platforms such as Meerkat, Facebook Live, and Twitch have become increasingly popular. In this paper, we focus on the content production dimension of live streaming and provide some insights on measuring the success of live streaming.

1.2. Trends in Live Streaming Services

Real-time interaction will be monetized as businesses are always looking out for ways to engage with their customers. There are three key trends observed driving real-time interaction services. Firstly, growing interest from e-commerce businesses that want to enhance the shopping experience and bring value to their targeted audience online. Secondly, brands are seeking ways to customize content to appeal to their targeted audience and harnessing the video data to enrich existing consumer insights for better decision making. The final trend is talent agencies recognizing the effectiveness of real-time interaction as a marketing tool and offering real-time interactive events to advertisers through the Internet. With all the above trends, it is estimated that the live broadcast industry can potentially generate advertising revenue that can range from S$152 billion to S$700 billion annually in five years’ time.

Live streaming is in high demand, and many third-party firms are joining the bandwagon to provide live streaming services through proprietary applications designed for predominantly live mobile broadcast. Examples of these applications include Facebook Live, Periscope, Livestream, Twitch, and Ustream. Real-time interaction between the broadcaster and viewers is a unique and attractive feature of live streaming services. Viewers can engage in conversation by posting questions and comments to the broadcasting hosts, who will respond to them instantly. The real-time interaction has huge potential for new professionals who seek to enhance and expand their personal brand.

2. Key Metrics for Evaluating Live Stream Success

The emphasis of studies on production, broadcasting, and server-side problems is currently a noticeable trend in academic and industry research on live streaming. Although this addresses significant problems, it stumbles on overlooking equally critical issues regarding media exposure and surveillance. Evaluation or measurement of public activity, especially public live stream gathering during a particular event, is notably rare. Topics of research, communications studies, and market insights have reported viewership data, news numbers on live stream services, and opinions related to DrupalCon in numerous reports. These findings, or lack thereof, highlight problems in knowing how live streams are allocated to all involved. First, scant awareness is contributed by existing metrics and media efficacy literature. Second, the above-mentioned limitations in knowledge hinder the capacity of fascinated communities to distinguish, appreciate, and enhance as well as the incorporation of that tradition into live streams.

To viewership and social media clout, success in live streaming is often miscalculated. Complex beyond simply counting the number of viewers, live streams must be evaluated against a multitude of metrics. Comprehending and measuring live stream success is critical, yet very few studies explicitly address this problem. In this area, the ambiguities in live stream success are reflected in academic research, with no singularly established set of measures. The sparsity is addressed by this article, which details metrics relevant to the context of consumption outlined. Proper social media metrics, live streaming and online video research are integrated. It also provides examples of industry standards using the broadcasting of Singapore’s National Day Parade as a case study.

2.1. Viewership Numbers

The Media Development Authority of Singapore’s Media On Demand website records both the television and web-based viewership numbers. The User Generated Content platform records the number of viewers, and the number of publicly available views are recorded on the social media websites. These numbers provide insights into the popularity of Live TV online. By analyzing the number of viewers, we can determine whether the elite or popular events are the most watched. This also provides broadcast engineers with a better understanding of the requirement of live moving picture bitrates for the international web stream. Typically, most of the website social plugins record the number of publicly shared views of online clips. With additional statistics such as the number of viewers, how long the iconic event is watched can help with audio PA and lighting production planning.

As with television, the number of viewers is one measure of the success of a live stream. This paper collected the viewership numbers for live streams representative of those telecast by broadcasters recorded in the archives of the Media Development Authority of Singapore. The viewership numbers for live events such as breaking news and natural disaster coverage are only known to the broadcaster. However, the viewership numbers from live event webcasts are available on the User Generated Content platform. We will collect the viewership numbers for webcasts of live television events aired on regional free-to-air television broadcasters in Singapore from the, omy, and RazorTV websites. The television broadcasters telecast live events such as award shows, breaking news, concerts, natural disasters coverage, parliamentary and policy updates, press conferences and updates. We will collect the viewership numbers of live event webcasts for weekday broadcasts from 6th March 2013. This allows us to compare the live television event coverage online with the television ratings, which are telecast across a variety of channels showing different genres live.

2.2. Engagement Metrics

Finally, the total number of unique viewers answers how many distinct viewers watched, and includes those who only dropped by and those who watched the entire webcast. It provides executives with insights on the success of the topic and helps initiate more personalized follow-up on the viewers. The number of unique viewers often indicates that a variety of viewers have interest in the topic. There are non-engagement metrics available, such as the number of webcast views, which reflects post-webcast interest in the content and solutions-review time, but we do not consider these in our paper because they are not live engagement metrics.

To understand whether or not the audience was paying attention during a live stream, the three most common metrics are connection requests, peak concurrent connections, and unique visitors. A connection request occurs when a viewer interacts with the live stream by clicking on the link or otherwise connecting to start watching. It informs creators how successful the promotion for the live stream was at directing viewers to the content. The success of the promotion is one factor contributing to the initial viewership at the start of the webcast. Additionally, emails or traditional advertising campaigns can direct more people to click the link. The peak concurrent connections correspond to the maximum of live connections at any given time, so that number answers the question of whether the audience was really participating at any time while the webcast was live. It means they have taken a proactive role in joining others to watch the webcast at the same time, while it is happening, so they can engage in discussions or other social media while viewing the material together. It is important that this viewer engagement is strong in live streaming, as it is the experience creators intend to deliver to viewers.

3. Tools and Platforms for Analyzing Live Stream Data

The advantage of Livestream vs YouTube’s is that it can integrate seamlessly with tools and workflows for centralizing and tracking viewership and event data with 3rd parities like Brightcove, Google Drive, Facebook, Twitter, Drop Box, etc. It also gives users live data on who’s watching right now, how many people have viewed, playbacks and playback ratios. Plus, it offers live chat analytics so users can analyze chat activity to gain insights on how the audience reacted at different times during playback. In addition, it offers peak concurrent viewers and stream health that allows viewers to monitor how the stream has been performing overall including dropped frames, buffering, and memory use to users. Hootsuite can efficiently streamline the workflow by integrating directly in the dashboard to enable users to monitor and engage with customers on social channels while gaining valuable insights. Users can also access aggregate data from their social networks and drag-and-drop directly into Hootsuite dashboards, so users can have the most relevant data in one view. Whether users want to track social success across YouTube and other social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., Hootsuite Analytics has made it simple to monitor and track success with customizable reports.

YouTube’s Real-Time Analytics allows users to track performance with live viewership data, so they can see whether a live stream is bringing in new viewers or how the viewership trend is growing. In addition, it offers access to key live data such as simultaneous viewers, playbacks, and chat activity. It also provides average watch time and the average percentage of concurrent views to know how well the stream has engaged the audience over time. It provides a look into who was watching live including user name, time watched, and messages. This gives instant feedback on the live show to determine if their audience is connecting with their stream content.

4. Case Studies of Successful Live Streams in Singapore

The second example is by the use of live streaming, Higher Singapore Management University positions itself as a young, vibrant, dynamic university. It captures and promotes the various keynotes given by prestigious alumni at the Grand Hall. Instead of just collecting the various interviews as raw footage, it also adds the actual alumni footage onto the interview opening sequence. This then becomes a powerful marketing tool, especially when sent out to students who have subscribed for course information during open house. It helps the students get a feel as to what they are in for and how the university environment is conducive to their learning. From the interview videos, students gather a better understanding of the topic and scope of the written material they are studying.

One of the most iconic events that uses live streaming as one of the main modes of publicity is the Stand up for Singapore. The event promotes social etiquette and demonstrates to the members of the public how to greet people respectfully and report to work on time. The intention was to create a positive influence by setting a record on the largest gathering of Montfortians. As Principal Mr. David Ong explains, “The event aims to bring back the importance of being polite and respectful to others.” The audience that benefits from the live streaming of the event reflects the diverse demography that follows the event either as a recorded file or promoting the actual execution of the one-day event.

Singapore has a lot to learn from successful live streaming projects in order to continue the growth of live streaming in the digital marketing space. Given below are the three case studies of successful live streams in Singapore.

5. Conclusion and Future Trends

In addition, the results also showed the high level of importance attached to certain monetizing factors, as these users are aware that it provides enough incentives to the VCPs to create and ensure regular quality content. This opens up an area of research which steers away from fast proliferation of ads that can make the service annoying for the users, reflecting on the importance of privacy and individual CPA of the users. This notion is consistent with the research that shows subscription-based compensation models and encourages the growth of premium content, which is recognized as necessary for attracting and stabilizing content contributors.

Singapore is a mature market in terms of penetration of social platforms, mobile penetration, and also the existence of all major Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming as well as social platforms. The widespread use of mobile and social shows the potential for growth of live streaming services. The study has undertaken a survey of 311 young adults to understand the extent of their engagement with live stream platforms as well as to further understand how well live platforms are able to engage the different types of video content providers (VCP). An interesting result shows that the mode of delivery appeared to be important, with apps having high penetration. Users showed a strong preference to pay for their live video.

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