In early 2020, Cloudinary was planning its fourth annual ImageCon conference, a two-day event in the heart of San Francisco, where we’d congregate with curious digital-media minds to brainstorm best practices for media management. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the entirety of ImageCon 2020 online. As with all other events being planned, we had to overhaul the content to be communicated on video. Gratifyingly, we found the right partner—the event platform Bizzabo—to turn that into a reality.
In a previous post, I discussed how “going live” is gaining popularity across industries and verticals. What began as a way for gamers to jam together has evolved into a medium for broader entertainment and business purposes. To continue the conversation, this post unpacks the current trends of shoppable live streams to shine a light on how brands are leveraging “lives” to connect with shoppers in new ways.
“Let’s go live.” For decades, that’s what newscasters say as they cut to real-time footage of a colleague reporting in the field. The live-video feed adds visual interest and perspective to a story beyond what can be communicated by someone sitting behind the news desk. In the same way, live-streaming video nowadays adds context to other consumer environments. From gaming and events to shopping and social media, “going live” enhances everyday experiences, and it’s something anyone can do with relative ease.
When planning a live broadcast or stream, companies often overlook the redistribution phase, but live-stream videos are useful well beyond their initial streaming. Why? Because not everyone watches the first run. For a wider audience, it makes sense to repost live content on your website under an “events” tab, on YouTube, and other social sites for video on demand (VOD). However, preparing footage for reposting can be a lot of work.
Originally developed for Apple, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is a video-streaming protocol, supported by Android and other mobile platforms. HLS uses adaptive bitrate to adjust video quality to each viewer’s internet speed and device capabilities. Presently, HLS is mandatory for live streaming on certain mobile devices and most HTML5 video players.
Video is an increasingly important component for websites - whether it’s to inform visitors, enhance user experience or support sales and marketing efforts. But delivering high-quality video at large scale can be quite a challenge. You need to consider encoding, format, bandwidth usage, delivery and the devices on which visitors may be watching the video, to name just a few concerns.