refers to online streaming media
simultaneously recorded and broadcast
in real-time. It is often referred to simply as streaming
, but this abbreviated term is ambiguous because "streaming" may refer to any media delivered and played back simultaneously without requiring a completely downloaded file. Non-live media such as video-on-demand
, and YouTube
videos are technically streamed, but not live-streamed.
User interaction via chat rooms
forms a major component of livestreaming. Platforms often include the ability to talk to the broadcaster or participate in conversations in chat. Many chat rooms also consist of emotes[clarification needed]
which is another way to communicate to the livestreamer.
In the field of social media
, the term "live media" refers to new media
that use streaming media technologies for creating networks of live multimedia
shared among people, companies and organizations. Social media marketer
Bryan Kramer describes livestreaming as an inexpensive "key marketing and communications tool that helps brands reach their online audience." Users can follow their friends' live video "shares" as well as "shares" related to specific content or items. Live media can be shared through any Internet website or application; thus, when people browse on a specific website, they may find live media streams relevant to the content they look for.
In March 2015, Twitter
launched a livestreaming app called Periscope
. Normally, users would see a hyperlink
attached to their broadcast, directing people to a new tab. Using Periscope, videos appear live on the timeline. If the user has allowed the site to share information, others can see where the user is streaming from. During the broadcast, users can comment, talk to the broadcaster, or ask questions.
Kayvon Beykpour, CEO of Periscope, and Dick Costolo
and Jack Dorsey
, CEOs of Twitter, all shared a common goal—to invent something that would merge both teams into one instead of as partners.
introduced a video streaming service, Facebook Watch
to select individuals in August 2016, and to the public in January 2017.
Facebook watch is a video-on-demand service that allows users to share content live. It allows people to upload videos that cover a wide array of topics including original comedy, drama, and news programming. Facebook Live allows Facebook users to include their own "reactions" when someone is broadcasting. One of the reasons that Facebook Watch is so successful is because the content is recommended to users based on algorithms that determine what the user would most like to watch.
was purchased by Google
in 2006, and the pair subsequently announced their livestreaming app. Like Periscope, users can comment on the broadcast. Unlike Periscope, livestreams on YouTube can be saved and any user can access them through the app.
YouTube head of product for consumers Manuel Bronstein stated that livestreaming gives creators the opportunity to "actually create a more intimate connection with their fans."
, or lifecasting, involves the continuous broadcasting of daily events in one's life. Justin Kan founded Justin.tv
as a website for his own continuous lifecasting,
and is credited with popularizing the style.
is a livestreaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon
Introduced in June 2011 as a spin-off of the general-interest streaming platform, Justin.tv
, the site primarily focuses on video gamelivestreaming
, including broadcasts of eSports
competitions, in addition to music
broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, "in real life
" streams. Content on the site can be viewed either live or via video on demand
entered the livestreaming scene when it acquired Beam, the Seattle-based company, in August 2016.
About a year after acquiring the company, the service was renamed to Mixer
in May 2017.
The platform was the first to bring multiple features to livestreaming such as interactive gameplay, where viewers could influence gameplay, and co-streaming, where viewers could watch multiple viewpoints of teammates in the same game. Like Twitch
, viewers on Mixer
can pay to subscribe to streamers on a monthly basis. Viewers may also buy "Embers", which is the e-currency used by the site, and may donate that to streamers as well. While Twitch
is still the biggest company in the business, Mixer
has attempted to raise its stock by signing multiple big streamers to Mixer-exclusive deals. These signings have included Tyler "Ninja" Blevins
in August 2019, Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek
in October of 2019, and Cory "King Gothalion" Michael also in October 2019.
Mixer announced it will be shutting down its streaming services on July 22, 2020. In the announcement, Mixer's parent company, Microsoft, announced a partnership with Facebook gaming, and directed current users to the new platform.
Notable applications to publish and record livestreams at the same time include Open Broadcaster Software
, and XSplit Broadcaster
. They are used to publish streams to YouTube, Facebook, Periscope and Twitch, among others. Tango
is a livestreaming platform for Android and iOS. mimoLive
is a livestreaming application for macOS and iOS.
Livestreaming playing of video games
gained popularity during the 2010s. David M. Ewalt
referred to Twitch as "the ESPN
of video games".
The website spawned from and grew to overshadow Justin.tv, and was purchased by Amazon.com
at the end of 2014 for US$970 million.
Other video-game oriented streaming websites include Smashcast.tv
, which was formed after the merging of Azubu
, and the South Korea-based afreecaTV
. In 2015, YouTube launched YouTube Gaming—a video gaming-oriented sub-site and app that is intended to compete with Twitch.
An example of a notable livestreamed event is Games Done Quick
, a charity speedrunning
marathon hosted on Twitch. Viewers are encouraged to donate for incentives during the stream such as naming characters in a run, having the runners attempt more difficult challenges, or winning prizes.
Over $10 million has been raised across sixteen marathons.
Professional streamers can generate livable revenue from viewer subscriptions
and donations, as well as platform advertisements and sponsorships from eSports
organizations, often earning much more from streaming than from tournament winnings.
The audiences of professional gaming tournaments are primarily livestream viewers in addition to live audiences inside venues. The International 2017
, a Dota 2
tournament with the largest prize pool in eSport history, was primarily streamed through Twitch, having a peak of over five million concurrent viewers.
With livestreaming becoming a financially viable market, particularly for esports, streamers and organizations representing them have looked for metrics to quantify the viewership of streams as to be able to determine pricing for advertisers. Metrics like maximum number of concurrent viewers, or number of subscribers do not readily account for how long a viewer may stay to watch a stream.
The most common metric is the "Average Minute Audience" (AMA), which is obtained by taking the total minutes watched by all viewers on the stream during the streamed event and for 24 hours afterwards, divided by the number of minutes that were broadcast. The AMA is comparable to the same metric that the Nielsen ratings
for tracking viewership. This also makes it possible to combine standard broadcast and streaming routes for events that are simulcasted on both forms of delivery to estimate total audience size
Major events with reported AMA include streamed National Football League
games; for example, the average AMA for NFL games in 2018 ranged from 240,000 to 500,000 across streaming services,
with the following Super Bowl LIV
having an AMA of 2.6 million.
In comparison, the esports Overwatch League
had an average of 313,000 average minute audience during regular season games in its 2019 season.
Additionally, livestreaming to large audiences carries the risk that viewers may commit crimes both remotely and in person. Twitch co-founder Justin Kan had been a frequent target of swatting
. An incident occurred in April 2017 at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
when a viewer called in a bomb threat
and named streamer Ice Poseidon
as the culprit, temporarily shutting down the airport.
They may also be victim to stalking
as with other celebrities; for example, a teenager showed up uninvited to a streamer's house and requested to live with him after having saved up for a one-way transcontinental flight.
A Taiwan-based American streamer fell victim to a doxing
and targeted harassment campaign by a Taiwanese streamer, coordinated through a private Facebook group with 17,000 members "whose activities involved tracking [his] whereabouts," death threats and "the distribution of his parents’ U.S. phone number and address". Twitch responded by temporarily suspending the harassed streamer.
Existing Focuses of Research
Live content streaming has been the topic of numerous papers examining ways to cultivate online communities through live interaction. The livestreaming platform Twitch
is a common focus among researching trying to transfer its user engagement success to other applications such as improving student participation and learning in massive open online courses (MOOCs)
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Last edited on 9 May 2021, at 03:38
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