Live streaming video is ready for prime time.

Isn't that a headline from 2006?

No, it's a headline from 2016. The age of high quality, live, anytime, anywhere streaming video is finally here.

Sure, streaming has been around forever, but not like this. Today, anyone can stream to millions on Facebook, as suburban mom Candace Payne learned when her Chewbacca mask video racked up over 139m views. 

But the bigger change for folks in our business is the pace of development of tools for media companies. I've been pitched about 6 new OTT solutions in just the past month. 

I can't help but mention a story about Facebook that hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as it should: The Facebook Video API now allows media organizations to stream to Facebook Live 24/7. And not just from an iPhone. Media companies can take their fully produced feeds and route them right into Facebook. (Remember when these 24/7 fully produced feeds from media companies used to be called "channels?")

Facebook is now just a connected tv app away from being the next generation cable system we've all been waiting for.

Quick Hits, Video Edition

-Amazon Video Direct is cool. Now anyone (individual or media company) can publish their videos to and either allow them to be included in Prime Instant Video, or make them available for sale or rent. Now that Amazon Prime Video is available as a stand-alone product, the audience will grow even more. The equivalent concept here is, imagine if anyone could put their videos up on Netflix? That's how big this is. (OK, sure, Youtube already has this, but it's not the same kind of user experience or monetization.)

-Speaking of new entrants in the OTT space, NBC Sports creates Playmaker, leveraging their streaming experience to provide it as a service for others. (The incredibly successful MLB Advanced Media being the model.)

-The WSJ attempts to compare audience sizes between TV and the web. They are still not comparable. Especially with Facebook's auto-playing, sound-off, 3 second's just not even in the vicinity of the same thing as somebody sitting down to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. Digital has a problem that TV never did: we know too much. We don't need Nielsen to estimate (guess) how many people are watching...we can see it in real time. And quite frankly, we don't always like what we see. As the digital audiences get bigger, metrics will become more realistic.

-To further underscore the point, 85% of Facebook video is currently watched without sound


The future of digital publishing

Tony Haile continues his 4 part must-read series on the future of digital publishing. It's called The Facebook papers, and while it certainly is about Facebook, it's really about the future of digital media. 

I particularly like this week's "Part 3" because it touches on something near to what we do at Red Seat, which is helping personalities to decide if they are better off being part of a platform or being out on their own. That calculus keeps getting better for personalities, and Tony explains why.

Your feedback is always welcome

Thank you for reading, and please never hesitate to drop me a line and let me know what you like and don't like. As I've mentioned, this list is small, but it's mighty... and that's the way I like it. (With that said, you can always share it with a friend!) 

Red Seat Ventures partners with high-profile individuals and brands to build unique digital businesses. Red Seat also provides consultancy services to media companies wanting to turbo their digital strategy. 
Copyright © 2016 Red Seat Ventures, LLC, All rights reserved.

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