As consumers adjust to more virtual interactions, livestreaming has become a way of life. During the pandemic, corporate offices, houses of worship, and education facilities relied on livestreaming to interact with coworkers, congregation members, and students.
Even as onsite work, school, and worship sessions return, our society has now established the expectation that those who can’t participate in person will be able to do so remotely. Still, remote learners or congregants are primarily livestreaming consumers. Looking forward, I expect that collaborating and learning on camera will remain a requirement in 2021 and beyond, and the growing market for livestreaming content creators will be a significant opportunity.
Livestreaming is a booming industry. According to data from TechJury, the livestreaming market will be worth roughly $70 billion by the end of 2021. People are making a career out of livestreaming video demonstrations, unboxing new products, or showcasing their favorite life hacks. It’s not just professional YouTube or TikTok stars that qualify as livestreaming content creators; however, salespeople and executives across industries have found themselves taking on the mantle as well.
Corporate executives regularly appear on podcasts, news shows, and conferences as part of their jobs. Last year, instead of globetrotting to give talks in studio or on location, many found themselves recording or livestreaming from their home offices. Thousands delivered keynotes, presentations, or panel remarks at virtual events. Still, more manned booths at virtual tradeshows, delivering livestreamed product demonstrations and meeting with far-flung customers. With their global reach, such virtual events—and the requirement for execs to regularly live stream—are here to stay.
Livestreaming certainly isn’t all work and no play. While livestreaming for business and as a career has surged, livestreaming for fun has become popular as well. In a recent article from the Verge, YouTube Gaming head Ryan Wyatt stated that users watched 10 billion hours of gaming content in 2020. As the esports industry continues to grow, many gamers have started using Twitch to livestream their content for others to watch. In 2020 alone, the app had over 17 million mobile installs.
Whether an audio-visual systems integrator is working on a home office or a media center project, livestreaming is likely a major element of the customer’s use case. The household may include an executive who frequently calls into news shows for interviews, or a teen with a makeup tutorial vlog or a weekly Twitch stream. These creators don’t have access to a professional studio; they film at home. Manufacturers and integrators have an opportunity to provide tools that will improve the quality of the at-home video production experience.
Tools that are easy to use and make it possible to create a livestream as a one-person operation will appeal to these independent creators. Electronic pan, tilt, zoom cameras that can be remotely controlled from anywhere, as well as dual SDI-cabled cameras that allow users to capture wide and closeup views on a single feed, are hot products that consumers will rely on for livestreaming as a hobby and as a profession. Auto-tracking cameras that can follow a presenter around a kitchen or workshop area will also be popular for streamers looking to record demonstration content. Joysticks such as the PTZOptics SuperJoy can allow streamers to control multiple cameras at once, allowing them to capture high production value content without help from others.
As the livestreaming market welcomes consumers of all technical abilities, tools that make the process seamless will be most appealing. For a customer who wants to be able to deliver a virtual conference presentation from their home’s media center and use the same space to gather the whole household for remote worship services or family get-togethers, an auto-framing camera can ensure that the capture area is always appropriately centered and zoomed on the participants. Looking professional in any meeting scenario is possible with a high-definition webcam that can be easily clamped to a monitor or mounted to the wall.
Moving forward, many homes will need livestreaming solutions that can do it all. Whether consumers are attending virtual worship services, livestreaming themselves as they play Fortnite, or prepping for an important corporate presentation, they will rely on manufacturers and integrators to deliver audio and video technologies that are user-friendly and facilitate genuine, human connection. Livestreaming is here to stay, and I think this industry growth will bring new opportunities to manufacturers and residential audio and video integrators in the upcoming year.