The industry buzz surrounding live streaming is constantly increasing, and if the latest figures are to be believed, the streaming industry will be worth an estimated $16 billion by the year 2020. Although live streaming was initially pioneered and perfected by gaming channels such as Twitch, delivering high-quality live content is now an important consideration for any aspiring firm. As it happens, the technology looks set to become a key market focus for a number of industries in the coming years, and luxury brands are seemingly the latest to get in on the act in recent years. But just how have they done this, and how effective have their efforts been so far?
The test market
Live streaming channels are a massive growing trend in China. With over 800 million users accessing the internet via their mobile phone, the country represents a lucrative cohort for advertisers and marketers to tap into. The Asian market is notoriously difficult to crack, and many luxury companies have found that live streaming has given them the tools to at least to try to penetrate it. Back in 2016, the luxury brand, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, teamed up with Chinese KOLs (key opinion leaders) to show them having fun with their families, as well as offering restaurant discounts and free stays through their hotels’ respective live stream apps. As a result, their targeted marketing efforts reflected the uniqueness of each property they had to offer, and Hilton consequently marketed themselves to be a friendly and accessible company, something which certainly did their global image no harm whatsoever.
Who’s doing what?
Brands such as Paul Smith, Burberry and La Perla delivered plenty of live content during China’s Single’s Day extravaganza back in 2016, which featured an 8-hour live-streamed fashion show broadcast on business-to-consumer retail site, Tmall. However, it’s also worth pointing out that luxury brands outside of China are also benefitting from live streaming. Online iGaming platform, Mr Green casino, for example, offers high-end online casino and tabletop games, as well as popular streamed games that feature live croupiers. Through the use of HD quality webcams and these professional dealers, luxury online casino experiences and live streaming are enjoying a blossoming relationship. In addition to this, European fashion companies are using the Periscope app in both New York and London fashion weeks to showcase their latest products. Even Kanye West has got in on the act in recent years – with the polarizing rapper launching his Yeezy 4 product line via live stream back in 2016.
Finding the right balance
Live streaming has proved itself to be an exciting and engaging medium which has the potential to bring luxury experiences to brand new audiences all over the world. When used properly, the technology is undoubtedly a useful tool in a brand’s promotional kit, and we are likely to see more companies catch on in the coming years. However, in a world where attention spans are getting shorter, staying engaging is a big challenge for firms looking to break into the live streaming market. Given that the ideal live stream is at least a couple of hours long, companies may well look towards more customer interaction and participation in the future in order to ensure they keep their audiences interested.