By John Petrocelli, CEO of Bulldog Digital Media, an agency that executes livestreaming solutions for brands.
Although 5G technology for consumers isn’t likely to reach mass adoption until 2022, it holds limitless potential for brands to connect with customers in new and innovative ways. The fifth-generation cellular network known as 5G promises to deliver wireless speeds up to 110 gigabits per second—a hundred times the speed of the 4G technology currently available today. Although it’s not likely that all regions will have access to top speeds, users with compatible mobile phones will see a significant upgrade in connectivity.
What does this mean for brands? We’ll be able to drive major improvements in mobile content consumption, creation, and engagement. Livestreaming provides an ideal opportunity to focus on all three of these concepts.
With 5G technology, consumers will be able to download full-length movies within the space of just a few seconds. It will also significantly reduce latency, preventing buffering and quality issues when mobile users are broadcasting livestreamed video. Brands will be able to broadcast high-quality live content to audiences all over the world without loss of quality, reducing any friction in the process. This will allow brands to execute far more ambitious, bandwidth-intensive livestreams, that include elements such as augmented reality holograms that can be incorporated into the video footage. Brands can use these added, interactive elements to provide contextual information, such as facts about products that viewers see in the video, allowing users to immediately access links to purchase. Mobile users will also be able to more easily download archived footage for viewing from any location, so you’ll have additional opportunities to repurpose your content through video on demand in the form of highlights, clips and can’t miss moments from the livestream broadcast.
The implementation of 5G technology will also lower the barrier for mobile users to create and transmit high-quality content themselves. Mobile users will increase their own use of mobile video broadcasting tools and the addition of filters and editing tools, for publication to social platforms, private chats with other users, and communication with brands. As users move to 5G, look for opportunities to build innovative projects that make use of crowdsourced video content. You’ll be able to create livestreams that incorporate live footage from your viewers, creating compelling interactive content that benefits from candid audience responses and reactions. This can be a huge benefit at live experiential activations and events, where you’ll be able to capture diverse footage from the audience, and encourage mobile users worldwide to engage and interact with it.
Media organizations will also benefit from access to thousands of crowdsourced video broadcasters, who can instantly contribute their own footage to news stories in real-time. As consumers gain access to high-speed, effortless wireless technology, they’ll understand how easy it is to move beyond passive consumption and provide their own value to a story.
High-speed downloads and uploads will mean that it’s easier for mobile users to respond and react in real-time—whether by playing a game, responding to a poll, submitting a live video clip, or interacting with VR or AR holograms in your app. Livestreaming is a key strategy to maximize user engagement today, with users 10 times more likely to comment on live video than other forms of media. LinkedIn Live streams are averaging 24x more comments and 7x more reactions than native video by the same page. While today’s users can use chat tools to respond to a video clip in real time, imagine the rich interactive possibilities of enabling users to join in with their own real-time images and video streams. Engagement tools can be used to generate feedback, collaborate, train, and foster creative new applications for your product.
As 5G technology comes to the forefront, smart brands will be well-prepared with livestreaming solutions that maximize the potential for rich, interactive content that helps them build genuine, two-way relationships with their audience. By transforming viewers of the livestream into actual participants brands will see extended user watch times that drive engagement and sharing.