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The Future of Digital Publishing, Part II

In our last post, we detailed how virtual reality and 360-degree video are changing the digital publishing landscape. In this installment we look at live streaming and messaging apps.

Live Streaming
Live streaming has become a major channel for digital publishers, largely helped by social channels supporting and promoting live content.

Facebook Live in particular has developed a number of publisher friendly features such as higher placement for live broadcasts on a user’s News Feed, automatic placement of broadcasts into Facebook’s video library, the ability to send broadcasting alerts to a page’s fans, and in-depth analytics.

Although monetization is still a bit of an unknown–Facebook is currently testing 15 second mid-roll ads–publishers are seeing promising engagement rates with live broadcasts.1

LittleThings, a site which creates feel-good videos, recipes and DIY pointers, is a great example.

While their full production videos which live on their website out-perform their Facebook Live broadcasts–receiving 2 to 3 million and roughly 50,000 views respectively–Facebook Live far outperforms in terms of engagement. In fact, comments from their full production videos only receive 100-200 comments on average while their Facebook Live videos receive thousands.2

Another example is the MTV Video Music Awards.

For this annual event, MTV live streamed the red-carpet through 360-degree broadcasting cameras. Garnering 100,000 views while live, the coverage was ultimately a glimpse at the future potential of digital publishing where viewers join reporters at live events through the immersive capabilities of 360 video.3

Messaging Apps
Following the release of chat bots–programs which facilitate automatic, highly personalized dialogue and content recommendations based on previous interactions–on each major messaging app, digital publishers were finally able to connect to users with scale.

This announcement was more than welcomed by digital publishers as messaging apps now receive over 3 billion monthly unique users–more than social network apps at 2.5 billion.4 5

CNN’s Alex Wallen, SVP and chief product officer stated, “Messenger apps are ripe for news as they enable that intimacy of a one-to-one conversation, but they’re also a medium to broadcast messages at scale. That’s why it’s so exciting.”

Indeed, the combination of messaging apps and chat bots allows digital publishers to not only send broadcasted messages to their followers but also implement unique personalization capabilities within the bots to make chats with users seem unique and direct.

While there are a number of messaging apps, each has unique limitations to broadcasting and bot capabilities. However, Facebook Messenger, Kik, and Line are boasting the most publisher friendly features.

For example, Fusion is primarily using Facebook Messenger to interacted with younger demographics–36% of Messenger’s audience is under 30. They created a bot that allows users to request topics with emoji’s and then responds with an automatically recommended article. Fusion claimed over 42,000 followers after only one month, and 20% of those users interacting with the bot daily.6

Fusion’s success is far from unique. In fact, success stories are prevalent from each app; learn other ways digital publishers are successfully using messaging apps to distribute content and engage users like never before.

While the future is hard to predict, one thing is certain: technology will continue to introduce new ways for publishers to connect with users.

1. Sloane., Garett. “Facebook Is Testing Mid-Roll Video Ads in Facebook Live.” Advertising Age Digital RSS. N.p., 01 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.2016. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.
2. Liyakasa, Kelly. “Publishers Drive Early Wins With Facebook Live.” AdExchanger. N.p., 25 July 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
3. Dreier, Troy. “MTV Brings Live 360 Virtual Reality to the Video Music Awards – Streaming Media Magazine.” Streaming Media Magazine. N.p., 28 Aug. 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.
4. Tomanchek, Jim. “Why Every Marketer Should Be Keeping Up With the Evolution of Messaging Apps.” AdWeek. N.p., 06 Mar. 2016. Web. 01 Sept. 2016.
5. Kapko, Matt. “Messaging App Usage, Retention Rates Dwarf All Other Apps.”CIO. CIO, 26 Mar. 2015. Web. 01 Sept. 2016.
6. Moses, Lucia. “How Fusion, Complex and Other Publishers Are Using Facebook Messenger Bots.” Digiday. N.p., 21 June 2016. Web. 01 Sept. 2016.