Does Live Video Matter?

SAI has some numbers on the users and viewers of the many free live-streaming options that have been popping up and sucking up VC rather rapidly.

Turns out the numbers are quite equaling the investment, yet.

“The biggest site, LiveVideo, had 1.13 million unique viewers in February, according to Nielsen’s VideoCensus. That’s enough to earn it 49th on Nielsen’s list of top video sites — and to beat Sony’s Crackle (nee Grouper). But it drops off dramatically from there.

Second-place streamer uStream, supposedly a Microsoft buyout candidate, ranks 142nd among the top video sites. That puts it between iVillage Network (141st) and one above Atom Films (143rd), in terms of unique viewers of video. And Justintv, the supposedly redhot home of iJustine? Just 82,000 unique viewers, Nielsen says — enough to earn it #369.”

This isn’t especially surprising to anyone who has spent time watching the average live-stream.  Like most of the videos on YouTube, it isn’t that interesting.  And, unlike the video’s on YouTube, these “broadcasts” never really end.

Sure, there are some exceptions and it is here that we will begin to see some growth.  The first issue is figuring out what NEEDS to be live.  Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.  Think how few things are actually live on TV.

The news. Morning shows. Sporting events. SNL.  That’s about it aside from the rare stunt programming.  As the tech gets better and the streams get more clear sports will be a big part of the live-streaming world – look how well CBS did with their live NCAA games.  I’ve even heard anecdotal reports of people “broadcasting” sporting events of their own tv, via webcam, to the web for those who can’t get it in their region.


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