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Examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use and growth of livestreaming platforms and what this means for the future of online content creation.

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Examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use and growth of livestreaming platforms and what this means for the future of online content creation.
January 17, 2023

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Bettercast

January 17, 2023

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Table of contents
Examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use and growth of livestreaming platforms and what this means for the future of online content creation.
January 17, 2023

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January 17, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the way we consume and create content live and or recorded online. One of the most significant changes that have occurred is the rapid growth and increased use of live-streaming platforms such as BetterCast and many new platforms. TikTok has just exploded over this time. 

Prior to the pandemic, live streaming was primarily used for sports and gaming content, but now it has become a mainstream method of communication and entertainment. 

The pandemic forced countless events to be cancelled, leading to a real shift in the types of content being created on these platforms. It has accelerated the shift towards online content consumption, which has led to new opportunities for creators, businesses, and organisations. 

In this post, let’s explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use and growth of live-streaming platforms and how this trend will likely continue. We will also look at the implications of this trend for the future of online content creation and the opportunities it has created for creators, businesses, and organisations. 

Overall, the pandemic has improved live streaming, opening a new industry of accessible events, despite this tragic event.

A computer screen showing lots of different type of entertaining content on it

The shift in the types of content being created on these platforms

How has the pandemic led to a shift in the types of content being created on live-streaming platforms?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in the types of content created on live-streaming platforms. According to a survey of US consumers by McKinsey Company, there has been a 15-30% overall growth in consumers who made purchases online across a broad range of product categories, many of which have seen a double-digit percentage increase. This shift in consumer behaviour has also been reflected in the types of content created on live-streaming platforms.

One example of this shift is the increase in live-streaming events related to activities that can be done from home, such as cooking, fitness, and other DIY activities, as people are spending more time at home and looking for ways to entertain themselves. This is also true in the gaming industry, where more people are watching and taking part in online gaming events because of the pandemic.

It’s also changed how events are planned and how content creators profit from their work. With many traditional events such as conferences, concerts, and sports games being cancelled, many of these events have been moved online, and live-streaming platforms have helped make this possible. This has created new opportunities for creators, businesses, and organisations to connect with audiences in new and meaningful ways.

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in the types of content created on live-streaming platforms as people spend more time online and look for new kinds of content to engage with.

 

new types of content emerged on live-streaming platforms during the pandemic

What new types of content emerged on live-streaming platforms during the pandemic?

One of the main new types of content that emerged on these platforms is the increase in independent creators building their followings on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Patreon, and other media. The pandemic has allowed entertainers, known and unknown before the pandemic, to build their followings on these platforms.

In addition, the pandemic has increased the number of people watching and participating in online gaming events. This is due to lockdowns, social distancing and people spending more time at home. As a result, the gaming industry has seen a surge in demand for online gaming content and live streaming of gaming events.

It’s also important to note that the pandemic caused a rise in streaming services. Most US consumers have sought new modes of entertainment, and streaming platforms have seen a giant wave during the pandemic. 

In a recent poll, Almost three-quarters of respondents -73%- said they prefer content from established services like Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix. While most US consumers will seek new modes of entertainment, only some will reduce their media consumption hours to do so. 41% enjoy watching TV/videos more now than before the pandemic.

Babies watching a tv

How have creators adapted to the unique situation and changed their content to fit the new needs of the audience?

Creators have adapted to the unique situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by changing their content to fit the new needs of their audiences. This has been done in several ways.

Firstly, creators have changed their routines and adapted to the new situation in the world by creating content that can be done from home, such as cooking, fitness, and DIY activities. This is in line with the trend of people spending more time at home and looking for ways to entertain themselves.

Secondly, creators have let go of their regrets and have been able to move forward by creating new and innovative content that meets the needs of their audience in this new situation. Creators must realise that the problem is over and focus on creating unique and relevant content to keep their audience engaged.

And lastly, creators have changed their way of leading to fit the new situation by being flexible and able to adapt to any situation. This includes predicting and meeting the audience’s needs by being hands-on and assertive or observing and correcting as needed.

people using their phones, sitting on a count infront of a smart tv

How has this shift in content affected the audience engagement and growth of live-streaming platforms?

The change in content on live-streaming platforms has dramatically affected how much people watch and how big these platforms are getting.

The shift in content has led to increased audience engagement as creators can now create content that is directly interactive with their audience on live-streaming channels. This is because a lot of live streaming events, especially free ones or ones that are advertiser revenue driven, use social media channels to stream live content to the audience, which allows for real-time interaction and engagement, but becomes problematic when we’re looking at B2B events and conferences. 

Secondly, the shift in content has also led to increased collaboration between creators. Live streaming has made it easier for content creators to collaborate and share ideas with their peers, with some of the most viral content being duets and similar. This has led to increased collab content, which offers an excellent user experience since the viewers can witness multiple viewpoints.

The shift in content has also led to an increase in the growth of live-streaming platforms. The market has seen exponential growth in the live-streaming industry, from $30 billion in 2016 to an estimated $184 billion in 2022. More than 75% of US households subscribe to a streaming service, and over 25,000 full-time YouTube content creators are active today. Twitch, a streaming content platform focused on gaming, has more than two million regular viewers. 

These numbers demonstrate the increasing popularity of live content and online video, reflecting the growth of live-streaming platforms.

a sad face

The use of live-streaming platforms for events that were cancelled due to the pandemic

How have traditional events such as conferences, concerts, and sports games been moved online?

Traditional events such as conferences, concerts, and sports games have been moved online in several ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many organisations have created their own virtual platforms or services to host these events online. For example, the UK-based events company, Event in a Box created a service to enhance events during the pandemic and help bridge the gap between live and online events. This service can create immersive experiences for product launches, award ceremonies or conferences, where hand-selected products are delivered to guests.

Secondly, many traditional sports and games are also being organised and streamed online to help keep people entertained and engaged during the pandemic. While a lot of the larger sporting events we’re al; ways producing live streams, many more smaller sporting bodies started including live streaming in their offer, leading to a much larger appreciation of non-traditional games. 

These events promote intercultural dialogue and peace, reinforce youth empowerment, and promote ethical sports practices.

Finally, many conferences, concerts and sports games are streamed live on platforms such as YouTube, Twitch and Facebook so that people can watch them from the comfort of their homes. This is also a way to reach a wider audience and promote these events globally.

Overall, the shift to online events has been done to keep people connected and engaged during the pandemic while promoting traditional sports and games to preserve cultural heritage and promote peace.

a robot at a football match with a camera

How have live-streaming platforms helped make this possible?

Live-streaming platforms have played a critical role in making the shift to online events possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live-streaming platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook have provided the necessary infrastructure for hosting and streaming events online. Social platforms can reach a broad audience and have the ability to stream live video and audio, making it possible to host events such as concerts, conferences, and sports games online.

These platforms have also provided various interactive features that enhance audience engagement and the overall experience of the events. For example, live-streaming platforms allow real-time interaction between the audience and the host through features such as live chat and Q&A sessions. This interactive feature makes it possible to create immersive experiences for product launches, award ceremonies, and conferences.

They also provide tools and analytics that help the organisers and creators measure the success of their events and adjust accordingly, in some level of detail. This includes metrics such as the number of viewers, engagement rate, and audience demographics which help the creators to understand their audience better and create content that resonates with them.

For business events, social platforms are a letdown for any level of marketing or lead generation, mainly due to the legal issues faced with user privacy on a social platform.

Overall, live-streaming platforms have enabled the shift to online events by providing the necessary infrastructure, interactive features, and tools to host, stream and measure the success of events online, making it possible for people to stay connected and engaged during the pandemic.

a very large group of people

How has this affected the audience engagement and growth of live-streaming media?

The shift to online events has significantly impacted audience engagement and the growth of live-streaming media.

Live streaming has become an effective way to increase audience engagement by providing real-time interactive experiences, such as live chat and Q&A sessions. This interactive feature has led to increased audience engagement, allowing the audience to connect directly with the host and other audience members.

Live streaming has become an effective way to handle trending topics and get instant feedback from the target audience. This feature has helped to increase audience engagement as it allows the audience to stay informed and up-to-date on current events and to provide feedback on the content they are watching.

Lastly, live streaming has become an effective way to build an audience and grow a presence on social media platforms. The most popular live-streaming platform, Facebook Live, has been around since 2016 and has significantly impacted the forum. With 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform for live streaming, with Tictok coming in a VERY close second and, I believe, will overtake Facebook in the not-so-distant future. 

This feature has helped to increase audience engagement as it allows creators to reach a broad audience, even if they still need to get a big presence on the platform.

a person making money while in a chair in front of a computer

How has this affected how events are organised and creators monetise their content?

The shift to online events has changed how events are organised and have increased the opportunities for creators to monetise their content.

There has been a change in the balance of power in the media industry due to the rise of streaming media subscriptions. With more households subscribing to streaming services, there is a greater demand for online content, which has led to more opportunities for creators to monetise their content through platforms such as live streaming. This has allowed creators to reach a wider audience and generate more revenue through their content.

The shift to online events has increased the proportion of content producers who make a sizable income from their work.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of content creators earning the equivalent of USD 10,000 per month grew by 88%, and those earning $1,000 per month increased by 94%. 

This has been driven by the increasing demand for online content and the ability for creators to monetise their content through live-streaming and other platforms.

Lastly, the shift to online events has led to a change in how events are organised, with more events held online, which has led to more opportunities for creators to monetise their content through interactive experiences and other monetisation methods such as sponsorships, merchandise sales and other revenue streams.

In conclusion, the shift to online events has led to a change in how events are organised and have increased the opportunities for creators to monetise their content through live-streaming and other platforms.

A person creating content on a stage being filmed

Implications for the future of online content creation

What does the increased use and growth of live-streaming platforms imply for the future of online content creation?

It was just a year ago when digital streaming platforms were limited to live-streaming sports content. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, the usage of digital streaming platforms saw a significant increase. As people were forced to stay at home, they turned to online content consumption as a means of entertainment. This fast-tracked the shift to online content consumption, and US consumers now show no signs of slowing down. 

The increased use and growth of live-streaming platforms imply that the future of online content creation will see a greater emphasis on live content. With the ability to reach a large audience instantly and handle current trending topics, live streaming has become an essential tool for content creators to engage and interact with their audience. 

Additionally, research shows that global consumers have a preference for streaming services that offer a personalised experience, such as the ability to curate their own content libraries and access to exclusive content. 

This implies that in the future, digital streaming platforms will need to focus on providing a unique and personalised experience to their users to stay competitive.

Overall, the increased use and growth of live-streaming platforms imply that online content creation will shift towards live content and personalised experiences for the audience.

a rocketship

How has the pandemic accelerated the shift towards online content?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way consumers access and consume online content. According to research by the Office for National Statistics, the pandemic has accelerated the shift to online spending as many stores were forced to close during the height of the lockdown. Consumers switched their spending to online channels, resulting in an increase in online retail sales. 

In addition, research by Forbes suggests that the pandemic has also accelerated demand for online education, with 68% of students interested in a combination of in-person and online instruction. This demand signals that online education has ample room for growth, even beyond the pandemic. UNCTAD’s research also shows that the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world. 

The changes made now will have lasting effects as the world economy begins to recover. Online news and entertainment also increased during the pandemic, as people were spending more time at home.

a computer with lots of cameras spilling out of it

How will live streaming platforms play an even bigger role in the future?

According to research and market predictions, the live-streaming industry is set to reach $70 billion in 2021, a significant increase from its $30.29 billion market figure in 2016. This growth in the live-streaming industry implies that live-streaming platforms will play an even bigger role in the future.

One way live streaming platforms will play an even bigger role in the future is using smart aggregators. A smart aggregator is a platform that sits across multiple live-streaming platforms and allows viewers to have more control over the content they watch. By eliminating the three major issues of the current streaming ecosystem, such as the lack of personalisation and discovery, the high costs for content, and the lack of user engagement, smart aggregators will make it easier for viewers to find and consume content that is tailored to their interests.

Another way live streaming platforms will play an even bigger role in the future is through the increased use of collaborations between content creators. Live streaming makes it easier for content creators to share ideas and collaborate with their peers, making producing and distributing content more efficient.

Finally, live-streaming platforms will also play a bigger role in social media marketing. Live streaming lets brands connect with their audiences in real-time, providing a more authentic and personal experience. This can lead to higher engagement rates and a more loyal audience.

Overall, the increased use and growth of live streaming platforms imply that they will play an even bigger role in the future. With the use of smart aggregators, collaborations between content creators, and social media marketing, live-streaming platforms will become an even more important tool for content creation and consumption.

a computer with a business on the screen and a person with a microphone standing next to the computer pointing at the business

How has the increased use of live-streaming platforms created new opportunities for creators, businesses, and organisations?

The increased use of live-streaming platforms has created new opportunities for creators, businesses, and organisations in many ways. One opportunity is for brands to drive awareness and engagement through live-stream shopping, where products can be sold in real-time. 

This can be done through social media, music, TV, and gaming integrations. Additionally, live-streaming platforms have seen significant growth in paying users and active broadcasters. This has created a new revenue stream for creators, businesses, and organisations. Furthermore, the use of professional video hosting providers and live streaming services is cost-effective, allowing creators, businesses, and organisations to invest in technology and equipment that would otherwise be too expensive. 

a newspaper on fire being stomped on by a computer with legs holding a video camera

How does this trend affect traditional content creators and media outlets?

The trend of increased use of social media and live-streaming platforms has affected traditional content creators and media outlets in several ways.

One way is that it has created opportunities for collaboration between traditional media and social media. As stated in, social media can be incorporated into traditional media strategies for a more creative and successful campaign. This allows traditional media to reach a wider audience and for social media to gain credibility from traditional media.

Additionally, as stated in, traditional media often looks for experts to provide context for stories. This is an opportunity for content creators to gain exposure and reach a wider audience.

On the other hand, traditional mainstream media and entertainment are losing ground to the more personalised, niche and community-driven media, known as the creator economy. As stated, this shift in the media landscape means traditional content creators and media outlets may have to adapt to a more niche and personalised approach to remain relevant.

In Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the use and growth of live-streaming platforms. The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards online content consumption as many physical stores were forced to close, leading consumers to switch their spending to online. This has led to an increase in the number of subscriptions to streaming media and a higher proportion of online spending remaining post-pandemic. According to research by Research and Market, the live-streaming industry is projected to reach $70 billion in 2021. This trend is likely to continue as it offers consumers more control over the content they watch and brands more opportunities to drive awareness and engagement.

This trend has also created new opportunities for creators, businesses, and organisations, such as the ability to collaborate with other content creators, sell products in real-time, and integrate live streaming with social media, music, TV and gaming. The trend has also led to the rise of a smart aggregator, which can play an important role in eliminating the three major issues that currently exist in the streaming ecosystem: the user experience, the search experience, and the discovery experience.

However, this trend has also affected traditional content creators and media outlets. The shift towards online content and the personalised, niche, and community-driven media known as the creator economy will likely lead to a decline in traditional, mainstream, and mass-market forms of media and entertainment. Traditional media can help content marketers amplify their stories and content. Still, content marketers must adapt to this new environment by incorporating social media into their strategies and developing more creative and successful campaigns.

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