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Brands have to date approached live video streaming as an experiment or PR stunt, rather than a core tactic within their marketing armoury. We expect that to change in 2017 as the live streaming services that social networks offer continues to grow their user base and the concept gains traction among consumers. We have already seen Youtube and Facebook providing this service at the end of last year, while its sister company Instagram added live video functionality in November.

But what has changed in the past few months is that the customer is having a smoother experience; more oriented to content instead of mainly mass advertising. This therefore means that the availability of live video content could impact the TV and media business in new and unexpected ways in this New Year.

Twitter is keen to be a content provider and has recently agreed a deal to live stream 10 NFL matches for free worldwide, turning the platform into a live TV broadcaster. Britain will not be left behind as the company has also signed a deal with the European broadcaster Sky to live-stream “Deadline Day” – which is the last day for football clubs to hire new players – a bid deal for British football fans.

Live streaming has become a key battleground for social media as they try to boost user numbers and engagement through the platform. For these companies, live video is seen as the future. The integration of live video on social platforms grants access to a huge audience using a medium that broadcasters are already experts in. It is not hard to believe that live video streaming will eventually outshine linear TV in the same way that the telephone landline network has been revolutionized by mobile technology. It can be said that we will start to see a merge between streaming and live linear TV channels.

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