This week, we launched mLive, a creative offering for brands that combines the power of live video storytelling and TV-quality production with the precision and reach of digital media distribution. We spoke with George F. Snell III, the GM and Executive Producer of mLive, about how live video is rapidly becoming a powerful force in marketing and communications.
Q: What is live video?
George: Live video is the same thing as live TV. It’s live programming produced to entertain and inform a specific audience. Live video is live programming developed specifically for brands and broadcast online instead of over a TV or cable network. Consumers are rapidly embracing live video as social platforms integrate it and media companies launch live products. Already, 78% of Facebook users watch live video content, and live video now accounts for 17% of all internet traffic. A recent survey by New York Magazine and Livestream reported that 82% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog post or a social media post. It makes sense if you think about it. Live video is the closest thing we have online to face-to-face communication.
Q: How is mLive different from other live video offerings?
George: mLive is a branded live show developed specifically for a company or organization’s audience. Just like a TV show, mLive features multiple cameras, pre-recorded content and state-of-the-art graphics. Our live programs entertain and inform, but also deliver business results back to the client. What really sets mLive apart – our secret sauce, if you will – is our ability to simulcast a client’s live program on multiple channels and to pinpoint the content to the right audiences. We’re so good at distribution that we can guarantee any audience size for our clients.
Q: Why should brands consider using live video?
George: Actually, a better question might be why they aren’t already using live video. There are dozens of innovative brands using live video to reach their audiences in a more authentic and exciting way. No other marketing or communications strategy can match the reach, impact and effectiveness of live video. There’s a reason why Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and now LinkedIn are investing heavily in live video – because their billions of users are demanding it. It’s also why the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes and many other media companies are creating more live content.
Q: What does a brand need to do a live video?
George: Great question. The only technical requirements are an internet connection and a power source. The real need is a desire to produce something creative and innovative for your audience. I will say that a key consideration for any brand is quality. The survey by New York Magazine and Livestream also reported that 67% of consumers say quality is the most important factor in a live video. It’s tempting to want to just film a live show on an iPhone, but that’s just falling into the same trap many companies fell into when pre-recorded video became popular and the internet was flooded with terrible brand videos. Most brands learned a valuable lesson from that. So they do live video right. Marketing and communications are about capturing consumer attention, and poor quality is a sure-fire way to get ignored or, even worse, to annoy your audience.
Q: What is your personal experience with live video?
George: I was an early pioneer in producing live shows for brands. I produced my first live broadcast for a brand – a cooking show from Rockefeller Center in New York City – more than eight years ago. We broadcast the 30-minute show on the brand’s Facebook page – when Facebook had tabs. This was four years before Facebook launched Facebook Live and it was one of the first live shows on the social network. Soon after, I co-founded a live broadcast team for a large global PR agency. Since then, I’ve produced more than 125 live shows from all over the world – Brazil, Germany, England, Canada and, of course, the United States. I’ve produced cooking shows, talk shows and even sports shows for brands. I’ve helped brands like Harvard Business School, MIT, Ocean Spray, Honeywell, Verizon, Land O’Lakes and John Hancock produce live programs that helped launch products, demonstrate new services, announce breaking news and solidify corporate thought leadership. I’m so excited to bring this experience to Matter and take live video to new and innovative places.
To learn more about mLive, visit matternow.com/mlive