77 Predictions for Live Streaming & Digital Media in 2021
Our 6th Annual All-Star Panel Peers into the Future of Digital Media
77 Featured Predictions for Live Streaming, Podcasting, Virtual Events, YouTube Strategy, Video Marketing, Social Media, Education Technology and Online Business in 2021
Rob Greenlee on replacing in-person conferences with live virtual events
Andrew Haley on new monetization opportunities for creators
Nancy Myrland on the perfect integration of blogging, podcasting and video
PJ Taei on using video to grow a sustainable business
Andrew Kan on why YouTube likes live streams
Bee Smith imagines the pandemic without live streaming
Jon Burk on the impact of streaming on American television
Ani Alexander on making the viewer the hero of your story
Margie Analise on creating hybrid courses that include live streaming
Marc Gawith on the growth of live stream production businesses
Victor Cajiao on live video transforming relationships between musicians and fans
Louise McDonnell on live streaming in the travel industry
Wágner dos Sandos on why his agency adopted remote work pre-lockdownLeading #DigitalMedia personalities make their 2021 predictions for Live Streaming, #podcasting & #socialvideo at @LivestreamUni. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Livestream Universe earns money from the sale of Amazon products.
Live Streaming’s Finest Moment
Before we present the predictions for live streaming and digital media in 2021, a few thoughts on the state of the industry.
Writing about the state of live streaming at the end of 2020 isn’t as much fun as in past years. Who wants to look back at a year dominated by a pandemic? And, yet, take a moment to imagine going through these lockdowns without live streaming. It’s hard to do.
So while celebrating advances in live video might seem frivolous, it isn’t. This has been live streaming’s finest hour, bringing people together despite social distancing and providing a level of connection and interactivity not possible for most people had this pandemic hit a decade earlier.
People who had no interest in ever being on video were asking for microphone and camera recommendations so they could look and sound good during business meetings, sales calls and virtual events. Companies realized that not only were employees more productive working from home, but video conferencing technology also made it possible to retain a close connection with your workforce.
Zoom, of course, was the big winner in video conferencing and became almost ubiquitous with the ability to see and hear your whole team or have a face-to-face meeting with a colleague.
Meanwhile, the pandemic brought on-site industry conferences to a screeching halt before the first quarter of 2020 was over. Many in-person events were canceled while others held sessions online.
Transition to Virtual Events
Livestream Universe’s first experience putting on a live virtual event was our half-day broadcast where most of the predictions in this post were delivered. We learned what can be done over a short period of time, organizing the live party and show in less than two weeks.
To celebrate our 5th Anniversary, 60 friends, creators and entrepreneurs joined us on live video while hundreds more participated in the live chat. It was a moving confirmation of the strength of virtual connections and communities.
We were live for five hours without a break, which was exhilarating for me as a broadcaster. Enjoy the 77 predictions as well as the fun banter and shared experiences featured in many of the entries below.
Thanks to a great group of respected industry brands that celebrated with us. A total of 13 brands offered more than $13,000 in prizes, some reaching out unsolicited to offer giveaways.
Livestream Universe looks forward to hosting more live virtual events, including an award show, and applying what we learned during the party to future productions.
Innovative Virtual Event Organizers
Three event organizers featured in our predictions stand out for their ability to adapt to, and thrive in, the virtual format.
Dan Currier had a short window to convert People of Video from an on-site to online conference. He used UScreen to provide on-demand access to the pre-recorded video of each presentation, StreamYard for live panels and interviews with speakers, and Zoom for networking. With a powerful lineup of speakers, high-quality branding and effective use of the aforementioned tools, People of Video is positioned as the northeast’s premier video marketing event for creators in 2021.
Super Joe Pardo, host of the annual Independent Podcast Conference, moved to fill the void left by cancellations of in-person events by hosting full-day virtual conferences every other weekend. As a speaker, it was a great way to hone your craft at presenting virtually and come up with new topics to add to your offerings. It also meant that Joe was an old pro at running a virtual production when it was time for the big annual event.
No virtual event I attended better replicated the feel of an in-person conference than Podfest Global Summit. While setting the Guinness Book of World Records title for most attendees at a one-week podcast virtual conference with 5003, founder Chris Krimitsos leveraged the features in the Whova app to enable the conversations and virtual meetups that typically happen in the hallways and hotel lobbies. His subsequent VidFest Global Summit even added a virtual expo where attendees could meet with vendors to learn about products and receive special offers.
Investors Target Live Streaming Technology
On the broadcast side of live streaming, StreamYard continued on its remarkable growth trajectory, becoming the choice of newbies, experienced creators and even veteran television professionals for its winning combination of ease of use and high-quality audio and video.
The level of stability achieved by StreamYard is unmatched by other browser-based live streaming and live video production tools. As a result, StreamYard’s total number of broadcasts increased from 350,000 in 2019 — its first full calendar year in operation — to 9 million in 2020. (Full disclosure: I host a show sponsored by StreamYard. I was an enthusiastic StreamYard user prior to that arrangement.)
In early 2021, fast-growing virtual event production startup, Hopin, acquired StreamYard for $250 million in cash and stock options. Hopin plans to integrate StreamYard as the native live streaming tool for its event producers while continuing to have StreamYard operate as a standalone product for those not hosting events through Hopin.
Investment in live streaming products was also strong in 2020. Restream raised $50 million in 2020 following the release of its studio functionality that enabled live video production without the need for additional tools. BoxCast brought in $20 million in Series A funding assisted by Shure.
Multistreaming has evolved from a professional/specialty feature to a commonplace practice among many new and experienced live streamers. StreamYard, Restream and Switchboard Live all provide reliable and affordable services for sending your video to multiple destinations.
Simulcasting your live streams across social media means you are feeding content to your audience where they prefer to consume it, while no longer captive to the whims of a single platform’s algorithm. Successful streamers often have dedicated audiences on more than one social channel.
Live Streaming Platforms Rise and Fall
Amazon Live rolled out live steaming to its associates in the influencer program. With the alignment of e-commerce and live streaming likely to move across all the major platforms, Amazon Live is a great option for getting your feet wet pitching affiliate products during your live streams.
Meanwhile, the last of the three major pioneering social livestreaming apps from 2015 is shutting down. Periscope has stopped accepting new users and will go dark in March 2021. Twitter plans to move all live video to the main app.
It would be a good idea for anyone with a following on Periscope to encourage your audience to connect with you on Twitter. Start Tweeting more frequently to ensure engagement keeps the new arrivals connected.
This time last year, I would’ve told you that LinkedIn Live is the best opportunity in live streaming. LinkedIn seemed to notify your entire network once you went live. Organic reach, however, began dropping steadily over time until streaming to LinkedIn became an afterthought for many creators.
Waiting on LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn Live remains in Beta and is still available by application only. Perhaps LinkedIn is planning some new features or a wider rollout, which might lead to better organic reach. One such feature, scheduling, was added in 2020. This solves what was perhaps the biggest challenge for LinkedIn Live users — not having a link to share with your community prior to going live.
If I asked you for the most popular category of live streams on Twitch, you would probably say gaming. And for most of Twitch’s existence, you would’ve been right. Recently, Just Chatting passed gaming on the world’s busiest live streaming platform. Twitch remains a challenging destination for non-gamers to build an audience for live shows (different from Just Chatting) and podcast recordings.
Vertical Video Arrives
Vertical video is one of the hottest trends in digital media at the end of 2020. TikTok has exploded with fun, creative videos of less than a minute grabbing the attention of its young demographic. However, that which starts with the teens and early 20s — think Facebook and Instagram — won’t stay that way for long.
Digital marketers and creators of all ages are learning the platform and many seem to genuinely enjoy using it. To provide users with a similar experience, YouTube added Shorts and Instagram launched Reels. Video stories are now a part of every major social network and probably some minor ones too.
The Clubhouse app has taken off with live, real-time, interactive audio conversations on mobile devices. Think Blab on iOS without the video and recordings. Given the amount of time people are spending on video in Zoom meetings, Clubhouse is tapping into the desire for voice-only discussion in a closed, community-type environment.
Since users don’t have to worry about their visual appearance or set up studio gear to participate, it’s quick to jump into a room and join the live conversation. Discovery is unmatched as everyone schedules and attends events and meetups within the app. Twitter is expected to jump on this trend with a new feature for live audio-only discussion.
Creators Getting Paid
Creators are also moving live and recorded videos to closed venues to monetize their following and expertise with paid, exclusive content. Courses, subscription communities, YouTube channel memberships, Patreon supporter perks and mastermind groups provide educational or entertainment content and/or increased access to the creator. Members-only live streams are a popular feature or perk in many of these programs.
Options abound from the Netflix-stye, premium all-in-one video monetization platform, UScreen, to an ever-growing number of course and membership SaaS products entering the space where Thinkific, Teachable and Kajabi remain the most widely recognized names. Plenty of DIYers are also monetizing with a landing page, PayPal account, Zoom subscription and Facebook Group.
Livestream Universe believes that audio is the most important technical aspect of your live video. It should almost always be the first priority when it comes to making any purchases toward your livestreaming kit (assuming you already have a computer or smartphone, earbuds/headphones and internet access). The value in most live streams comes more from what you say than your visual presentation.
New Year, New Gear
For the past five years, it has been a no-brainer to recommend the Samson Q2U USB/XLR dynamic microphone as the first purchase for anyone in need of an audio upgrade from built-in mics, earbuds or USB condenser mics that pick up too much background noise. It was both less expensive and sounded better on most voices than any of the other well-known USB microphones.
This fall, Shure changed the game with its own USB/XLR combo microphone, the MV7, which looks a lot like the beloved SM7B, only it doesn’t need a mixer/audio interface, costs a lot less and has more than enough gain to work with any consumer or professional preamp. It’s the best, cleanest sounding USB microphone I’ve ever heard.
It doesn’t mean that the Shure MV7 is a better choice than the Samson Q2U for all creators. Budgets, future plans and use cases all need to be considered. It does mean that there are two strong options for new streamers and podcasters who want to sound good right out of the gate and anyone seeking the simplest setup without the extra time, space and expense of working with mixers or audio interfaces.
Audio for Video Creation & Live Streaming
If you are open to using an audio interface, the options at the consumer and professional ends of the creator spectrum have grown in recent years. Audient and Solid State Logic, companies with excellent reputations for building large studio consuls, released new, budget-friendly interface lines that are relatively easy to use, have high-quality preamps and a couple of unique features, along with a simple form-factor.
Two prominent audio companies, Focusrite and Shure, have teamed up for an affordable podcasting bundle containing the essentials for your home studio. The package includes a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface, Shure SM58 dynamic vocal microphone, 25ft XLR cable, Shure SRH440 closed-back headphones and recording software.
With the Podtrack P4, Zoom has released a sub-$200, light-weight, small portable device that can record 4 XLR microphones and serve as an audio interface simultaneously, unlike the Zoom line of Handy recorders. The sound quality is also better than the Handy recorders and closer in quality to the $599 RodeCaster Pro minus the popular RodeCaster’s massive feature set and attractive, sturdy build.
The Sound Devices MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 portable mixers/recorders/audio interfaces remain unmatched in terms of sound quality, durability and versatility (as they’re designed to work with cameras on video shoots). The MixPre lines remain a favorite of professional and prosumer audio and video creators in the sub-$1000 product class.
Raising the Bar for Video
Creators at all experience levels elevated their video gear in 2020. With the whole world using webcams for Zoom calls and live streams, many creators have chosen to stand out online by constructing sets or using green screens, dialing in their lighting and making the move from webcams to mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.
The Sony a6400 is popular for live streaming with its accurate, speedy autofocus, outstanding low-light performance, and clean HDMI output. The a6400 has no recording limit and won’t overheat during long live streams. The budget-friendly Sony a5100 is a very capable camera for live streaming from home assuming you don’t need your audio to run through the camera as there is no mic input on the a5100. It also makes a great B camera.
The Canon M50 remains a popular vlogging camera with its fully articulating monitor, ergonomic grip, light-weight feel, easy-to-navigate menu and excellent color reproduction. Unfortunately, it lacks a clean HDMI output on autofocus, limiting its usability as a live streaming camera.
The M50, along with many other Canon mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, can get around the HDMI issue with software downloads that enable them to be plugged into computers as USB webcams. This also eliminates the need for capture cards but doesn’t deliver the same size resolution as HDMI.
The most exciting development in 2020 on the video side is Blackmagic Design’s ATEM Mini HDMI switchers. Bringing high-quality video scaling and switching to 4 HDMI video sources starting at $295, Blackmagic has done for video creators what Sound Devices accomplished with its MixPre audio line: making professional-quality available at consumer prices, albeit without all the features both companies include in their higher-end gear.
Podcasting is Big Business
Podcasting continues to attract investment and interest with Spotify spending big on exclusive deals with talent and on acquisitions of apps and production companies. It seems like every day another celebrity launches a podcast.
We’re also seeing the growth of podcasting in the enterprise, especially internal podcasts created as an informational and educational vehicle to communicate with employees on a device they take with them, in a content format that’s familiar and personal, and on-demand rather than at a scheduled time.
The first predictions blog post came out as 2015 turned to 2016, shortly after Livestream Universe was founded. I offer this tidbit of information in case it seems strange that the sixth annual edition follows so closely to the Fifth-Anniversary Party and Show for Livestream Universe.
A special thanks to the three people who have contributed predictions all six years: Jennifer Quinn aka JennyQ, Coach Jennie and Mitch Jackson. Thank you for your insights every year and the class you bring to the live streaming medium. It’s been an honor and a joy to share the mic with you across a variety of shows since 2015.
And a huge thank you to Beauty Bubble TV for sharing her expertise in event planning during the development of the Livestream Universe 5th Anniversary Party. Thanks as well for your support in the live chat throughout the entire five-hour live stream.
Curious about what people had to say in other years? Here are links to the previous 5 editions:
- 160 Predictions for 2020
- 105 Predictions for 2019
- 91 Predictions for 2018
- 88 Predictions for 2017
- 37 Predictions for 2016
Bring on 2021!
What’s next for live streaming and digital broadcasting?
What are the best opportunities for monetizing content?
Will live streaming shows move from social media to tv?
What’s going on with LinkedIn Live?
How will the pandemic change the nature of conferences once the lockdown has lifted?
Will the current enthusiasm for vertical video last?
Let’s get to the predictions!
Ross Brand: Let’s get right to Mr. Rob Greenlee. Rob, good to see you. How are you doing?
Rob Greenlee: I’m doing terrific, Ross. Congratulations on five years. It’s exciting to be back. This is quite an event you got, lots of people lined up and ready to provide some entertainment to your viewers here. It’s awesome.
Ross Brand: Yeah, it’s been fun. You’ve got a lot going on between Libsyn and the new professional Podcast Academy. Tell us a little bit about that. A lot of people are starting to talk about it. You’ve done an amazing job getting some buzz going in the podcast community.
New Podcast Award Show
Rob Greenlee: It’s all about trying to reward and bring attention to the podcasting medium and terrific productions and content that’s being produced. It’s not unlike what’s happened in movies and TV and the music industries around the Academy Awards or the Grammys. That’s what the organization is putting together.
Along with that, building educational initiatives and trying to bring the industry together, create some mentorship relationships between creators and people that are involved in the industry at all levels. So it’s a big effort, but it’s really focused on the content creation side of the industry. It’s exciting to see the whole industry come together to make this happen.
For many years, the podcasting industry was a bunch of stray cats running off in different directions. It’s great to see some co-working together and trying to build something that’s good for the whole industry.
Ross Brand: That’s awesome. Do you have a prediction for 2021?
Rob Greenlee: I’ve been listening to a lot of your guests here and I tend to agree with Brent (Basham) who was on earlier talking about the growth of online video.
I’ve been participating a lot in online virtual conferences and events and COVID has really put us on a fast-forward track around online video and people’s use of technology to get involved in media. I’ve been creating online media for 20 years now, but there’s a lot of people out there that jumped on the bandwagon here over the last six months. And it really accelerated this.
I always had the vision that this online media thing was to going to become something important and I think, unfortunately, it took a tragedy to accelerate that. But we’re on a fast-forward track. Online event experiences that we’re seeing are still kind of rudimentary. They’re still trying to figure it out. And as others have said prior to me, I think it’s ripe for some innovation. There’s going to be a lot of improvement in the online video virtual event experience. It’s still a little clumsy today. I just did the Podcast Movement virtual event and there’s a lot of room for improvement there, but I think that’s going to happen. I’m confident.
I’m seeing a lot of innovation, a lot of new companies really doing great things, but live video is definitely exploding. So was podcasting on a global scale. It’s all on fast forward right now.
As far as on the podcasting side, I see podcasting remaining a free and open medium. That’s probably one of the best mediums for free speech as it continues to support online open standards as opposed to a lot of the other media types that tend to get mostly behind proprietary technology.
Podcast Listener Privacy
But I do think the area of concern as we look to the future in podcasting is around listener privacy. The industry really needs to come together to work on that and to get a handle on that before it gets out of hand. So those my predictions and thoughts.
Ross Brand: I guess it’s a lot of adjusting for vendors who are used to going to events as their primary outreach to podcasters or video creators. And now they have to figure out a way with virtual events. How do we make an impact in the same way when we can’t actually stand around the table and talk to people and shake their hand and give them some merch? It’s going to be an interesting adjustment to see who can create that kind of experience. Or is there a bit different and better way to do that virtually?
Rob Greenlee: As we come out of this and get back to in-person events again, what we learn from the virtual side is going to be applied to the in-person events. We’re going to see more of these events become what they call hybrid events. It means that the things that we have learned on the virtual side will apply to the in-person events and it will grow the capacity of these events to scale on a global basis.
Ross Brand: Thank you so much for being here, Rob. I’m honored that you took the time to join us. Hall of Fame Podcaster, Libsyn VP, and the head of the new Podcast Academy’s governing board. There’s going to be an award ceremony and a lot of different things coming up. If people want to join the Academy, how can they do that?
The Podcast Academy
Rob Greenlee: Well, it’s simple. Go to ThePodcastAcademy.com and fill out the form. It’s about a hundred dollars a year right now to join. We’re also accepting nominations for a podcast to be given an award in March. So if you have a podcast that you feel real proud of, and you would like to submit it to the Academy for consideration of a Podcast Academy award, you can do that right now.
Ross Brand: That’s exciting. A lot to look forward to. Thanks so much again, Rob. Great to see you.
Rob Greenlee: Thanks, Ross.
Rob Greenlee is a Hall of Fame podcaster, chair of The Podcast Academy, co-host of the New Media Show and vice president of content and partnerships at Libsyn, a leading podcast media hosting and distribution service. InsideRadio named him to their list of 2020 Podcast Power Players.
Ross Brand: Let’s talk to the great, the amazing Chef Daniella. Thank you so much for being here, Chef D-Malfi.
Chef Daniella Malfitano: Hey, Ross. It’s good to see you. Congrats. This is huge.
Ross Brand: So I imagine you just got done with a show of your own, not too long ago?
Chef Daniella Malfitano: I did. And, because I knew I was coming on, I baked you some mini mummy Halloween cupcakes, because I wanted to celebrate with you. Unfortunately, you won’t get a taste, but I’m going to eat them all on your behalf.
Ross Brand: Well, thank you. That is so nice of you to do that. Yeah, I haven’t eaten in about five hours, but that’s okay. Throw food in my face [laughter]. No, it looks delicious. I love it.
You do such a great show. It’s amazing how you use multiple cameras with StreamYard to really bring us into your kitchen and show us how you make what you make. It’s amazing. It really is. So congratulations on all your success with the show and everything you’ve got going on.
Chef Daniella Malfitano: Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s new for me. I had never done this before this year. So I’m super thrilled to be in this ecosystem with you all now.
Ross Brand: Do you have a prediction for 2021?
Chef Daniella: You asked me the question a couple of weeks ago when you invited me to come on and I started doing a little research. I have three quick predictions. They’re all really good and they make me feel good.
Chef’s Transition to Plant-Based
The first is that the United Nations has declared 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust. I love that. When I read that, I was like, “Yes, I’m in it for 2021.” But that’s not all. They also say that in 2021, it’ll be the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.
As someone who has been a chef for many years and has now transitioned to plant-based, I am all about the creative economy based on sustainable development. This felt so right for me. And then there’s one final prediction, which I think can not be more right, which is 2021 will be the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Now that’s something I can definitely get behind.
Ross Brand: Wow. International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. That is eating healthy. Something I need to do more of this year.
But everyone has to check out your show. Tell everybody where they can find it. You go live five days a week. It’s amazing.
Live Streaming That’s Healthy & Fun
Chef Daniella Malfitano: I do five days a week, 12:00 PM Pacific. You can find us on YouTube at Plant-Based Made Easy. That’s the name of our show. Like you just said, Ross, I’m helping people make eating healthy super fun and super easy. Those are my guarantees for watching any episode.
Every day, we make a recipe and it’s super great. We do everything from breakfast to dinners to snacks and even sweets. And it’s amazing. We have a global community now, so I hope that you guys will all join us for any day of the week that you want. Our menu is posted early. If there’s anything that looks good, come and tune in.
Ross Brand: Thank you so much. You’re a superstar. Appreciate having you here.
Chef Daniella Malfitano: Thank you, Ross..@ChefDMalfi shares her predictions for Live Streaming & #healthyeating in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Andrew Kan: Thank you, Ross.
Ross Brand: Tell everybody a little bit about Channel Reviews from TubeBuddy.
Andrew Kan: Sure. So we’re doing channel reviews from ChannelReviews.com. Think of it as a progress report for your YouTube channel. Whether you upload traditional videos or you live stream, we’re going to recommend things you should do that YouTube recommends for helping you get served to more people. Basically, it helps you grow your stream or your channel — or why not both?
Ross Brand: That’s what TubeBuddy does. It lets you grow your channel by pinpointing those opportunities. Thank you, Andrew. Let’s get a prediction from you.
Andrew Kan: Sure. I kind of started the train for you here, Ross. So my prediction is Ross will get more SuperChats. The Ross-needs-a-fund is always… No, in all seriousness, my real prediction — although Ross does appreciate SuperChat.
Ross Brand: So contribute more. If you don’t like what I do, and you want to get me off-camera, and not live streaming so much, yeah, just keep contributing. And I promise, once we get to a certain point, I’ll just take a month off and go do something else. Go ahead, Andrew.
New Tools for YouTube & TubeBuddy
Andrew Kan: The more serious prediction Is about what we’re seeing on the YouTube side. YouTube is really enjoying live streams, especially what they’re doing for the platform. As more people watch and get engaged, YouTube has said that we’re going to see more streaming tools to help YouTubers. That’s what we’re excited about at TubeBuddy. We’re going to be helping live streamers even more.
We have some new things coming out that are going to help with when to start streaming and how to optimize and benefit from that. For streamers out there, there may be a dip, but I think it’s more like an arrow where you have to pull back a little before you can really push yourself towards your target.
I’m really excited about live streaming. It’s been doing very well this year. It might take a little dip, but only so that it can go forward even stronger.
Ross Brand: Awesome. I’m looking forward to that.
Ross Brand: Next up is our friend Louise McDonnell, who has always been one of my favorite guests. Welcome. It’s awesome to see you, Louise.
Louise McDonnell: Thank you so much for inviting me, Ross. First of all, I just want to start off by congratulating you on your fifth anniversary and also for live streaming for nearly four and a half hours now. So that is the machine by itself. Your head must be absolutely fried. You will sleep tonight.
Greetings from the West Coast of Ireland. I’m delighted to be here. And just reminding you that it was this time last year that we met at the Web Summit in Lisbon, in Portugal. We were making our predictions for 2020, but honestly, we could not have forecast…
Ross Brand: Yeah, no way to predict what ended up happening this year. I’m just so glad we got a chance to meet and to do a couple of live streams in person.
Your episode of StreamYard Connect, at least on Facebook Live, is still the most popular episode that we’ve had. Around 10,000 views on Facebook, I believe. And we don’t boost anything. So, you’re a superstar and you always share such great insights regarding Facebook Marketing and social media in general.
Do you have a prediction for 2021?
Louise McDonnell: Well, my prediction for 2021 is around understanding the environment that we all find ourselves in. It’s really unusual that no matter where you are in the world, we are all experiencing the same macro environment conditions. In 2020, there has been very little or no international travel.
I’m looking at this from the consumer’s point of view. I train businesses on how to use social media more effectively. So what I will be saying to my customers? What I say to my students and the businesses that I work with is that consumers look at it from their perspective. They’re at home. A lot of them are working remotely. They’re not even getting to interact with their colleagues at work.
They’re not getting out to the high streets or the shopping centers. I know in Ireland we are currently in our second lockdown at the moment. So, we’re not even getting past two kilometers from our houses. There are no live events. No music, very few live sporting events, no local sporting events. I think that consumers are absolutely starved for live TV and they’re starved for any live broadcasts.
My prediction is that the brands that recognize this and work hard to produce really good quality live streaming broadcasts will succeed. And to not, as one of your earlier guests said in a prediction, just use live streaming as a shopping channel, which I think is a fantastic idea, by the way.
Service Sector Live Streaming
Even from an entertainment point of view, if you’re in the service sector, you have to think of how can you run interviews regularly and position yourself as an expert interview. Anyone who’s written a book, has a podcast or is selling something should regularly go live and regularly entertain and build an audience of people who look to you to be entertained.
The service sector of tourism has been absolutely obliterated. I know a lady who just won an award. She lives not too far away from me. And she has a sheep farm, one of the largest sheep farms in the area. She would have been working. She is at a tourism heritage center on the sheep farm.
And she would have been working with lots of tour operators from all over the world to bring people to the West Coast from abroad to see her lovely sheep farm. She’s now doing it using live streaming. So she is still working with the tour operators. They are still selling the tours, but she is bringing people on these tours around her farm, meeting the sheep, meeting the sheepdogs, meeting all the animals, and it’s all done virtually. I suppose the appetite is there. My prediction for 2021 is that the brands that recognize that and step up to the mark with really good, entertaining live streaming will be more successful.
Ross Brand: Well, I think it’s so true about what brands need to do when they recognize it. It’s just how are they going to do it, too? Are they going to find the right people to do it? Who owns it internally? Or who do they reach out to externally? There’s a lot of choices that they’ve never had to make before, right?
So You Are Now Live Streaming?
Louise McDonnell: Yes. But the other thing, Ross, is that a lot of people who would have pulled against going live or using live streaming or even doing live training or using video conferencing for meetings have been forced into doing it. We have a lot of late adopters who have now started using video conferencing and then have realized it’s not such a bad thing. I think that a lot of people are more open to it. And now it’s just about helping brands gain confidence so that they broadcast really good quality shows. As you say, they themselves find the guests and schedule and make something up. So they need to take a leaf out of your book, Ross.
Ross Brand: Well, thank you so much, Louise. It’s great having you on.
Louise McDonnell: You’re welcome. Thank you so much for having me..@Louisemcdsocial shares her predictions for live streaming & #VideoMarketing in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: He’s the founder of the world’s leading video monetization platform, Uscreen. Welcome, Pj Taei. It’s great to have you on.
PJ Taei: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me as well.
Ross Brand: How does UScreen work as far as livestreaming goes?
PJ Taei: You set up an RTMP from your webcam, StreamYard, OBS, even a GoPro. Put that key into UScreen in the backend, you hit start and then the end-user will see the countdown. They’ll get a notification when you go live. And the whole point of our live stream is it’s behind a paywall, so you are monetizing it. You keep the customer information. You can remarket to them and all that good stuff.
Ross Brand: PJ, any tips you can give for people looking to do video marketing, video selling, set up their own paywall and start to create courses or membership groups that revolve around their video content? What would you recommend as we go into 2021 as far as how to go about doing that?
PJ Taei: More and more livestreaming is here. It’s going to stay and it’s going to grow. That’s an awesome thing. Video-On-Demand is very scalable, so use live to engage and then either live or on-demand.
Monetize Live Streaming & VOD
So I would invite you to own your audience and know who they are. It’s so easy to go live on YouTube and Facebook, but do you have their email addresses? Do you know who they are? Can you sell additional content to them in the future?
It’s great to build a following, but knowing who they are and being able to monetize that content should definitely be a goal. The sooner you do that and jump on a platform such as Uscreen that helps you own your audience, that makes a big difference and you will build a sustainable business over time.
Ross Brand: PJ, thank you so much for spending a few minutes and thanks for supporting our Livestream Universe 5th-Anniversary Party with a super generous giveaway. So glad to connect with you.
PJ Taei: Absolutely, it was a pleasure. Thank you, everybody. I’ll look forward to helping you monetize your videos..@PJTaei of @uscreentv shares his predictions for Live Streaming in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: Scott is from LiveU. I see the backpack behind you.
Scott Sheehan: There it is. I would’ve been in trouble if I didn’t put that there.
Ross Brand: LiveU is one of the brands doing a giveaway. They’re giving away a year plan of the LRT. Tell everybody what the LRT plan is.
Scott Sheehan: LRT is LiveU Reliable Transport. It is our patented technology that makes bonded cellular do what it does. It’s more than that though. It turns all the different modems and connections, wifi, internet, into one big bite. But it also does all the super math stuff like packet ordering and adaptive bit rate. All that stuff essentially does what people didn’t think could be done, which is using cellular technology to deliver very high-quality network 1080P HD signals to online platforms or to the networks.
Bonded Cellular Video Delivery
Ross Brand: So it’s why when people go out to cover a news event or a sports event, you don’t always see a truck anymore. They’re taking a LiveU unit and using the LRT to send it back to LiveU, and then on to their destination.
Scott Sheehan: Yeah. It’s amazing. Every day somebody comes in and they say, “I really wasn’t sure, but I’m going to give this a try.” And then they come back and they say, “Yeah, it works. But I had no idea the quality level of using cellular technology.” It really comes back to LRT and the secret sauce that we use to send a high-quality 1080P signal. They say, “I had no idea the quality was so good. And we’re just going to go remote with live remote production from here on out.”
Ross Brand: Well, if you want to have the highest quality production that’s really possible — I mean, it’s just unbelievable, even if you’re streaming from a relatively low-quality camera. You can stream from a webcam through a computer, and if you’re using the LiveU Solo and the LRT cellular bonding, the clarity of the picture is off the charts. You’ve never seen anything like it on social media. So, so clear.
Scott, your prediction for 2021…
IP vs Satellite for Live Streaming
Scott Sheehan: Well, I think the world’s going to face a global pandemic with almost everyone stuck indoors and live streaming will blow through the roof in popularity as a communication mechanism. Oh, wait a minute. That one already happened. No, I think you’re going to see a rise in IP contribution of video from not only the production side with things like cellular bonding leading the way but also distribution.
You’re going to see more and more IP and you’re going to see less and less satellite for not only the production side (for the acquisition) but also on the distribution side. CBS Newspath essentially uses our matrix for IP-based distribution to all 200 affiliates. You’re going to see more and more with 5G right around the corner. And we’re leading the way. We’ve got our LU800 coming out as the first unit that will support 5G modems. 5G is going to take a while to get entrenched, but it’s going to be IP. It’s going to be all IP-based content production and distribution.
Ross Brand: Wow. That’s going to be exciting. And you’re seeing more and more sports going in the direction of using a cellular connection, right? That’s kind of the next frontier for mass adoption.
Live Streaming Sports
Scott Sheehan: Sports, I think it would have happened this year, but with sports shutting down and nobody being there, we’re predicting 2021 for sports. Specifically, a lot of at-home production because you’re still going to see it probably slowly getting back to full stadiums, but people do not want to be without their sports. We’re going to see more and more sports using equipment like LiveU for what we call at-home production. You send out the cameramen, send out some cameras and you produce everything from your studio, Ross.
Ross Brand: Thank you, Scott, for an awesome product and an awesome giveaway. We appreciate you taking a few minutes to join us.
Scott Sheehan is a business development professional and partner account manager at LIveU, the broadcast industry standard for remote live streaming video transmission via patented cellular bonding technology.Scott Seehan of @LiveU shares his predictions for Live Streaming in 2021. #2021Predictions #LiveU #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: Terry, are you ready to go with your prediction?
Terry Johnson: Sure.
Ross Brand: All right, let’s move you into the hot seat.
Terry Johnson: Okay. Well, first of all, I want to say thank you Ross for inviting me.
Where We First Started Live Streaming
Congratulations on five years with Livestream Universe. And you know, we go back to the Blab days.
Ross Brand: That’s right.
Terry Johnson: So, shoutout to Blab.
Ross Brand: Blab Nation at 10 in the morning, right?
Terry Johnson: Blab Nation and Live Talk Nation. Actually, we’ve gone through the whole ups and downs of live streaming platforms. Different ones that have come and gone, but you’re still here doing your thing and we’re happy.
Ross Brand: And you’re still here. Thank you.
Terry Johnson: We’re happy. So I want to say, thank you. Because you keep me going. You keep a lot of people going. You really do.
Ross Brand: Thank you.
Terry Johnson: My prediction. Because I deal a lot with small businesses and digital marketing — I know that live streaming has been happening for a while and we’ve been talking about that being a prediction that more and more people would live stream, but now we’re seeing live shopping.
So my prediction is that anyone who starts an online business is going to be like QVC. They’re going to have their own community of shopping because there are Instagram Lives with shopping. There’s Facebook Live with shopping. Google is developing their own shopping platform where you go live. And of course, Amazon Live, as you know, Ross. So I think a lot of people are going to be doing that.
Integration of E-Commerce & Live Streaming
It’s will bring a lot of people in and create a community. Also, you’re going to be able to sell your products, your goods and your services. It’s easy because people are going to join you on the apps or on the desktop. And you’re going to be selling your products and your services as a business owner — or if you have a Shopify store because Shopify is being integrated with all of these platforms. It’s really easy to jump on, watch a live and say, “Hey, I might want to buy that,” because the person that’s presenting is the owner or whoever has the shop is describing the item or giving you the value of why you should buy from them. So that’s going to be my prediction for the next year.
Ross Brand: E-commerce and selling are the future of live streaming. Thank you, Terry.
Terry Johnson is a digital marketing strategist and consultant working with small businesses in the online space. She’s the host of the Digital Marketing Strategy For Busy People podcast and live streams about business and social media on her Facebook Page.
Jon Burk: There you go. American Television, Ross.
Ross Brand: That’s outstanding!
Jon Burk: A bit of an inside joke, but anyway, good to see you. Congratulations on your five years. It’s terrific what you’re doing. I love the fact that you’ve got a community like this. So thank you for including me.
Ross Brand: How are you doing?
TV & Digital During the Pandemic
Jon Burk: Good. Actually, this pandemic has been kind of interesting because I report to an office back on the east coast in New York City, but I’ve been working out of my house (in Los Angeles) for over a decade now. So the only two things that were disrupted for me: I can’t go to the gym and I can’t travel. I can’t go to New York. Not much has changed in my world. We’re still doing the same thing. We’re pitching TV shows and we’re working on a lot of productions.
And where I’ve watched a lot of my peers watch their businesses contract, we’ve actually expanded. We’re just cooking. A lot of the shows that we’re working on now have pandemic protocols in place. They’ve almost taken a podcast kind of narrative. The audio track is laid down first.
And really all we need to do is get the crews to go out and do B-roll for the most part. It’s crews of two people, three people. We’ve had to shift and just change up the way that programs are being produced now. This is also what the broadcast and cable outlets and the streamers want. They want these efficiencies to be in place. I’m approaching this from a TV standpoint. We’ve watched all these changes come down and we’ve had to pivot. We’ve had to be nimble and just make all these changes. And because of that, we’ve been very lucky.
Al Roker’s Approach to Live Streaming
Ross Brand: And you and your boss (Al Roker) had gone in very heavily on live streaming early on, and then you pivoted to making that more of an adjunct to the larger production that you were doing and not the centerpiece. Has the pandemic changed this approach?
Jon Burk: And let’s ask him, shall we? [Holds up something that looks like Al Roker]
Ross Brand: Ladies and gentlemen, we couldn’t get Al Roker, but we got the next best thing.
Jon Burk: The Al Roker bookmark. He has 14 books out.
So, live streaming. We went all-in on this with Roker Media back in 2015 to make destination programming for different platforms that were live streaming. The problem was trying to attract brands to it because we didn’t have the vanity metrics. And that’s what brands look at. They’ll look at the numbers of viewers and followers. So we just couldn’t really sustain it.
Direct-to-Consumer Live Streaming
We were very early and now as we look at it, we see the fact, to Terry’s (Terry Johnson) point, there is going to be a revolution when it comes to commerce that’s DTC (direct-to-consumer). These announcements are coming down now, like the deal with TikTok and Shopify, and a couple of other ones as well that are coming down. It’s going to be these influencers and these people who actually have the followings going directly to their fans to bring awareness to products and be that spokesperson, but on their own platform. They don’t have to go onto the brand platform. They can do it themselves.
It’s the model that’s happening in China. That’s really is what it is and it’s just going to move over here to the States. So, that’s going to be big, the whole DTC market. They can do it themselves. But as far as live streaming for us, we see it as part of the suite of production…
Ross Brand: I like how you work the prediction in there and then you come back to answer the question. Get that prediction going while it’s on your mind.
Working in American Television
Jon Burk: I’m sorry, but I have a one o’clock pitch meeting that I have to jump on a Zoom call here, because Ross, I was supposed to be on at 12:10, but I don’t know what happened [he says in a mock snooty voice].
Ross Brand: Clearly you chose what was more important, and that’s why you’re as successful as you are in the world of American Television.
Jon Burk: I got to make money. So please move aside. Move aside, people. Once again, an inside joke.
So the live streaming component of our offerings that we do is exactly that. It’s one of the pieces of a larger multi-platform activation that happens across linear, across social, across websites. There’s also what we refer to as a pop-up with live streaming and it’s to garner excitement. Or if there is a brand that’s involved when we do branded content, this is the part that the brand gets to talk.
But for the most part, it’s not the central point of what we do, but it is definitely a part of the offerings of all the things that we do, including podcasting. We’ve pitched shows now that are not just linear TV shows, but it’s a massive funnel. And wherever we’re making the most amount of money, that’s the bottom of the funnel. A lot of times it is the linear offering, but it could be a digital platform as well.
Ross Brand: Wow. A lot going on. It’s going to be an interesting year, 2021.
Jon Burk: It really is. We get these reports from our agent, the Willam Morris Agency. They tell us what the networks are looking for, what the streamers are looking for. And it’s really interesting to read these because I’ve been reading these for years now, and streaming is where everybody is going towards. We all know that, right? That’s kind of a master of the obvious statement, but watching how these companies internally, especially out here — I live in LA — shift around their executives who were in charge of the linear side of things. Now they’re moving them out the door and digital is taking over these Hollywood institutions.
Demand for Digital Content
It’s really interesting to watch this right now because now we get these reports from our agent that we need content for our broadcast or cable outlet. And it’s not about that anymore. Now they need it for Peacock. Now they need it for all these digital offerings, while the stuff that’s on the broadcast and the cable side needs to be larger than life. So they need something that’s big and explosive, and it’s going to make a lot of noise. You know why? Because they’re losing the battle to streaming. So they need characters that are just not the usual characters and the usual stories. They need stuff that’s really going to garner that water cooler moment, if people have water coolers anymore, but just what’s in the cultural zeitgeist.
Ross Brand: And then they go over to the Plus and they watch more, they watch behind the scenes and they chat with other people, right? They pay for a subscription. Is that the idea with Peacock and all the others: ESPN Plus, HBO…
Jon Burk: Hulu. HBO Max. It’s really interesting because it’s all VOD (video-on-demand) now. Who watches (a TV show) because it comes on at nine o’clock on a Thursday, except for This is Us and sports? That’s about it. For the most part, people watch their stuff on their own time.
Ross Brand: Thank you, Jon. You have a pitch meeting so you better get going, but thank you so much for taking time away from American Television and all the great work you do. Mr. John Burk, Al Roker Entertainment. Thanks so much for being here. It’s great to see you.
Jon Burk: Thanks. You too.
Ross Brand: Joie has been spot on for two to three years, however long she’s been a part of it. She’s been spot on every year. So take it away for 2021.
Joie Gharrity: First, I just want to celebrate you.
Ross Brand: Thank you.
Joie Gharrity: Sending you so much love and appreciation. You’re so supportive and you do this amazing job of spotlighting others. Thank you, Ross, really appreciate you.
More Digital Entrerpeneurs
I’m declaring that 2021 will be the year of digital DIY. What I mean by that is that there are a ton of people out there in the marketplace who have been very resistant to jumping into the digital world, right? And next year, this is going to blow up. They’re going to be looking for endless resources, whether it’s live video, e-books, anything that can help to rock and roll their personal and professional brands out there in the marketplace. And anyone out there like ourselves.
We’ve really put ourselves in great positioning because they’re going to be looking for teachers that have been doing this for a while. We can then share our mastery with them. It can be in standalone products, one-on-one, a group, the membership programs, which Ross and I talk about all the time. I’m digging the membership stuff.
And then finally, what I’m super passionate about as well — I believe that next year will be the beginning of a trend that will start to grow bigger and bigger. We will all have our own online stores that are branded. And that’s where we’re going to be able to cross-pollinate with one another sharing each other’s resources. But also branding ourselves with our own divisions and being able to really expand our brands across our social media platforms and bringing in more and more brand evangelists.
Ross Brand: That’s awesome. It’s going to be an exciting year.
We were discussing how the predictions evolve and where this could go now that we’re doing a show that features the predictions. And you had a brilliant idea. You get all the credit. I was wondering if you wanted to say what you thought should become of this show because obviously, next year won’t be the fifth anniversary. But we want to keep doing this as a broadcast, as well as a blog post. Do you want to? It’s up to you.
Joie Gharrity: Sure. Do you want me to announce it for you? Because that would be an honor.
Ross Brand: It was such a brilliant idea. You get all the credit for it.
Predictions for Live Streaming in 2022: An Award Show?
Joie Gharrity: Thank you. I’m such a huge fan of these predictions and I get really excited about this every year because I want to see whose predictions are landing at the top, et cetera. So I said, “Ross, turn this into an award show.” Start giving out categories and really giving out the Ross Brand award. You surround yourself with so many influencers. And so that influence will only build on top of building and building. I told him that this could be a major digital component out there, like at the same level as the Webbys. So that was my download. And I’m really excited about it.
Ross Brand: Well, I’m going to do it.
Joie Gharrity: Cool.
Ross Brand: And next year, this is going to be an award show. I thank you for the idea. We’re going to have some events leading up to it. We’re going to have a big to-do and we’re going to put on the tux. Well, maybe not a tux, but you get the idea. It’ll be the digital version, so we’ll probably be in t-shirts or using our webcams or our DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, but it’s going to have kind of a reinvented energy, right? Because some of the old award shows I think are getting a little stale, but doing it digital style, doing it with these great kinds of people who are able to just be spontaneous, get on and share Ideas and think about these ideas. It’s going to be a blast.
Joie Gharrity: Congratulations. I look forward to it.
Ross Brand: Thank you so much. I love the idea.
Joie Gharrity is the founder and brand director at 113 Branding. A former Hollywood entertainment professional, she launched the first multi-media startup business for The Walt Disney Company. Joie is the author of The Red Carpet Guide to Visibility and Influence and Be Your Own Superstar..@JoieGharrity shares her predictions for Live Streaming & #branding in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Tim McDonald: Ross, you don’t look a year over five years old today.
Ross Brand: No, I haven’t aged at all. That’s what happens when you can’t cut your hair for a year.
Tim McDonald: We met at a networking event in New York with Mark Babbitt, actually. What I was going to say was we knew each other before this all started. So I was doing the Community Manager Hangout every Friday on Google Plus at the time and met Ross. And then you launched Livestream Universe. I know in the first year I was one of your guests and it’s just been so amazing to see you continue to grow and turn this into what it is.
In the Days Before Live Streaming
And I love what Todd (Bergin) just said. You have always been so helpful and so willing to help others. Even in the early days when you were first starting, when you were learning from others, you were always giving back to others. Thank you so much, Ross. And even though I’m not doing the My Community Manager anymore, I started this year — when I have great timing in everything I do — I was going to dedicate myself to be a full-time speaker this year. Surprise, nobody is having events.
But as I like to say in The Business of Speaking show that I do, and I interview speakers, and it’s really geared towards people who are thinking about getting started in speaking, who are just starting in speaking. As I like to say, if 2020 hasn’t taught us anything, regardless of where we are in our journey to becoming a speaker, we don’t know bleep because life can throw anything at us at any time. So that’s kind of what I am up to today.
Ross Brand: Well, it’s great to see you, Tim. It’s been a while since we chatted. And I just love how you use social media. When I first started, I was watching you and kind of role modeling a little bit. Of course, I wasn’t on as much you were everywhere. I said, “This guy is making it happen!” I can’t go to any platform without seeing Tim McDonald. He’s always good to everybody he encounters, always has a nice thing to say. It’s great to have you on here now.
Let’s get Tim’s prediction.
Speaking Industry Predictions for 2021
Tim McDonald: Perfect. Well, mine might not sound like it’s all that inspiring or revolutionary, but in the speaking industry, obviously, we’ve seen a lot of things go virtual. I think in 2021 we are going to see a merging of some form of live streaming with some kind of in-person events.
Even though this has been done for years, I think we are going to see it done in a whole new way, because we are seeing speakers start to engage so much more on video. How they do that with a live audience and a virtual audience will be the next key that we will see in 2021. But I just don’t want people to think about the audience being virtual and the speaker in-person, because I’ve actually seen already in Australia a virtual keynote speaker with an in-person audience. So 2021 is going to be an amazing year for merging live streaming and in-person events.
Ross Brand: Where can people find you, Tim, if they’re interested in learning more about your speaking business?
Tim McDonald: Well, just go to Speaking.Business and you can learn more there, or you can connect with me on Twitter at @TAMacDonald. I’m usually Tim A McDonald or Tim McDonald just about everywhere else.
Ross Brand: Awesome. Thank you, Tim. It’s awesome to see you.
Tim McDonald is the founder of The Business of Speaking, enabling change-makers to launch impactful speaking businesses. He founded My Community Manager, a resource for community managers, and served as Director of Community for The Huffington Post, including Huff Post Live. In the two years, Tim worked directly on the No Kid Hungry campaign, Giving Tuesday fundraising increased from $56,000 to over $249,000..@tamcdonald shares his predictions for Live Streaming and #virtualevents in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Bee Smith: We had an ice storm and so I’ve been without power for five days. And so this shows you the power of live stream. I’ve been able to teach my classes even though I have no power. So that is why I am coming to you from my car.
Ross Brand: Oh wow. Oh my… So can I ask where you’re located?
Bee Smith: I am located in Oklahoma City. An ice storm just hit us out of nowhere. The electric cooperatives were not prepared. All around me are falling trees and branches. And so you’ll probably see trucks coming to pick them up and it’s just been a deal. I don’t have my background, but I’m not going to miss out on Ross’s fifth anniversary because it was too important.
No Power, No Problem for Bee
Ross Brand: Thank you so much. This is so awesome of you. And I’m glad you’re safe and hopefully, your family and everybody is getting by. Any idea when things are going to come back on?
Bee Smith: Okay, so this is crazy. People on the north part of the city or the north side of the streets have power. And people on the south side, have no power until next week. So my family may be in this situation for another week. It definitely makes you grateful for things that you take for granted.
Ross Brand: Well, I’m glad you’re okay. And we’d love to get a prediction from you for 2021.
Bee Smith: From my car. Some of my best live streams were in my car!
My prediction for 2021. I’m in the educational realm as well as live stream for mental health and humanitarianism. What I see with live stream and virtual meetings is it’s going to be more than a medium of entertainment. When I first came into this game, it was all about entertainment brands spreading a particular message and selling a product. I’m an author selling my book. And I see it moving more to an operational side. We’re going to see live stream and virtual meetings become a critical part of operations for business, personal and education. On the business side, it’s going to go beyond meetings. With customer service, people want to see your face when you escalate a call.
So I see escalations, I see live video being used there, especially right now with people outside of their homes and losing things. You’re going to see more interaction there. On the personal side, with the pandemic, you see it in a hospital. I lost my grandfather to COVID in March. The last time we saw my grandfather was via live stream, in real-time. We were able to communicate with him when we couldn’t touch him. And people just thought this was about people getting behind the camera.
Live Streaming in Education
As an educator, we would not be doing anything without live stream or virtual meets. We can have private breakout rooms for students and we can put them in groups. We’re going to see that it’s just a critical part of the process. They’re going to have to start bringing people in and it’s going to change the workflow. It’s going to change the qualifications of what makes businesses keep going, families keep in contact with each other, and students keep learning. So that is my prediction. It’s more than a medium for entertainment.
Ross Brand: That’s powerful. And I just see this comment just came in the chat that goes along with what you’re saying. Jay Garrett asked if I could put a list together of all the guests with their preferred connection spots or handles because he said he’s been introduced to some new and interesting people. And so that’s what I love about this.
Live Streaming Connections Include Marriages?
There are people who met today and are going to become friends or contacts or maybe business partners or seek out working with each other, whatever it turns out to be. I don’t think I’ve yet had a marriage come out of one of my shows, but who knows? The longer I stay on, by midnight or four in the morning, maybe by then. You do a long enough live stream and people could connect that way. Who knows? I don’t know.
Bee Smith: Hey, we got a Periscope marriage. I am at the wedding. I don’t care who it is.
Ross Brand: There you go. Thank you so much for hanging in there and for being a part of this, Bee. It’s awesome to see you.
Bee Smith: No, thank you for having me. You’ve done so much. A lot of people don’t understand what we do Ross, but look the time is coming. They’re learning how to use it. And people like you have been an influence and not afraid to promote, like with Livestream Deals.
I just wanted to let you know how appreciative I am of you and how you give us a platform to share for suicide prevention, for education, for my books, whatever the case may be. You’ve done that for me and so many people. Happy five years. You da bomb! I’ll send you that recording, you know, with my little makeup, my little background, but I love being in my car because this is the realness. This is what live stream is all about. It’s the realness and people want that. We don’t want the fake stuff.
Ross Brand: This is perfect. This is perfect. Thank you.
Bee Smith: No, thank you. Thank you.
Ross Brand: That is Bee Smith. She is fantastic. Thank you for being here.
Bee Smith has hosted the weekly live streaming show #BeeInspired since 2015, featuring people who have overcome major obstacles on the road to success. She is the author of #BeeInspired: Practical Steps for Living a Life Full of Joy! and Fabulous New Life Volume II. She’s also a speaker, coach and suicide prevention advocate.Bee Smith aka @BeeInspiredTalk shares her predictions for Live Streaming in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: I’m going to bring in Dale Roberts. Dale, thanks for coming in. It’s so good to have you on.
Dale Roberts: Ross, I’m a superstar. Why didn’t you have the green M&Ms ready? And you had me waiting for over 20 minutes, man. 20 minutes.
Ross Brand: It’s unacceptable. It is absolutely unacceptable.
Dale is super generous. He’s giving away three courses. Three, Three.
Dale Roberts: Three, baby.
Ross Brand: Not one, not two, but three courses. DIY Publishing Course. And that’s lifetime, Dale. You’re not fooling around.
Dale Roberts: That is lifetime. And I don’t have that immediately available. So this is not something I just give away normally. It’s a good occasion. It’s five years.
Ross Brand: Thank you again, Dale. That is an awesome and super generous giveaway.
Dale Roberts: It’s so funny. You would think that after watching all these guests, I would’ve formulated just this amazing prediction, but I’m going to continue to go that back to the well as I’ve done previously and look at the platform that is Twitch. Twitch has continued to just exponentially explode over the last couple of years. I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again. And instead of me saying a prediction of “well, Twitch is going to get big.” It’s definitely already there.
Get it Done, Jeff!
For live streaming, Twitch is the place to be. But what I would like to see is that the algorithm actually works, because they have a search engine and that search engine is garbage. It’s a popularity contest. If you can bring in enough people, then you’ll get more people served to you from Twitch.
Twitch is owned by Amazon. Amazon likes money. I know from all walks of Amazon, they like that. So if they could take that algorithm that they use to service their customer base on Amazon.com and move it over to Twitch, Twitch will grow 100 times faster. That’s what they need to really do. So is that a prediction necessarily? Possibly five years down the way. I would like to see it happening in 2021. Come on, Jeff (Bezos). You’re my boy, right? You haven’t returned my calls lately. You think you’ve been hooking us up? Come on, get that algorithm over there on Twitch, because what you got is complete trash can stuff.
Ross Brand: You put your money where your mouth is. You’ve been doing Twitch. You do your podcast on Twitch, which is really cool. And I enjoy stopping in at Noon Eastern on Mondays. You do that little intro when you talk to the audience and then you record your podcast. So you’re putting in the time there, you’re building your audience. You’re doing good stuff there. So, thank you.
Dale Roberts: Thank you. I appreciate the kudos.
Dale Roberts is a leading online expert in self-publishing. His YouTube channel, Self-Publishing with Dale, has nearly 45,000 subscribers and helps authors publish their own books on a budget. A speaker, author of 40+ titles, podcaster and live streamer, he is the creator of the DIY Publishing Course. Dale is also a brand-building consultant for authors.
Ross Brand: We will bring in Margie Annalise. It’s so great to see you. As I said earlier, Margie, it’s been a while and it was just such a thrill to go on that show back in 2016. It was January of 2016 when I was l away and I got this message from Aaron (Kilby): “Hey, would you like to come on our show?” And I was like, wow, somebody wants me to come on their show. And I guess I’ve done a few shows since then.
Margie Analise: Yeah, just a few Ross. Congratulations. Five years is such a long time. It seems like just yesterday that we were on Blab, but honestly, that was so much fun. So much fun.
Ross Brand: It was. And I think we’ve had a little bit of the Blab feel here with so many people on together. Do you have a prediction for 2021?
Live Streaming in Hybrid Programs
Margie Analise: I do. Well, I help female entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants take their business and go online. The main thing I was teaching really all last year before everything crazy happened in the world is that the one thing that people want from you when you put together your program — because I teach them how to do a hybrid program — is they want the human connection.
So what I’m teaching women is how to take a course — that they would just sell without a high-touch feel to it — and use live streaming in it, because people want that human connection more than anything. And I think that’s why we loved Blab so much because we all felt like we were there. We all feel like we’re here right now together, even though we’re not really, but we are virtually. I think that platforms like StreamYard really helped to pull that together. So confession, I haven’t used StreamYard yet, but it’s actually on my list of things to do.
Who’s Zoomin’ Zoom?
My prediction. Number one is I think we’re going to see a surge in independent companies coming up with Zoom-esque-like platforms. There’s really so much potential. So many people are using live streaming now, and taking it away from the cold approach that it’s just a tool I have to use. People are going to start to see it as a way that they can really engage and enjoy. That they can reach people and talk to people they would never have had the opportunity to, like you and I, Ross. It gives us such an opportunity.
People had thought, “Oh, no, I’m not going to do that now.” Not only do they feel like they should, but they want to. And I think that’s the difference. The other prediction is I think we’re going to see an explosion in online entrepreneurs incorporating it into their hybrid programs so that their students can feel like they’re right there with them.
Because more than anything, that’s what people want. Especially since a lot of people have been locked down for a long time and everybody’s going crazy. Can anybody relate? We want to feel that connection with other human beings. And if we can’t do it in person, then this is the next best thing. It just allows for such an awesome opportunity.
And the last thing I wanted to say is — you know what Bee (Smith) said about being able to use it? I think it was her grandfather that passed? One of the last memories that I have of my mom — I hadn’t seen her for a really long time. She was in a nursing home and somebody at the nursing home took out their iPad. And guess what I got to do with my mom? I got to FaceTime with her.
Live Streaming Enables Unforgettable Memories
That memory will be with me all my life. So I think what we’re seeing is how if we can’t be there in person, we can bring that humanness back. We can have those important moments back in our personal lives and also in our businesses. I think we’re going to see such a huge surge in people using it in different ways. People who never would have thought that they would ever use live stream. We’re going to see them not dismiss being in-person because we know that’s the most awesome thing, but (using live streaming) as a really powerful complement to the things that we currently do.
Ross Brand: Wow. That’s powerful. Thank you Margie for that.
Margie Analise: Thanks, Ross.
Ross Brand: Thanks for being here. It’s great to see you.
Margie Analise: Yes. We have to catch up soon. It’s been too long.
Ross Brand: We do. I look forward to it.
Margie Analise helps coaches, course creators and experts grow and scale their online business without overwhelm. My first live streaming guest interview was on a show Margie co-hosted..@margieanalise shares her predictions for Live Streaming in 2021. #2021Predictions #H2H #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: We have Steven Greene. Dr. Greene, let’s get your prediction.
Steven Greene: Well, I’m in the education space. I think you know that Ross, other people may not. I do a ton of online education, tutoring instruction, you name it, and I don’t think we’re going back a hundred percent. The global, national, regional, and local acceptance of virtual education at the school level is there. Not just one-on-one. The door is open. I don’t think we’re going to close it ever, completely. I’ve been teaching online, not full time, but off and on since about 2012-2013 when the technology started to work well enough. It used to be I’d have to convince people you could even do it, that you could actually communicate, work out a math problem, whatever types of things I do commonly.
And that discussion is pretty much a done thing right now. So I think you’re going to see a lot more educational opportunities online. Obviously, people coach online. It’s not a completely new experience.
Acceptance of Live Streaming in Traditional Education
But I’m talking more at the traditional academic level, high school, maybe middle school, college for sure, and I think some of the continuing education things like online MBAs. You’re going to see a lot more because people can now get a lot more access to it. And you’re going to see a combination of live and asynchronous. I don’t even think it’s that bold of a prediction because it’s already happening. What I’m really predicting is that it’s not going to go back to the nonacceptance of it.
Ross Brand: Right. It’s going to be a reality whether we like it or not. And…
Steven Greene: I like it because it helps my business. But I think the technology supports it well enough and the people, the end-users, are open-minded enough to take advantage of it. I think it’s a combination of those things..@makethegrade shares his predictions for Live Streaming & #onlinelearning in 2021. #2021Predictions #edtech #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: Let’s bring Dr. Tachi in. First of all, happy five years to you and MediaScope. It’s definitely not only been consistent, but it’s always been a high-quality show with so many great conversations. You tackle topics I wouldn’t dare tackle. You make it fun and you get your audience involved. And I always learn a lot about, not only what’s going on with tech, but what people think about what’s going on and other ways to think about it. So, it’s an honor to have you on. Thank you for being here.
Dr. Tachi: It’s an honor to be here. I’m so pleased that you asked me here today. Happy, happy, happy anniversary. You deserve all the success in the world and thank you for being a part of the MediaScope family. So I feel like I’m on a family member’s show.
Ross Brand: Thank you. And I feel the same way. What do you think for 2021?
Dr. Tachi: Oh, here we go. Are you ready? Live scripted. Let me tell you why. So we’re talking about the fall of Quibi, right? Quibi missed the mark and they’re gone. But Zoom also did something really interesting called Zoom Where it Happens, where they had a cast of actors who did live table reads of different shows, where they did 227. The one they did this past Tuesday was A Different World. They did The Golden Girls, all of this kind of re-imagined cast-wise, but it did really, really well.
Live Streaming Dramatic Readings
So I’m thinking that because there’s already a lack of content — we don’t know when we’re fully going to get back to real productions — live scripted seems like the next hurdle to come over. So that’s what I’m predicting. We’re going to see some live scripted.
Ross Brand: And so for the audience, will it be more like hanging back and watching rather than as interactive as a lot of live streams are with guests coming in and out?
Dr. Tachi: That’s an excellent question. If we’re talking kind of reality-like talk shows, I see room for the audience to participate, but if they really want to take it up a level, they need to think live Rocky Horror Picture Show. You know how the audience participates with all those types of things. So it needs to be so well-planned and so well-orchestrated that you can involve the audiences at the end of the day. We all know that the main reason that people watch live streams is that they’re participatory. Otherwise, I can just watch regular static, linear TV. So that’s a great question. I do see them trying to find ways to involve the audience.
Ross Brand: Wow. Looking forward to that. Thank you so much for being a part of it, Dr. Tachi.
Dr. Tachi: Absolutely.
Ross Brand: It’s great to see you.
Dr. Tachi: You too.
Dr. Tachi covers all things media, tech and pop culture as the host of MediaScope, a weekly live streaming show that started in 2015. She co-hosts the TV Channeling podcast.She’s an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and holds a Ph.D. in communications and culture from Howard University..@Tachiada of #MediaScope shares her predictions for Live Streaming in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: It’s great to see you, Brent. And thank you for the generous giveaway from Poddit. It is an awesome website where you can book guests, really connect with guests for your podcast or your live stream show, or you can put yourself out there to be a guest on shows and promote yourself or your business.
Tell us about the Rockstar plan. You’re giving away two of them. What that’s about and why people should be excited about it?
Brent Basham: First of all, thank you, man. This is great and congrats on your new certificate on herding cats. This is quite a challenge for you. I don’t know how you do it. It’s amazing. But great job all the way through.
With respect to Poddit, it’s a way to connect for podcasters and guests or live streamers with guests. The Rockstar account specifically is on the guest side, because on the podcast side it’s completely free. We don’t charge you for that.
Live Streaming & Podcasting Interviews
The Rockstar account does enables you to have higher visibility and make a better first impression. Those two things are key. And the giveaway today is for that upgrade, for life, forever. It’s pretty high value and we’re continuing to add a lot of new features. So happy to support, absolutely happy to support.
Ross Brand: Brent, what do you see coming up in 2021?
Brent Basham: So I’m a little bit in the podcasting space. I did a show called Digital Dads for a while, but I’m going to leave those predictions to the resident expert, Rob Greenlee, for the podcast side. Piggybacking on what Dr. (Steven) Greene was saying though, for a long time we’ve been predicting on our show before we podfaded, that education was going to really be disrupted by technology.
Education Technology To Catch Up
And it’s really one of the industries that’s really been lagging for a really long time. I’m raising the very first digital natives and I’m the very last of the digital immigrants. It’s an interesting point in time. COVID, unfortunately, is the catalyst, but I think what’s going to happen a lot next year is not just live stream, but a lot of innovation and a lot of companies rushing into the technology space.
What can we do in the education plus technology space? How can we integrate kids in virtual sessions together? How can we do virtual field trips and bring in experts in augmented reality and all these kinds of things inside the classroom and at home?
What’s going to happen down the road for this generation is that it’s going to be very normalized for them to utilize technology in some creative, new ways. It’s going to set the stage, I think, for a whole new level of leaders to leverage technology and not be back on their heels reacting to something like COVID. And how can we be proactive and turn this into something powerful for generations to come? So that’s what I hope. I think we’re going to see that starting next year.
Ross Brand: Wow. That’s a good one. Thank you, Brent. And thanks for a really awesome and generous giveaway.
Brent Basham: Oh, absolutely. Thanks for letting me be part of it.
Brent Basham is the co-founder of Poddit, a website that connects podcast and live video hosts with guests. He hosts the Long Tail Success podcast and runs the Poddit Podcast Guest Interview Facebook group..@BrentBash of @getpoddit shares his predictions for Live Streaming, #onlinelearning & #edtech in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: Let’s bring in Dana Bentz from StreamYard. Dana Bentz is the head of marketing for StreamYard. You’ve got that cool new black t-shirt on. When they asked me what swag I wanted, I said, “That is the t-shirt that I want.”
Dana Bentz: I like this one a little bit better, Ross, because StreamYard is a little bit higher. The other shirt we have — I think we’re coming out with all kinds of different merch. But the other shirt we have is the StreamYard duck. And it’s a little bit lower. So half of it gets cut off when you’re on a live stream show. That’s why I think this one’s the best shirt we’ve got.
Wearing Merch When Live Streaming
Ross Brand: Well, it looks great. I can’t wait to get one of those. And I’m sure a lot of people are looking forward to what StreamYard has to offer. So many great features, so much that we love about it. And it’s been perfect for this show. We’ve got 10 people right now lined up in the studio. No loss of quality, whatsoever.
Dana Bentz: I know. Isn’t that great? I’m trying to keep track of all the guests you’re having on this show. Ross, I think it’s so fun that you don’t even have a producer back there with you. It’s just all you. Oh my gosh, what crazy, crazy chaos. But you can do it all. You can do it all with one person and you can have 60, 100 guests. How many guests do you have on today?
Ross Brand: It’s supposed to be 82. We’re not going to quite get to 82, but it’s going to be a good number. But no other platform could I do this with, because if it’s a browser-based platform that tries to make it easy, if it’s not StreamYard, the quality will diminish as I bring on more people. And if it’s a high-cost, high learning curve product, it takes too many people. So only StreamYard could make this possible. I do want to mention that we did a giveaway for StreamYard earlier. We gave away a year of the Professional Plan.
Dana, I would love to hear your prediction for the upcoming year, which is 2021.
Dana Bentz: Sure, Ross. Well first off, I think this is so much fun what you’re doing. This live stream party is such a great idea. You’ve connected so many of these people in the live streaming industry, all these live streaming influencers. So It’s so fun to see us all here in one place. And I know some people are meeting for the first time, but we’re all like, but I’ve known you. I follow your live stream shows. Congrats on the fifth anniversary.
My live streaming prediction for next year is a little bit about streaming in general and how I think a lot of people thought live streaming peaked in March and April when everyone started live streaming. Everyone started a new show and then they thought that live streaming would fade out, or it was just a fad that is going to come and go when we all go back to work or all go out of lockdown.
Live Streaming for Churches
But what we’re seeing at least at StreamYard is that it’s still growing. More and more people are still starting their shows. They’re still deciding that live streaming is the best form of content marketing. Live streaming, podcasting, getting your voice out there, getting your message out there. Streaming just makes that easy to do, especially if you use StreamYard, but I think that’s the way 2021 is going to move. It was Rob (Greenlee) who said that when virtual events go back to being in person, he thinks they’re going to be more of hybrid events. I really think that’s going to be so true because we have a lot of churches who started streaming on StreamYard.
And they were like, “Well, we’re back in church now. We’re with masks and sitting six feet away, we’re back in person, but people still want to watch from home.” They still want to go to these events from home. People don’t want to travel anymore. People don’t want to invest all this money.
Live streaming is such a great way to connect with people from all over the world. You have people from all over on this one show in this one span of — who knows how long we’re going to go for — six hours, 12 hours, but it’s just proven to be such a great way to connect. And I think more and more people are realizing that. So even when we go back to being in person with everything, people are still going to live stream.
Ross Brand: This is so much fun. I really am enjoying this. We’re only getting warmed up. I mean, we’re like what three hours and 15 minutes into this.
Dana Bentz: I don’t know you do it, Ross. You are the live streaming expert.
Ross Brand: Well, thank you, Dana. I’m so honored that you came on and thanks for all the great work you’re doing with StreamYard.
Dana Bentz: Thank you. You too, Ross. Thanks for having me on.
Ross Brand: It’s great to see you. Thanks, Dana.
Dana Bentz is the head of marketing at StreamYard, a live streaming studio in your computer or mobile browser that makes it easy to host stable, professional-looking streams. Dana hosts multiple live streaming shows, including StreamYard Spotlight and Two Cents with Bentz..@realdanabentz of @streamyardapp shares her predictions for Live Streaming & #StreamYard in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: John Pretto, 2021. What’s going on?
John Pretto: Hey Ross. How are you, buddy?
Ross Brand: I’m good. Good to see you.
John Pretto: You remember the award show that we did for Blab? We could do something like that, easily.
Ross Brand: Yeah, I remember that. That was a good time, a long time ago.
John Pretto: Six years, right?
Ross Brand: Yeah.
John Pretto: First of all, congratulations. Ross has one of the most important aspects of doing live streaming: Consistency. 2021 is my 25th year in the streaming media business. We started our company in 1996.
Ross Brand: Wow.
Live Streaming OG
John Pretto: And I’m one of the granddads of the streaming media industry.
Ross Brand: Congrats.
John Pretto: And I’m tired. I want to retire now. So Ross can take over.
Ross Brand: Do I get to inherit your gear?
John Pretto: Yeah, right. [Laughter] My prediction is in 2021 Ross will have another prediction show. So, I’m part of the streaming deal from the morning show of Alex Lindsay. On that show, we talk about all things related to audio and video streaming. It’s a great bunch of guys. You can find us on YouTube. And during that time in March, I became part of this guild. We broadcast every morning. We’ve done 220 shows in a row. We haven’t missed one day.
We started a new company called Talent Pros Live. We’re bringing Las Vegas-style production to virtual events. We have singers and musicians and magicians and all kinds of talent and professional hosts. And we can do the full production for you as well. So we can switch the cameras. We help people with professional audio and video and set design, et cetera.
In our experience, Hybrid shows are really difficult to pull off to make them interactive. The big thing you’re going to see in 2021 is the AI (artificial intelligence) implementation of transactional matching of people that are looking for something at a show, which you could never do in a physical world. And the virtual programs are going to become much more effective in that manner. People are going to see the real value in virtual events. I have five more predictions, but that’s fine. I’m happy to see you and thank you so much.
Ross Brand: Thank you, John.
• By the end of 2021 Zoom’s stock will have fallen 20%. Microsoft will inch closer and closer to Zoom’s functionality with a more feature-rich API. [Since John made this prediction, Zoom’s stock has fallen 30%.]
• Covid vaccines take longer than we think and there is a slow adoption for people to take the first wave of vaccines which slows the return of physical events. In the meantime, virtual events get better and better. They show a better ROI, a wider reach, and are not limited by time and space. The ability to match people at a virtual event becomes much more sophisticated than attending a physical event.
• LiDar on the iPhone and the iPad show promise. The ability to scan an environment and use the LiDar for focusing in low light shows real promise. This sets the stage for AR for Apple.
• 5G Millimeter Wavelength still hasn’t reached mass adoption.
• Additional pressure is placed on the Tech Giants from congress for both Social Media policy and antitrust.
John Pretto is an accomplished, innovative and entrepreneurial technologist with over 20 years of senior management experience in information technology, marketing and operations. He’s the co-founder of TalentPros.LIve bringing Las Vegas-style production to virtual events..@human2 shares his predictions for Live Streaming & #Zoom in 2021. #2021Predictions #livestreaming Click To Tweet
Ross Brand: One of the all-time great hosts since live streaming started, Jennifer Quinn. Jenny Q, great to see you.
The very first show that I ever did, I asked Jennifer to be a guest on the show. She didn’t know me at all, but she said yes. And I think it was a good show for a first show. It’s going to look like it was in the dark ages because I really didn’t really know anything about lighting or video at that time. But I think the conversation was good, right?
First Livestream Universe Guest
JennyQ: Oh absolutely. And Ross, I just want to jump in and say one of the things that everyone should watch you for — you excel at this above and beyond anyone who has ever produced a show — is your show promotion. So if anybody wants to learn how to promote shows, follow Ross everywhere he is, because you’re the master.