The internet, arguably the greatest invention of this and the last century, has completely changed how the world operates. It has eased communication, allowing parties who are thousands of miles apart to stay in real-time touch and at an affordable cost.
The internet has also revolutionised how people consume media content. People have moved on from the days when they had to rely on TV programming to catch their favourite shows. The modern set-up has led to a model known as ‘content-on-demand’ where people consume what they want when they want. Channels such as YouTube and Netflix have been in the forefront, archiving content for access whenever needed.
Besides archiving, the ability to stream content over the internet has also changed how content is accessed. Streaming refers to the ability to relay the content in real-time, or near-real-time, as events occur. The cameras which are recording happenings relay them directly to the user, rather than archive them in a disk.
Live streaming began in the communication and broadcast sectors, but has now spread to other fields; these include the following.
Casinos use a live stream to enable their remote online players to have the same experience as those who are playing in the physical casino. Established houses such as Unibet have cameras trained on the dealers at different tables. Players who want to have a ‘live’ experience activate the option from their gaming devices and can access the house virtually. Some live streams go further to incorporate chat, so players can speak to the croupier as the game progresses.
Streaming has become a major asset for lovers of different sports across the world. There are available streams for all kinds of sports ranging from basketball to football and rugby. Streams are usually sanctioned by the federations which run these games, although there have been cases of illegal streams, that deny the original producers the revenue they deserve.
Besides traditional sports, e-sports, a new way of gaming, heavily rely on live streaming. E-sports are video games played over the internet. Gamers are connected via a live stream and can thus compete remotely. Fans of e-sports are also able to follow their favourite tournaments with ease from wherever they like.
People are now taking advantage of live streams to broadcast their social events. Events such as weddings can be distributed through live streams for people who do not manage to attend, allowing them to follow the action. Other times, it could perhaps be a team of tango dancers gathered together, and they decide to learn from a remote trainer. Dancing events where people are competing, or just having fun, can be streamed for those not present.
The addition of add-ons which enable streaming on most social media sites has dramatically encouraged live streaming of social events. A channel such as Facebook Live has registered wide popularity since it was established. People use these streams to give snippets of the activities they attend or even into their own personal lives.
Benefits of Live Streaming
- Immediate relay of content: Consumers of content can access it in real-time, rather than wait for the curators to package and send it out. In an increasingly troubled world, this is a very welcome ability.
- It is affordable: Streaming is, in many instances, cheaper than subscribing to a pay per view channel. With the continued reduction in data costs, it is going to become even less expensive in the future.
- Archiving: Although not universal, most platforms which use live streams have an archiving feature that allows content to be accessed later.
Live streaming also reduces the doctoring and filtering of content. This can be a downside or an advantage; it depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, it prevents censorship, but on the other hand, it makes it hard to monitor content consumption.
Whichever way you look at it, live streaming is here, and it seems like the future of online interaction.