Last year, Leamington Spa was praised for its place within the realm of video game production. Hailed as such by the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, the local founding of Codemasters and the likes of Playground Games, Sega Hardlight, and Ubisoft all calling the town home certainly lent to Leamington Spa – or rather, ‘Silicon Spa’ – being recognised as a video games industry holy land, of sorts.
Of course, video gaming isn’t an insular industry. A tremendous range of elements go into both being a video game consumer and producer, with one of the primary ones now being live streaming. For many, live streams are the go-to way to interact with video games both before and after buying a copy, which has helped to encourage many other businesses and entertainment platforms to go live.
UK’s growing fascination with live streaming
Live streaming has taken on a life of its own within social media circles, connecting people in real time and making exclusive events that users want to engage with in the moment. Twitch is the dedicated gaming version, with some 12 per cent of UK social media users saying they like the platform. It’s far from the only massively popular form of live streaming, though.
Beyond gaming, and sometimes for gaming live streams, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are regularly turned to by Brits. With the exception of some of the features on YouTube or the business-centric LinkedIn, most of these offer a more passive experience for viewers, which is part of the appeal. People enjoy tuning in to see an event, discussion, or piece of entertainment unfold in real time. Where live streaming has been taken to a much higher level in terms of viewer options is in live casino games. These entertainment products stream live table games and live gameshow titles directly to the users who can bet on them in real time. Just before the wheel spins or the cards are dealt, viewers can pick their chips, bet on any of the outcomes, and see the results of the physical game. As it shows, there’s a lot of potential for the tech.
Leveraging live streaming across business
From staging events to selling products, live streaming can be utilised by just about any UK business that wants to get a boost or stand out from the crowd. It was only in September of this year that the British Library live-streamed its ‘Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Gaming for Business’ showcase from industry experts to the Leamington Spa Library and Information Centre. While the event wasn’t specifically about live streaming, it does demonstrate one of the ways that the tech can be utilised.
When an event is broadcast live through popular and accessible platforms, the very fact that it’s live will encourage onlookers to tune in. Throw in the chance to buy in real time, interact in real time, or even hint at limited-time or exclusive deals during, and you have a particularly attractive live event at the ready. On top of this even live streaming a sales event can often prove to be less costly while reaching a larger audience than an in-house one.
Beyond gaming, you can see a whole host of major brands already looking to exploit going live. Gucci launched its own remote video shopping service in the middle of 2020, and in July 2021, NYX Cosmetics ran a Y2K-themed live party in which viewers could buy products in real time. French store Printemps even got in on the game, hosting weekly live shopping streams from 2021.
From a fully interactive event to live viewing experiences, live streaming can be utilised by all kinds of businesses to help engage larger audiences and sell their brands.