Like many parts of life the more things change in advertising, the more they stay the same. Take Facebook like, for example.
In the 1950’s soap operas were seen across televisions during the daytime. They appealed to housewives who were at home as a vehicle to deliver sponsored messages by large consumer packaged goods advertisers like P&G, typically advertising soap products. The first soap opera aired on TV in June 1952 and they are still running today, though viewership has ebbed and flowed over the years.
Since then we’ve seen a proliferation of TV channels, platforms and media types. Today diversified media presents as much an opportunity as a challenge for advertisers. But, that sponsorship model is strong across these new media opportunities.
In about 2010 brand sponsored shows on YouTube continued on this tradition of a production as an advertising vehicle. Spirits advertisers, autos and brands across verticals sponsored shows with heavy integration of their product and messaging in those shows.
In 2013 influencer marketing became an important element to the marketing mix. Like the branded shows on YouTube we started to see branded and sponsored content on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.
Here, at the end of 2016 we’re seeing live video is being used by large marketers and small ones to reach audiences in large volume comparable to TV size audiences. We’re seeing formats being tested.
According to this article from Digiday E! News is directly monetizing Facebook Live video. The E! News Facebook Live stream is sponsored by Ulta Beauty. Each stream is averaging 300,000 views, which leverages the large audience that E! News already as amassed on Facebook.
This is not the first sponsored live stream. Brands have been sponsoring Periscope live streams since 2015 through direct relationships with creators, and officially through Twitter since September 2016. They launched with a Grey Goose Periscope promotion where Grey Goose videos are used as pre-rolls before Periscope streams. This is still not the content integration that Ulta beauty is getting on Facebook, but it is a form of sponsorship. In June of 2015 Nestle claimed to be the first to run a branded sponsorship in Periscope. In the campaign users were asked to feature themselves eating a Drumstick.
So, as we move forward into 2017 we’ll definitely see greater interest in live streaming content, especially on Facebook. The challenge for brands investing in this space is that organic reach will be only as good as Facebook lets it become. Once Facebook decides to cut the chord on organic reach, possibly years down the line, brands will be in a position to pay fo extended organic reach. Until then, it’s going to be boom time for Live Streaming on Facebook.