Looking back at how the world has embraced live streaming in 2020 is insightful. But what can we expect in 2021?
We turned to online entrepreneurs and live streaming experts across industries for their predictions.
We asked each expert what they anticipate will be the biggest live streaming trends to look out for in 2021 and why.
You’ll see why live video doesn’t appear to be slowing down in 2021, why engagement matters, how industries have had to adapt to COVID to thrive using live streaming, and more.
1. Live Streaming Events Are Becoming Standard Protocol
The music industry struggled as COVID-19 rendered large gatherings impossible. In 2021, promoters and musicians will find new ways to navigate the new norm and host successful events.
The music industry will evolve into a symbiotic relationship between in-person and live streaming. U.S. promoters are already planning to include live-streamed shows in touring deals with artists, which gives promoters broadcasting rights. If you’re an artist who wants to monetize in the music industry, video, and live streaming has to be part of your future.Mike Swinson
Manager of the alt-rock band Blue October
2. By 2021 Live Stream Will Be Mainstream
Quality is a drawcard for audiences. As more streamers monetize live video in 2021, they’ll have to create stand-out events.
2021 is going to be an interesting year, Streamers. Currently, there is a big drive towards making streams look and sound awesome. Getting started with what you have is important but people are starting to push the limits of quality as a way to stand out since more and more people are streaming. In addition to that, the influx of streamers is massive because, with software like Streamyard and the use of mobile phones as cameras, it’s never been easier to start your show.Nick Nimmin
YouTube content creator and educator
3. Audiences Will Want More Authentic and Engaging Live Experiences
As the world tunes to live streams, the most successful streamers will attract audiences using smarter topics and more intimate engagement opportunities.
Livestreaming is just going to get bigger in 2021 and beyond. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s how ingrained social media and the Internet is in our culture and everyday life. People want quality content, and they want to be involved. Live video allows us to engage with our audience LIVE, which is powerful, and exactly what the audience wants. They want to meet authentic, relatable voices who are consistently there for them. As the demand for interactive platforms increases, soon, the tools will come where we can sell and conduct business even more efficiently on this platform.Winnie Sun
Host of Level Up With Winnie
4. Linkedin Live Will Become the Go-To Business Live Streaming Platform
LinkedIn Live is set to grow into a medium all brands can leverage, making the platform more accessible and engaging than ever.
Hubspot did a study finding 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands/businesses they support. Further, it’s been predicted that video will account for 70% of all MOBILE traffic by 2021.
It’s the heart of it all that matters and I think the growth of live streaming as part of a brand’s heart-centered content marketing strategy will continue to increase, with a concentration on LinkedIn.
In 2021 LinkedIn LIVE will come out of BETA and I predict more and more businesses will find their voices, voice their vibe, and attract their tribes by including live and native video in their marketing strategies on LinkedIn.Brian Schulman
CEO of Voice Your Vibe
5. Live Streaming Will Become More Interactive and Personable
As live streams grow in popularity, they’ll evolve to make it easier for audiences to experience more in-depth engagement opportunities.
The biggest live streaming trends to look for in 2021, I think will be around increasing virtual tools to develop stronger relationships for companies, education, and events. This might look like platforms adding more options to create smaller breakout live discussions, increased interaction beyond comments on screen like short video clip messages with the question from the audience or polls with live streaming results.Judi Fox
LinkedIn Business Accelerator
6. More Live Streamers Will Rise With Targeted Niche Content
Live streaming has mass appeal, and as such, more people and brands will look to the medium as a powerful growth tool.
The world has been shifted online in a massive way during this pandemic, I expect to see more people dominating their niche with video, there’s a massive opportunity to show up and become a leader in your industry, video is not saturated despite what you might think, there is space for you so get started RIGHT NOW!Mathew Hughes
King of Video
7. Amazon Live Will Fuel E-Commerce
Live streaming platform numbers are on the rise. With Amazon making an entry, eCommerce brands have a chance to reach large audiences.
With Amazon Live now in play, I can see brands partnering with live streamers to produce their own online shopping experience. We are seeing a big increase in online shopping, especially on Amazon. This is an opportunity for brands to partner with content creators or launch their own Amazon Live channel.Stephanie Liu
CEO of Lights, Camera, Live
8. Greater Audience Engagement and Presentation Tools
While live streaming is engaging, there’s much to be explored in the way of tools for interaction tools for audiences.
In 2021, I would expect to see more engaging live streams. Whether it is from creating clickable polls that are available on stream or doing some incredible presentations with highly visual overlays and animations, I really think that keeping your audience engaged is going to be incredibly important moving forward as the world evolves to keep up with live video. People like Brian Fanzo, Gary Ware, and Stephanie Liu are all doing some truly amazing presentations with live streaming.Katie Fawkes
Digital Marketing Manager at Ecamm
9. Quality Will Separate Great Live Streamers From Everyone Else
Great content will always win. In 2021, the best streamers will easily pull crowds with timely and relevant material.
I think we are going to see a lot more live stream shows come from large corporations, leveraging LinkedIn Live as their main platform. I think there’s a huge opportunity for live streamers to create additional income streams by pitching show ideas and producing corporate live streams. I also see it as an opportunity for employees with live streaming experience to co-create content with the sales, HR, or marketing departments. They can pitch a show, become a guest as on-air subject matter expert or be a host.
But for everyday live streamers, I think the more professional looking shows will rise to the top. Let’s face it, everyone has the tech in their hands to go live right now but not just anyone can have a show with all the bells and whistles like pro lights, great sound, attention-grabbing intros, clean graphics, sweet transitions, and more. In the age of the COVID crisis, the live streamers that have gone pro are giving traditional broadcasters a run for their money. Mainly because the quality is just that good and oftentimes better and more niche.Cher Jones
Corporate Social Media Trainer
10. Direct Engagement With Live Streamers Will Grow
The shift from video to live video showed the audience engagement can be harnessed. The next step lies beyond one-way live broadcasts and in the realm of host and viewer dialogue.
I think IRL streaming will take off more so than it has in the past. As we are dealing with a pandemic, people will want to live vicariously through their favorite content creators. Some countries are dealing with the pandemic better than others and as we are hunkered down in our homes, we have the ability to explore the world, eat amazing food, and engage with other friends from the comfort of our own home.
Another trend I can see taking off, or rather already has, is Chatting. No one is creating content other than engaging directly with their audience, no games, no co-hosts, etc… almost like a 1-on-1 engagement with your favorite content creator and talking about whatever. This will become more relevant as we come into the winter months.Ricky Tran
Head of Creator Partnerships Lightstream
11. Live Video Discoverability and SEO Will Become Crucial for Success
With live streaming getting ever more popular and mainstream, brands and creators need to plan and optimize their live videos for search and other channels, to reach a wider audience and gain more visibility.
One of the biggest trends that brands need to pay attention to in the next year is Discoverability. With more people getting into the industry, your target audience will become more challenging to get. That’s why brands need to draw on their creativity while planning and optimizing their live streams.
Pay attention to the SEO part of your live streams, using widely trending keywords relating to your niche. Optimizing your stream gives you the advantage over other streamers, as Google and YouTube will begin to rank your video above the competition.Victor Bous
Head of Marketing at Restream.io