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The iPhone Gospel: Why the Trend of Facebook Live Matters

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I can still remember when iPhones came out. I thought they were huge and ugly like a fanny pack, but also overly priced and completely unnecessary. It was a new toy my friend wanted to show off, but I was barely interested in even looking at it. At the time, I was still obsessed with MySpace more than Facebook, and I still had my stack of cds that I treated like a trophy, making sure they were never left in danger. I lost count of how many of my friends lost cds in Memphis simply because they were left in plain view in their car, but I never let that happen. No, my cds were never left in the car. They were like the golden ticket of my creative soul. I was a singer-songwriter, and I needed my muses to stay safe. But eventually, like everyone, I became convinced that digital copies on my phone were the only way to keep my music safe and with me at all times. And then at some point down the line, I also decided to install the Facebook app, and my music dreams faded away… but my social media dreams of having your attention came true. The inner spoiled only child syndrome of mine finally found its cure.

Whether we like to admit it or not, the majority of us love attention. We love those likes, comments, and shares. It’s addicting, and now it’s a part of our everyday culture. I’m pretty sure anyone under the age of 20 can’t even remember a time without a like button. So what is happening NOW in this current age of technology that (like the iPhone or like Facebook) 10 years from now we won’t even remember how our lives didn’t revolve around it? According to Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook revolutionary minds and according to every other social media app that always follows suit, it’s live streaming. Almost every social media app added live streaming in the last year, so it must be important. And why do they think it’s the future? What tarot cards are they reading? Well, if you haven’t heard, Netflix just surpassed cable in subscriptions. Cable subscribers are declining in record numbers. TV show finales this past season tanked. The New York Post called it a “bloodbath” for ratings. And where are all of those viewers going? Our tech savy millennials are saving their pennies and cutting the cord, opting in for cheaper streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube for their entertainment which is forcing every major media outlet and provider in the world to rebuild their business model around streaming.

With Fiber Optic cable internet quickly being installed in major cities across the United States, it’s only a matter of time before all of us are quickly and easily streaming everything we can possibly imagine – our entertainment (not just Netflix but LIVE programming like sports, news, and concerts), our education (from preschool classes to Continuing Education courses), our events (from conferences to festivals), even our own personal events like weddings, bar mitzvahs, and baptisms. The word “streaming” no longer defines just the music industry like Spotify or Pandora. It encompasses the entire world of entertainment and events. And with the power of social media, live video streaming entertainment is quickly taking over the news feed. From Garth Brooks weekly Facebook Live show to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s live performance at the Ryman to your local news, from MLB and NFL games to ComicCon 2017, the entertainment world is about to be LITERALLY be at your fingertips 24-7 on your phone WITH the ability to interact and engage with your friends in real time all over the world. The capabilities are here; and one by one the biggest brands, artists, leagues, hosts, and sponsors are noticing the power of live streaming.

Personally, I learned my lesson with the iPhone. When Steve Jobs said in 2007 at the launch, “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” He was right. In 2021, there will be 1.5 mobile devices in use for every person on earth. At 5.3 billion, more people will have a mobile device than running water (StreamingMedia.com).In fact, what Steve Jobs said would happen almost always happened… because he said it. In 1998, Steve Jobs said “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” He showed us, time and time again, and we followed. And to me Mark Zuckerberg is to the social media world what Steve Jobs was to the tech world… GOSPEL. So when Facebook Live launched, my husband and I immediately changed our business model. The Pios: An E-Motion Picture Company (launched in 2015) first started out as a video production company specializing in social media video ads; but with Facebook Live’s launch in early 2016, we knew social media marketing in the live space would soon skyrocket. Facebook favors live video, automatically notifies followers of live video, and engages with the live audience in real-time. Talk about conversion rates! You get to see the results of connecting with your followers on the spot! So for the last year, we researched every live streaming platform, tested multiple units, and searched high and low for the answers to creating the best live streaming productions. We’ve put all of our eggs into this basket (now specializing specifically in live streaming productions), and now this year… the numbers are finally rolling in. Our bets were right. Live video is watched 8x longer than recorded video (Tubular Insights), and 82% of social media users prefer live video over any other content (New York Magazine Survey). And according to a recent report from Cisco, live video is growing at lightning speeds. In 2016 live video used 0.1 Exabytes of mobile data per month, but their research indicates that will grow to 2.0 Exabytes per month in 2021 (Cisco).That means in just 5 years since Facebook Live’s launch, live video will become 20 times more popular. Zuckerberg was right. Live video is the future.

We want to be a part of the future of live streaming, and we want to help our own community’s brands be a part of it as well. As they say, you need to “future proof” yourself. And the future is happening now. 10 years from now, you won’t even remember the name of your cable provider. That is unless, they are still your internet provider. Because living without gig speed internet in 10 years will be living without your favorite TV programs. And marketing without live streaming will be marketing without social media. The two will be synonymous. Future proof yourselves friends because the future is here and it’s moving FAST.