Interviews & Opinion

Insight:'s Adam Simmons on how to make the most of video and streaming as a business

Insight:'s Adam Simmons on how to make the most of video and streaming as a business

VP of content and marketing at Dingit.TV parent company Level Up Media Adam Simmons shares his thoughts on the current streaming landscape and how companies can be successful in this space

Despite the millions of viewers worldwide, the idea of people watching others play videogames online is something many can’t understand. 

It’s a topic that comes up frequently in my life and I always explain it the same way - “Why would millions watch 22 men kick a ball around for 90 minutes?” Then it clicks, they understand that just like football, it’s more than just its basic elements.

The world of gaming today is bigger than ever. Gone are the days of the odd YouTube channel or a single place to watch a live stream. With Mixer integrated directly into the Xbox ecosystem, Twitter covering eSports live and more content creators each day, viewers and businesses have more choice than ever.

Successful businesses and content creators are those that effectively utilise multiple platforms to engage with their audience. Just in the same way as social media, each video platform offers different benefits and reach to different audiences. A strong strategy in the current landscape is to fully engage with and benefit from each platform's strengths.

When developing a strategy, the starting point should be what type of content you are able to produce and, if you aren’t producing it yourself, what type of content do you want to partner with? The obvious answer for many is the content that will reach the most users.

While you can certainly generate a large amount of reach, targeting only for that may not be the most successful strategy. If your business is targeting the PC gaming demographic, eSports titles such as League of Legends or Counter Strike could be a great place to start however, if you are after more casual players then game reviews of triple-A titles could meet your needs. Each major game has its own community, demographic and interests – Minecraft generally appeals to a different audience than Counter-Strike.

Once you have an idea of the type of content you are wanting, the next step is how you are going to reach different parts of that community. Many are now aware of the live streaming due to Twitch and while live is a powerful tool with high levels of engagement, it can be very time consuming and expensive to produce content for.

Successful businesses and content creators are those that effectively utilise multiple platforms to engage with their audience

On-demand video may not offer the same degree of real time engagement but can give access to a much larger audience and as it is on-demand, it is always there for viewers. In an ideal world a business would use both live and VOD (video-on-demand) as part of their strategy however if this isn’t possible, it is best to focus on one rather than doing both poorly. It is generally not best practice to just push a full, unedited live stream to VOD as this doesn’t create the best viewer experience in most situations.

A final note on live streaming, compared to VOD, is the control they each grant you. One of the big appeals of live content is that aside from very high-level production it is unfiltered. While this can be a powerful way to reach an audience it is important to consider the benefits and risks with completely unedited content!

Outside of producing your own content (either in-house or through a third party), businesses can also leverage gaming video through sponsorship and advertising. As with live and VOD, sponsorship and advertising each have pros and cons. There are lots of options for sponsorship, with multiple content creators, eSports events and
leagues always looking to partner with businesses. Research really is key here as getting strong ROI out of a sponsorship requires a great activation and within video games there have been both great sponsor campaigns and rather poor ones! Another option to consider is advertising through the video platform. All major video
streaming / VOD platforms provide ways to advertise to their audience. Unlike sponsorship of content, advertising usually allows far better targeting and analytics for an advertiser. Again, research is key here as each platform reaches a different demographic and provide different benefits.

Finally, if a business wants to gain the benefits of reaching the highly engaged and valuable audience that exists within gaming, they need to be ready to engage themselves. As a rapidly expanding industry, there are many opportunities for businesses within the space, however, as it is still a relatively young industry it is critical that new entrants research and reach out to maximise their return on investment.

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