With massive socio-economic repercussions, 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride. As we learned the new normal while COVID-19 became deeply rooted in our everyday lives, we also witnessed some exciting trends in the social media landscape. It might not be an understatement to suggest that live streaming made headlines in the realms of social media, marking a paradigm shift in social behaviors. And hence, we look forward to 2021 as an exciting year to nurture digital adoption, foster progressive user-generated content and seize new opportunities through live streaming.

We, at OneStream Live, maintain a keen eye on the latest trends in the live streaming industry. Following are our experts’ predictions for 2021:

Live Streaming & Shift Towards Live Commerce

There is a shift towards live commerce evident in the business landscape as both consolidation and fragmentation continue to unleash a new era of B2C streaming. More and more business enterprises worldwide are taking the lead in deploying live streaming as a mainstream digital marketing tactic. Hence, live streaming is emerging as the silver lining to their profitability clouds. As the COVID-19 pandemic marked the shift from the brick-and-mortar economy to a more ‘store-less’ environment, live streaming will set the pace as one of the fastest-growing advertising categories in 2021.

Live streaming will set the pace as one of the fastest-growing advertising categories in 2021.

Our experts further suggest that live commerce has provided the necessary push towards revolutionizing the retail industry by fostering a combination of e-commerce and live streaming. This has eventually resulted in the shift towards shoppable media that has become a popular monetization method for the brands. According to the latest report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), live stream-generated sales are predicted to double to a massive $120 billion globally in 2021.

Cloud Gaming is the New Social in Live Streaming

The cloud-streaming tech has taken the global gaming community by the storm. Die-hard gamers are expected to engage a lot more in graphics-intensive content on low-powered systems. As big companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google leaned hard into the cloud-gaming industry, game processing and computing have shifted to cloud-based servers. The basic premise remains to capture the ability to run heavy and lengthy games on cloud infrastructure and stream them to a personal device. With Apple Arcade and Google Stadia taking the lead, the future is bright for cloud gaming in 2021.

Cloud gaming is the new social.

Industry analysis suggests that while 2020 failed to acknowledge the whole hype, 2021 will be the year of cloud gaming as the global gaming industry places all its bets on subscription servers. Hence, it is expected to move away from the one-time purchase of structured games towards instantaneous payment infrastructure in the gaming industry. The cloud gaming market is expected to grow with a $2.4 billion year-on-year growth rate between 2020 and 2024.

Telehealth Continues to Grow Exponentially with Live Streaming

Live streaming has, without a doubt, radically transformed the global healthcare industry. While telemedicine has been around for decades, its true potential was only realized in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the masses were pushed into practicing social distancing, the healthcare providers were forced into treating patients across geographic boundaries. 2020 witnessed significant breakthroughs in the health IT industry, including the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). And since we still have no control over the novel coronavirus, video-enabled tele-health services are also expected to fulfill the crucial societal need in 2021.

Live streaming of telehealth services is radically transforming the care delivery model.

Healthcare professionals are increasingly leveraging live streaming technology to better communicate with their patients. Simultaneously, healthcare organizations are investing in their knowledge infrastructure by enhancing internal training relevant to live streaming. Deloitte research suggests that the global percentage of virtual video visits to doctors is expected to increase to 5% in 2021, from a meager figure of 1% in 2019. This is primarily because the users have keenly grasped the understanding of video-calling apps. The report further adds that virtual health has made high-quality care much more accessible and convenient, significantly enhancing the provider-patient interactions and automating work processes.

Continued (Live) Streaming Wars

The live streaming wars are expected to accelerate during 2021 while the service providers strive hard to offer live streaming solutions to grab a smart chunk of the market share. Prominent names such as Netflix, Prime, Disney Plus, and Apple Plus are now offering mobile phones with OTT streaming services to cater to the rapidly growing live streaming niche. The battle is expected to become even more fierce over that last subscriber who can eventually help fight competition. This shift towards OTT and the evolution of on-demand viewing is expected to revolutionize how people generate and consume content in 2021.

The battle for every last subscriber will then become the forefront of the streaming arena this year. It is expected that the number of sign-ups will decline as live streaming services take up a significant chunk of the target audience. This will lead to intensifying competition and increased attempts to decipher original content from the rest.

Peace Out 2020, Take Charge 2021!

While 2020 was no less than an alien invasion, there is still a plethora of hard-to-predict developments that are expected to occur in 2021. Stay tuned for our next episode of top live streaming trends to watch out for this year.


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