The latest development in the live-streaming video arms race took place Monday, as Buzzfeed landed a historic and highly anticipated live interview with President Barack Obama.
The event took place on Facebook Live, and was a chance for Facebook to prove it could hang with the live-stream big boys on the biggest stage. It, uh, didn’t go well.
Whether you’re a server-side expert (not me) or occasional Silicon Valley watcher (me), you know this streaming stuff can be tricky business. Live events obviously carry a fair amount of risk, and that risk grows exponentially when carried out through a relatively new and high-tech platform.
In short, things can go wrong, like your stream cutting out right before the President of the United States sits down — which is what happened to Facebook. To add insult to injury, Buzzfeed directed its Facebook Live viewers to it’s YouTube stream, which is like giving directions to Burger King from a McDonald’s that is burning down.
All in all, it was probably not a very good day for a few teams at Facebook, and an affirmation that other live-stream players like YouTube and Periscope have put quite a bit of work into the technology that allows live-streaming to be successful when facing large audiences.
The live-streaming video space is still very much in its infancy, and it be will interesting to see where the big names and newcomers settle into place as the competition heats up. To see how live video can fit into your brand’s video strategy, contact BLASTmedia President Lindsey Groepper.