Publishers win election coverage with overwhelming consumer adoption to live stream
By Brielle Jaekel
November 11, 2016
Live stream was a major player in this year's election coverage
Live stream is continuing to dramatically evolve the manner in which major news events are being reported, as seen during this past Election Day with Twitter and Buzzfeed garnering 6.8 million unique viewers on its results-coverage stream.
USA Today and ABC News are among the slew of other publishers to leverage third-party platforms for live election result coverage with significant viewing rates. Live streaming services such as YouTube, Periscope and Facebook Live have drastically changed the live-coverage programming climate, but consumer adoption is skyrocketing as quality gets better and user experience becomes easier.
"Consumers are increasingly moving to social media as their primary source for content consumption so it's up to us, the marketers, reporters, politicians and thought leaders to bring the content to where the consumers are," said Bhaji Illuminati, vice president of marketing at Social Native.
Times are changing
This years presidential election is drastically different than last presidential race four years ago. Gone are the days of gathering around the television or radio for the updates on who is winning.
As Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms have become a megaphone for political opinions, live coverage conveniently found its place on these platforms on which consumers are already tethered to. While short-form videos are proving to be extremely popular on mobile devices, it seems as though long-form network programming do better on larger devices.
But it is the live coverage that is doing significantly well with live streaming through social media, due to the immediacy of the content and user experience. Users are able to get insight to events happening in the moment, wherever they are, causing a drastic shift in news coverage.
Twitter's tweet of the live stream election, after ending
Twitter and Buzzfeed partnered to provide coverage of the election results on Twitters social media platform for online and mobile. The results stream marked the most-viewed election-related coverage for Twitter and saw an average minute audience of 165,000.
USA Today, which has introduced an array of mobile innovations this election cycle, saved its best for last: live, on-the-ground coverage of swing states via Facebook Live.
Journalists reported from polling places and on Facebook Live, speaking to voters across the nation to create a cohesive report that covers important national and local races and initiatives. The culmination of USA Today Networks mobile efforts into the Facebook Live pilot allowed the newspaper conglomerate to provide users a mobile hub for all election-related coverage, all under its brand banner (see more
USA Todays coverage on Facebook Live saw a total of 307,000 views on one stream and 94,000 on another, whereas ABC News live stream on YouTube saw over four million viewers. ABC News' YouTube stream with graph of poll demographic
Facebook also allowed users to view a map of the results on its homepage, listed at the top. It included a button for users to share that they voted and to see results.
Streaming into modern viewing
A variety of content providers are adopting various versions of live streams, hoping to capture the on-the-go audience. While not on the same level as the election, one example is State Farm Insurance, who sponsored Yahoos mobilized live-stream coverage of the National Basketball Associations trade deadline with humorous video ads that had a sports theme.
Yahoos the Vertical with Woj live stream coverage of the NBA trade deadline, and in a continuation of its sponsorship State Farm brought its comedic ad campaign The Hoopers to the feed. The vignettes featured a mock classic sitcom intro with various well-known players in basketball as a family living next door to a helpful State Farm insurance agent (see more
"The thing most unique about Trump's campaign is his approach, his campaign was run on social media," Ms. Illuminati said. "Thus I'm not surprised that the social movement moved forward into the debates and election."