LinkedIn — the social network for the working world with close to 600 million users globally, last week launched a live video, giving people and organisations the ability to broadcast real-time video to select groups, or to the LinkedIn world at large.
Launching in beta first in the U.S., LinkedIn Live (as the product is called) will be invite-only. In coming weeks, LinkedIn will also post a contact form for others who want to get in on the action. However, it’s not clear when and if LinkedIn will make it possible for everyone to create LinkedIn Live videos.
To underscore how the company is keen to develop this, it has selected several third-party developers of live broadcasting streaming services that creators will work with to create and post more polished live video on LinkedIn. These include Wirecast, Switcher Studio, Wowza Media Systems, Socialive and Brandlive, “with more to come in the following weeks,” LinkedIn said.
Compared to its competitors in the social networking sphere, LinkedIn has been a late bloomer when it comes to video. Amid developments from competitors like Twitter and Facebook going back years to bring more engagement to its platforms with the use of moving pictures, the Microsoft-owned LinkedIn introduced its first native video features only in the summer of 2017.
But in the 17 months since launching video features, LinkedIn has seen a big boost in traffic and revenues from (non-live) video on its platform.
“Video is the fastest growing format on our platform right now, and the one most likely to get people talking,” said Pete Davies, the director of product management at LinkedIn.
So far, the only monetisation that LinkedIn has introduced around video is for video advertising. While Microsoft does not break out how much LinkedIn brings in, in advertising revenues, much less video advertising, Microsoft reported in its last quarterly earnings that revenues at LinkedIn were up 29 per cent, with a reference to growing its ads business specifically: “with record levels of engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of 30 per cent.”
With LinkedIn looking at tapping into unique content with LinkedIn Live, there is a clear opportunity for the company to explore other ways of monetising the content beyond ads. For instance, it could charge viewers for unique experiences like conferences, or make certain Live events part of the company’s paid tier to lure in more premium subscribers. On the part of the broadcasters, it could potentially provide fee-based services to provide a platform to broadcast certain content like video-based earnings reports.
LinkedIn wouldn’t comment on future monetisation plans, and for now, isn’t even putting video ads into LinkedIn Live videos. “That will come down the road, but for right now we are focused on awesome use cases,” said Peter Roybal, head of video product management.
Though LinkedIn isn’t like another social networking site as it is strictly for professionals, do you consider this development as a bid to compete with other social networks?
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