Facebook last year signed contracts with nearly 140 media companies to create videos for its live streaming service. The brand agreed to pay nearly $50 million to video creators. The contract for larger publishers like Buzzfeed and NewYork Times exceeded $3 million. Facebook was a relative rookie in the live video space compared to its competition till last year.

Recent data from Facebook reveals that live videos are watched three times longer than any other form of video. Live videos also generate 10x more engagement than regular videos. In May 2016, Candace Payne’s video Chewbacca Mask Mom became the most watched Facebook Live video generating over 170 million views. In response to the video, Khol the American Retailer where the mask was purchased from rewarded Payne with $2,500 gift cards.

Live streaming is also seeing considerable attention in the gaming world. YouTube according to the latest stream labs report is giving tough competition to Twitch (now owned by Amazon).  The report also suggests that long time streamers get more views than new ones.

YouTube also launched live-on-demand streaming service in the United States partnering with leading networks like CBS, NBC, Fox, and ABC. The service is available for a price tag of $35 and allows up to six people to use the same account.

5 Ways to Leverage Live Video

Create Conflict

Buzzfeed uses live video to showcase experiments, long-form content and more. Last year Buzzfeed’s experiment with Watermelon got over 11 million views. In the video, two people put rubber bands on a watermelon, one by one, to see how many it would take before the watermelon burst. At 45 minutes the video captivated the audience as it created tension and kept the viewers glued to the video.

Behind the Scenes look

Target last year teamed up with Gwen Stefani to create a music video for the song ‘Make Me Like You’. The Facebook live video gave viewers a behind the scene look at the collaboration between Target and Gwen Stefani.

Ask for Viewer Participation

Women’s Magzine ‘Grazia UK’ for its round table debate concerning Brexit allowed viewers to ask questions during its Facebook Live. The audience would felt they were an integral part of the debate rather than just a passive participant. The video received over 74K views, with over 100+ questions and opinions coming from viewers on the platform.


Timing Matters

Benefit Cosmetics uses the series approach for Facebook Live. ‘Tipsy Tricks’ the brand’s video series is streamed at Thursday at 4.15 PM.  The brand also uses a lot of hooks to engage the audience. For instance, the host conducts a poll after the first four minutes into the video to get viewer feedback. The viewer feedback is also used by the brand to plan for the next episode in the series.

TV shows come on at certain times so people get in the habit of watching them. You can do the same with Facebook Live.

Laura Vanderkam, Author 

Live VR & 360-degree video

Viewers can now watch NBA on-demand using the NextVR platform. To watch the live stream viewers need a $200 subscription to NBA League Pass across devices. NBA’s NextVR broadcasts have generally received positive views. Live VR & 360-degree video will become more acceptable as the cost of VR headsets and the cost of production drops further.

Right now, (virtual reality is) probably the best advertisement you could have for the in-arena experience.

– Jeff Marsilio, NBA Vice President of Global Media Distribution


  1. Hi Sooraj,

    I believe I may have caught a typo?

    Under the head:
    5 Ways to Leverage Live Video

    Last year Buzzfeed’s experiment with Water Lemon got over 11 million views.

    Is the word Water Lemon correct? Or Should it read Water Melon?

    Interesting article Sooraj. I love the layout of your Blog. Its clean, with a lot of white space. The font used is definitely easy on the eye.

    If it makes sense to your as the Blogger, in the block of textual content below the video, make it crystal clear how each video was leveraged to deliver successful content marketing.

    What value the video viewers add to the video creator, for example.

    After patiently watching the watermelon video for 45 minutes. Seeing it burst. What did the viewers do that added value to the video creator?

    In the first example, Chewbacca Mask Mom, I read she got $2500/- in gift cards from Khol the American Retailer where the mask was purchased. Here, there is a very clear Benefit Versus Effort – explained.

    For example, if after patiently waiting 45 minutes to see the watermelon burst, if every viewer got up and walked away, what would be the Benefit Versus Effort put in?

    That was opaque to me.

    Content marketing usually delivers a measurable benefit to the content marketer right?


    Ivan Bayross

    • Hi Ivan,

      Buzzfeed’s content marketing is focused on getting more eyeballs. The value that it gives viewers is mindless entertainment. Buzzfeed gets a commission from Facebook for the exclusive content that it creates and publishes on the platform.

      Even in Chewbacca Mask Mom’s case the lady was only trying to put out content for a cause. Khol’s rewarded her because as the video went viral the masks got sold out at most stores.

      For a brand content marketing has to create value for the end user but value always doesn’t have to be in tangible terms it can also be intangible (entertainment or educational in nature).

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I have corrected the typo.

      Sooraj Divakaran


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