The earliest forms of live streaming can be traced back to the late 1990s and early 2000s with the advancement of internet technology. One of the first events streamed live online was the “Coca-Cola FunFest” event in 1995 — a broadcast of a live concert by the band The Chieftains.
These days, live streaming is ubiquitous, with millions of people watching or creating live streams every day. Considering the fact you can pick your phone up and stream on a number of platforms within seconds, it may seem difficult to imagine how live streaming could become any bigger. However, there are technological advancements that could increase its popularity and also fundamentally change the way we experience it.
The popularity of live streaming
High-speed internet connections and accessible of streaming platforms have made live streaming a mainstream form of communication. Live streaming has removed many of the barriers that once stood between content creators and audiences — anybody can immediately broadcast to people anywhere in the world, with no “middlemen” required.
Professional events, talks, concerts, and shows can be streamed. Online gaming is another popular use. For example, millions of people tune into live casino gambling streams to play or watch games. Sites stream poker, blackjack, roulette, and other games with live dealers to huge audiences, allowing them to follow the action as it happens.
Recently, many popular live streaming platforms have expanded to include a variety of live streams covering content ranging from gaming to music, art, talk shows, and more. YouTube Live offers live streaming functionality to users, allowing content creators to stream live content to their audiences. Following the trend, many social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Discord have developed their live streaming options.
Live streaming in the metaverse
Huge strides are being made in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), and the concept of the “metaverse” — despite adoption being gradual — is getting closer to a part of daily life. VR headsets like Apple’s recently-announced Vision Pro headset allow users to participate in virtual events, sports, concerts, and more in a more lifelike and immersive way. Metaverse live streaming is likely to become popular once VR and AR technologies become affordable and accessible enough for the general consumer.
How else could live streaming change?
Live streaming is also likely to see a number of other developments, such as:
Enhanced video quality: Improvements in camera technology, internet speeds, and compression algorithms will lead to higher-resolution live streams with better frame rates and reduced latency.
Multi-camera streaming: Advancements in hardware and software will allow content creators to switch between multiple camera angles seamlessly, offering viewers more control over their viewing experiences.
5G: The rollout of 5G and subsequent mobile network advancements may enable smoother, more reliable streams, even in crowded areas.
AI recommendations: As algorithms improve, they will likely lead to more personalized recommendations and content curation.
Improved interactivity: Enhanced chat features, live polls, and real-time Q&A sessions could increase communication between viewers and content creators.
Real-time translation: Real-time translation services could enable users from different parts of the world to enjoy content in their native language.
Blockchain-based monetization: Blockchain technology could increase monetization options for content creators while ensuring transparency and security in financial transactions.
Technological advancements are continually evolving, and other new ideas and innovations may also emerge. The future of live streaming will most likely be shaped by a combination of technological progress, user demands, and industry competition.