What’s the Long-Term Impact of Live Streaming Technology?
OCT 17, 2017 18:55 PM
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What’s the Long-Term Impact of Live Streaming Technology?

by Larry Alton
At first, people wondered about the purpose of live streaming video platforms like Meerkat and Periscope. However, after some user education and gradual introduction to the possible applications, it seems as if most people are at least somewhat comfortable with what live streaming brings to the table. But what will the long-term impact be for business and society?
The Evolution of Video Technology
Video recording technology has evolved a lot over the past 20 or 25 years. At first, there were bulky camcorders that goofy parents hauled around to record kids opening presents on Christmas morning. Next came sleeker cameras that could store video on memory cards and upload footage to computers or other storage devices. Soon after camcorders started slimming down, smartphones entered the picture and made it possible for millions of people to whip out their devices and begin recording at a moment’s notice. 
Today, shop a site like Gadget Flow and you’ll notice that the Shonin Streamcam (a Wi-Fi and LTE enabled body cam) is one of the hottest new technologies on the market. It gives people the ability to record first-person video with the push of a button. No more fumbling for your camera, only to miss something important.
When you look at the software side of things, there’s also been a tremendous amount of innovation over the last few years. If you wanted the world to see video footage, you once had to mail a physical tape to a network and convince them to show it. Then came the internet, YouTube, and social media, which started giving people the ability to publish and share their own content. Now we have live streaming tools like Facebook Live and Periscope, which allow users to record video and simultaneously stream it for the world to see. 
Analyzing the Impact of Live Streaming Video
While it’s interesting to trace the path of technological innovation in this space, the real question is: What will the long-term impact of live streaming technology be? Here are some specific things we’re noticing:
  • Faster delivery of news. We’re living in a world where you no longer have to wait for a cable network to send a crew of video journalists to the scene of an event to get coverage. All it takes is an individual with a phone or body camera to hit record and show the world what’s happening. 
  • Lower costs for media companies. Interestingly, live streaming has aided broadcasters as well by eliminating the need for expensive equipment and software (in some cases). 
  • Less censorship. Most people would agree that less censorship from the government and regulating bodies is a good thing. The fewer people you have controlling the content you see, the less propaganda and bias you’re exposed to. Well, in this context, live streaming is the antithesis of network television.
  • Potential for evil. Even after just a few years of live streaming technology being made available to the mass public, we’ve already seen some instances where it’s been leveraged for evil. From suicides to hostage situations to intimate moments, there’s always the risk that live streaming video will be used for darker purposes.
You Can’t Stop Change
A lot of people are worried about the potential negative consequences of too much live streaming technology in the world, but that’s a pessimistic approach. With any transformational technology, there are going to be some issues and risks, so you can’t let yourself dwell on them for too long. Instead, you need to understand that live streaming is here to stay and choose to focus on the many benefits the technology yields. Because when it’s all said and done, this could be considered one of the greatest advancements of our time. 
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