Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Advances in social media, live streaming are changing the way conventions are being covered

Advances in social media are changing the way the Republican and Democratic National Conventions are being covered. "In 2012, live video coverage was almost exclusively the domain of news organizations," Shelley Hepworth reports for Columbia Journalism Review. "Now social platforms have set their sights on live streaming, and the 2016 conventions are shaping up to become a frenzied microcosm of the next era of live event coverage."

"Facebook users are watching more than 8 billion videos a day on the service, according to numbers released in November," Hepworth writes. "Snapchat surpassed that figure with a reported 10 billion daily video views in April. YouTube claims to reach more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the US. Having conquered video, social platforms are partnering up with news organizations to deliver live streams from the conventions directly to users’ social feeds." Crystal Patterson, Facebook’s head of government and politics outreach, told Politico, “This is the most engaged we’ve been at the convention, and it’s highly correlated to the fact (that) we have a lot of tools to offer.”

Hepworth writes, "The advent of live social streaming comes at a time when TV audiences are shrinking. Until now, live event coverage on TV has been relatively immune to digital encroachment, but new tools mean networks can now expect to be challenged on that front, too, with some commentators suggesting they could spell the demise of cable news."

"The upside of live streaming is the amount of choice available to viewers, who can watch the conventions in the formats they prefer," she writes. "The downside is the potential for audience fragmentation, which could adversely impact advertising revenue." (Read more)

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