During this week’s episode, Switchboard's very own Alex and Rachel jump back into the swing of things by discussing the latest in today’s livestreaming news, and they also got a chance to catch up with Rudy Ellis, Switchboard’s Co-Founder and CEO. They find out about the latest features, including StreamShare and the new Pay Per Usage pricing model that was just rolled out as a beta.
First up, we dive into news with another app that supports a particular segment of the retail space…
A Shopping App for HIPSTERS!
Yes, you read that right. And, there is BIG money behind this one. Popshop Live managed to raise $20 million dollars at a $100 million dollar valuation for its livestream shopping platform for hipsters, which features smaller and edgier brands for millennials.
Some big name individual investors included Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner. There appears to be good reasons for them (and others) to be getting behind this because sellers are seeing gross merchandise value of $500,000+, as well as 80% of customers returning within 30 days to buy more. Growth over the last 3 months has been quite steady, too.
To see the names attached to this company as well as the valuation, it’s pretty wild, as Alex points out. But at the same time, it’s also not so surprising. Using livestreaming to sell products directly to the buyer is not entirely new...and it works. What we’re seeing here is just more of what we’ve talked about previously - that these niche apps are being built around particular segments to support what people want.
As Alex predicts, next we could be seeing one-on-one sales through video. He goes on to paint an image of one of those ladies spraying perfume on you at a department store (talk about an old school throwback!). While we can’t necessarily smell through a screen, we can certainly SHOW products, their capabilities, uses, and more. Some other features to note: they're offering a chat that runs alongside the selling videos and they also have a feed that lets you watch show after show…
Performlive Filed a Patent Application for its Live Commerce Chat Analytics
Using machine learning techniques, Performlive is taking chat interactions to a whole new level, making it possible for the live presenter to engage with the audience and also to extract business insights from that chat. This is a great new addition! It’s all about putting the power back into the hands of the creator - offering them meaningful information to make use of from a business standpoint. The focus here is on the data they can use, which is always valid and helpful in order for the creator to improve their events. From a marketing perspective, any campaign you run must also be measurable in order to ensure success, which rings true here as well. So no more driving blind, so to speak!
A Conversation with Rudy Ellis on Two New Features: StreamShare and the new Pay as You Go Pricing Launch
How did the idea of StreamShare come about and can you tell us how StreamShare works?
StreamShare came about by imagining how you can connect to other channels with your stream. This was built, because, when we first started, we used to do a lot of events and it was such a challenge connecting with brands and sponsors and participants, hooking up all the pages/channels, etc. We had to come up with an easier way to send an invite, add destinations, and then make it possible: when I go live you go live.
It’s meaningful because the content he or she is producing is relevant to your audience and you’re excited to be a part of that. You can invite channels to be part of your network, to be part of your syndication strategy, which is truly powerful.
At first this started as a technical solution, but it ultimately became a way to AMPLIFY and create a viral effect around live video.
Can You Share with us an example of How Someone or a Business has used StreamShare and where it has benefited them
We have a partner in the live commerce space - this is obviously a big opportunity these days - they have a niche and it's focused on finding facebook groups/channels that matter to the type of content being created. And what they’re doing is going and finding the audiences for these content creators, making sure their streams are reaching the right, targeted audience. There are no worries as far as security or technical issues that might otherwise make this difficult. StreamShare happens to be working out quite nicely for them (and others like them) because it makes this possible.
Any other tips and tricks to growing your audience?
If you’re on the fence...you’ve gotta start. Go live! Go live to your own socials first, then leverage StreamShare. Reach out to folks where it makes sense for them to carry your content. See if they’d be interested.
Then, identify other brands or sponsors or audiences outside of your network and tell them about what you’re doing and why it might be interesting for their audience to hear.
Lastly, make sure you have great audio!
Talk to Us About the New Pay Per Use Model...Why Did Switchboard Make this Move?
Taking a step back, looking at how multistreaming started, it was first solving a challenge - how to get video to more than one destination. So we came up with packages for the different use patterns that we thought were there. Then, as multistreaming has grown, we realized that we were really restricting people from the opportunity of growing their audience.
It started to make sense that THE VALUE was actually in allowing people to go to however many they need to...we ultimately decided that the number of destinations should be unlimited.
The goal is to empower our users so that these restrictions are lifted. And now, they can go to as many destinations that they’d like. The idea is that they can really reach the audiences, these meaningful audiences that make sense. It’s all about the reach, the audience, the engagement. Based on feedback, use cases, and the landscape, we realized the timing is right to unleash this. Step 1 here, removing these restrictions. And so far we’ve gotten some encouraging feedback that we made the right decision.