Barely a week after introducing the video call feature, WhatsApp has rolled out a video streaming feature which will change the way that short video clips are consumed.
What does the Video Streaming feature offer?
WhatsApp users will now be able to view a shared video even while it is downloading, as they will have the option of streaming it. WhatsApp has replaced the download button with a play button that will allow users to stream video while it is still buffering. Users have often complained about having to download a video that they are unaware of which also takes up memory space, now this issue will be a thing of the past.
It has been reported that WhatApp’s new feature is similar to streaming videos online on YouTube where you can view parts that have already been buffered.
First images of how the video streaming feature looks
Why is the new feature a game changer for the Sports sector?
ESPN have been losing close to 300,000 cable television subscribers each month and a similar trend has been reported in the United Kingdom with reports suggesting that Sky Sports have seen a 19% drop in viewership across sports broadcasting. However, ESPN and Sky Sports are both experiencing an increase in the consumption of popular sports like NFL and football via social network-based content distribution.
In fact, the demand for short video clips of popular sports is so high that Sky Sports have partnered with Ooyala to create in-game clips from their football coverage, which will be distributed to their broadcast partners in 40 countries.
The combination of Whatsapp’s reach and popularity of sports consumption on mobile devices is worth considering for every brand.
Currently, Whatsapp is the most widely used instant messaging service in the world. In the United Kingdom WhatsApp is the 3rd most actively used mobile application.
“As the digital landscape continuous to provide new verticles for content consumption and with consumer attention on mobile devices growing at a rapid rate, Rights Holders and brands should be investing in strategies and tactics that engage these audiences.”
– Luca Massaro, Chief Executive, WePlay
If Rights Holders are looking to reach out to fans in other countries, a WhatsApp focused content strategy could be a part of their content marketing mix. For example, India is in the top five markets for the Premier League’s international viewership. It also has 160 million monthly active users on WhatsApp, which is close to 20 percent of WhatsApp’s total monthly active users.
The volume of WhatsApp users globally presents a perfect opportunity for Rights Holders and brands to rethink their content strategy.
As Rights Holders and brands fight for the attention of sports audiences, this new Whatsapp video feature offers yet another window of opportunity to incorporate creative marketing efforts within a platform that offers direct distribution to a younger target demographic. This is also an opportunity for Rights Holders and brands to commercialise their content further, through pre-roll and product placement video advertisements.
At WePlay, we work closely with our clients to develop content strategies that engage audiences and execute these strategies with over 400 pieces of rich multimedia content, distributed across multiple formats, from broadcast to website content and social media to mobile.