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Is This Real Time?

15th November 2016


Will Kunkel, Executive Vice President for Creative and Content in Grayling New York, on the final of our #7for17 trends, Live and Uncut

‘Timing is everything’ has been a favorite line to many but never has it been so true as when considering the demands of younger audiences.

Be it impatience or evolving standards, millennials and the generation behind them certainly don’t expect to have to wait around for information or news, and have been leading the call for raw minute-by-minute news and real time, responsive brand communications.

Both media outlets and brands are responding to these demands, shifting their resources to live blogs, streaming and social verbatim as crucial features of their channels in order to stay current and relevant.

Forty-three per cent of millennial news consumers now value authenticity over content itself, meaning brands are willing to forego time-squandering quality control or even censorship in order to deliver live and uncut stories and messages.

News in the Now

For news outlets, the rat race to cover a story first has become a sprint. Organized and carefully orchestrated programming, press conferences and even some routine fact checks have take a backseat to live reporting. Minute by minute blogging, combining original reporting and aggregated news and comment is now how audiences except to be fed stories, effectively acting as their own editors.

With an additional bonus-step towards transparency, this means that news outlets now have wider access to potential sources (truthful or not) from which to feed stories to larger audiences. Consider The Guardian’s live blog of the Paris attacks, which reached an impressive 14.4 million unique impressions, with rolling coverage passing between journalist in the UK, US and Australia.

Advancements in more user-friendly software allow reporters to work in one file, embedding video, tweets, pictures, audio and text into one integrated, live, and often interactive experience.

Streaming, Streaming Everywhere

The biggest effect we’ve seen in 2016 is the now fundamental use of live streaming platforms such as Facebook Live and Periscope. This allows companies access to streamlined content with hyper levels of immediacy and little to no filter. 

As live news coverage has been around for a while now, these new platforms mean brands can emulate the news-outlet model, broadcasting events, and product launches while conversing directly with viewers and responding to issues with on-the-spot interactive streams. With such a direct and intimate B2C channel of communication, consumers will feel more engaged and connected.

In order to keep attention, businesses will need to implement live communication tools as primary resources, curating authentic live feeds to capture the shared meaning of a moment, big news or event, and engage with audiences in ways not previously possible. 

Follow Will Kunkel and join the #7for17 trends conversation on Twitter


Will Kunkel

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