The streaming business has boomed significantly in the last few years, and more people are making a living from broadcasting content than ever before.
The industry was valued at $10.1 billion last year, and the value looked set to increase to $3 billion by the end of 2019.
There's now a wealth of different platforms for creators to build their career from. However, streamers can't rely on their chosen platform alone, especially when it comes to turning a hobby into a sustainable business venture. In order to stand out, they need additional support in areas such as production, monetisation, branding and more.
This is where companies like StreamElements come in. Self-dubbed as 'the ultimate end-to-end solution for live stream influencer marketing', the company operates to ensure that a streamer's content and business is operating on every level.
We spoke to StreamElements' head of brand partnerships Scott Clark to find out what the company is offering to some of the biggest creators in the world, and how it works to provide everything creators need to build a strong business.
InfluencerUpdate.biz: What is StreamElements and what services do you offer?
Scott Clark: We’re an all-in-one tech and services provider for brands and marketers that want to deploy influencer- driven activations on Twitch and YouTube at a global scale, while offering production, community engagement, and monetisation tools to thousands of the top live streamers.
We are currently compatible with Twitch and YouTube with plans to expand to other platforms soon.
StreamElements is powering some of the biggest names in streaming. What are they getting from you that they can't get elsewhere?
Streamers like Shroud, TimTheTatman, Sodapoppin, and many others are getting the best tools, features, and service from our team in order to create their streams and generate the most revenue.
We are the only company providing a completely cloud-based collection of everything needed to manage a
live broadcast, such as alerts, overlays, tipping mechanisms, and more. We also provide a conduit to brands that are looking for an authentic, measurable way to reach Millennial and GenZ audiences with sponsorships and other activations.
What excites you about the streaming space?
It’s such a compelling medium for the younger generation’s insatiable appetite for online entertainment that is live, shared, and interactive. The interest and growth in esports is being fueled by live streaming, yet competitive gaming is a very small percentage of all views on Twitch.
There is growth in casual gaming, music, IRL (vlogging) and talk shows. The trend will continue with cooking, DIY, education and more. This is the new TV for Millennials and Gen Z. It’s real people sharing real talent and creativity, having real dialogue as a community.
If “authenticity” is the buzzword these days, this is where it’s happening the most. For brands specifically, the native integrations, advertising and sponsorship opportunities in this space are massive, boasting 100 per cent viewability, 100 per cent share of voice, with no ad blocking or skipping.
It's fair to say that influencer marketing doesn't always get a good rep. What would you say to business and brands that are wary of the space or those that have been put off by bad tales?
With any new medium there’s an exploration phase to see what works, what doesn’t, and everyone learns valuable lessons. With influencers, you get so many benefits versus traditional advertising, which is becoming less effective and less scalable with the younger generations.
Focus your efforts on influencers and partners who can bring insights, accountability, and ideas to the table that feel authentic to your brand as well as theirs and the interests of their communities.
Focus your efforts on influencers and partners who can bring insights, accountability, and ideas to the table that feel authentic to your brand.
What do you think are the biggest trends in the influencer space right now?
One thing we are definitely seeing is a diversified strategy to include smaller and mid-tier influencers to complement the work being done with the big ‘stars’.
Typically, the bigger the reach, the lower the engagement rates of the audience, so it’s important to have smaller influencers with intimate relationships with their community. For advertisers, the greatest benefit of live streamed content is its duration and always-on interactive nature.
When the talent can look square into the camera and say, “for the next 2 minutes we are going to watch a new movie trailer, tell me in chat if you like it and I’ll give away a pair of tickets,” that is massively powerful.
Plus, the aggregated scale of 10 small influencers can be larger than a single star - and more cost-effective. Other trends we’re seeing ar around brands’ desire for measurement, scale, and managed services.
Are there problems with the current influencer marketing space that need to be addressed?
I wouldn’t call them problems, more challenges and opportunities. Measurement is one. Consistency and centralised management over assets, training, and communications is another.
There are many tech platforms now for influencer discovery and analysis, but you need to seek counsel from experts and experienced voices from within the space as there are so many variables and options.
You’ll get true ROI and impact when you invest beyond talent and into activations, engagement, gamification and other native experiences that go beyond the “who you hire” and into the “what they deliver” - particularly at scale across a wide network of streamers.
What are StreamElements' plans for the next 12 months?
We are hiring across the board and growing our global brand partnership team to help educate and serve marketers who need help reaching Millennial and Gen Z audiences.
Especially for those currently investing in esports leagues, we want them to experience the benefits of working with influencers and entertainers in Gaming and other categories.
We are rolling out new ad formats and activations and are building out our measurement platform, particularly around audience sentiment tracking. For content creators, we will continue to help them achieve fame and fortune with the best, most diverse tools in the business accompanied with legendary service.