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Opinion:The Science Of Live Videos And The Art of Getting It Right

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By Enitan Kehinde, Lead Consultant of the FMCG portfolio at BHM

 

Watching Andrea Bocelli live, on Sunday, April 12, 2020, was so surreal!
But what made it even more special was watching it with my grandpa!
You see, my 80-year-old grandfather is the absolute king of swank and growing up around him, I fell in love with some of what have now become my favourite things … red wine, croissants, cheese platters, jazz and of course the opera, so it was a blessing sharing the live concert with him.
My colleague shared the link to the concert with me and I hurriedly sent it to my grandpa. It was a wonderful experience to share in our love for Andrea Bocelli’s music even though we were miles apart.
And that’s the reality of the world today.
Now more than ever, the world is turning to technology to stay connected. This is as a result of the global pandemic which has forced human beings across the world to keep their distance from one another.
And with features like calls, videos, photos, games and of course, live streams, things like social distancing are now a breeze.
Live videos have especially become very popular but the phenomenon didn’t start today.
With platforms like Livestream (launched in 2007) and YouTube Live (launched in 2008) who first introduced us to the world of live videos online and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, LinkedIn and others introducing the Live feature to their apps, the successful element has come to stay.
In Andrea Bocelli’s case, Italy has had over 155,000 confirmed cases and almost 20,000 deaths, and the world-renowned opera singer used a live video to bring people together, spreading the message of hope. Hosted on YouTube, the Live video had 2.8 million peak concurrent viewers, according to YouTube and yielded over 26million views in less than 24 hours.
Where the message has been to cure boredom and engage with fans, musicians like Tory Lanez and FalzTheBahdGuy have proven that Live really does work. Tory, for example, has broken Instagram Live records, reaching over 350,000 views, at a time, and even launching merchandise for his Instagram Live-based show, Quarantine Radio. For these celebrities, Live videos have become a platform to engage with fans, showcase their art and bring people together for the fun of it.
Beyond pop-culture, one of my favourite pastors, Pastor Poju Oyemade, about two weeks ago, started a live series. One of the sessions with Reverend Sam Adeyemi, which focused on leadership, the pandemic and the state of the country, recorded thousands of views.
But why are brands not getting it right?
Why are brands not getting as many eyeballs as the pop-culture and faith-based “influencers”?
I have found myself joining a number of live videos initiated by brands, and even with the presence of a brand ambassador, celebrity, artist or DJ, the numbers were not impressive.
What could be the reason for this?
To find the answers, we have to dig deep into the reason why Live videos are successful in the first place:
  • Planned but not stiff: Planned videos can also be fun and that is where trends like the “Battle of Hits” hosted by top music producers across the world, falls.
In Nigeria for example, when music producers, Shizzi and Sarz had their “Battle of Hits” Live video, it got as much as 25,000 views, at a time. The trend is based on two things young people love good music and nostalgia. Which leads me to my next point:
  • That Edge: What’s that edge your live video has? Is it just another concert? Another training session? Another platform to have your influencers and ambassadors look like they were forced to be there? Or is it a video with an edge hinged on your target audience’s interests?
  • Engage with the audience: When I watched FalzTheBahdGuy’s “Ask Me Anything” Live video, I was hooked. I sat through what didn’t feel like at least four hours and shared the video with everyone who cared to watch. Why? Because Falz got us all involved. Even his family joined in.

Successful Instagram videos like his, which had as much as 20,000 views, at a time, saw Falz speak with multiple fans. The live video had Falz interact with numerous fans giving them a chance to get to know him better, breaking the celebrity facade.
  • Bringing Diverse People Together: At least that’s what Diddy did with Team Love Dance-A-Thon, and exactly what Global Citizen will do on April 18, 2020, with its “Together At Home” Concert.

    Diddy brought creatives from across the world, like LeBron James, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Drake, Justin Bieber, Lizzo, Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy to discuss the effect of the epidemic on their vicinity, their art and his new show. Tagged The Team Love Dance-A-Thon, the show was put together to celebrate health workers in the forefront fighting the global pandemic Coronavirus.

  • Branding = Repellant: From the trends over the past few weeks, it is quite obvious that branding repels views. It’s almost like a turn-off. I have joined a number of overbranded live videos and I’ve cringed at the numbers. And this is exactly where our brands get it wrong. As brand managers, we always want to brand everything and heavily too. Brand custodians are guilty of shoving their brands in the faces of their customers, consumers and fans.
  • For The Average Nigerian, Data Is Expensive: Have we even thought that maybe Nigerians can’t afford to watch live videos? Widespread poverty is a cruel reality for us in Nigeria. Unlike other countries where data plans are relatively affordable, and there’s a 47% YoY increase in the consumption of live videos, Nigeria is not one of them. The bulk of the population earns less than the N30,000 minimum wage and are spending 95% of it on food and survival. It is quite expensive to spend at least N1000 on 1gb of data and squander it all on live videos.
So, how do we get our live videos to be the centre of interest, to be shared by thousands and to be the most talked-about?
Here’s a clue – Find that one thing that people care about, that one thing that’ll make them use all the data that they would have otherwise saved, and no it is not your brand or your ambassadors.
If unplanned videos work, how do we make our videos to be just as random, not too branded but just as interesting?
That’s the question. And I hope as brand custodians we can take a learning or two from the masters of influence – celebrities, artists, actors and socialites amongst others.
A key thing to note though is that this season is not about your brands but about your consumers. It is more about bringing people together and giving them something to find interesting and engaging.
I can’t wait to see what brand eventually breaks the cycle of the uninteresting brand-related live videos.
I’ll be on the lookout!

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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,

In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.

 

The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.

 

Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.

 

Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.

 

On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.


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NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

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Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.

NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.

“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.

“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.

He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.

Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.

According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.

“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.

Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.

 


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NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.

 

The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.

 

A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.

 

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.

 

Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.

 

They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.

 

According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.

 

However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”

 

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

 

Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

 


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