Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu have grown to be one of the most popular ways to view entertainment and other media. More and more often, people are choosing home viewing over going to the movies, with subscriptions for services surpassing theatrical revenue in 2019. As entertainment, news media and other organizations recognize the desired convenience and affordability of these services, they’re expanding into new territory to provide even more ways for viewers to use them.
1. Special events.
Streaming services can provide companies with an opportunity to showcase corporate events such as product announcements, in-house training or company team-building retreats. It’s a great way to better engage the public by sharing your company’s personality, or to engage your company team by including them in on special announcements and activities.
Others are tapping into live streaming events on YouTube, Google Hangouts and Facebook, letting individuals and groups share events like live performances and meetings with a select audience. This private use has opened up to potential for services like Forget Me Not Ceremonies, which allow family and friends to attend funeral services virtually. The benefit of the service is more people can be “present” at a funeral when they might not have the time or money to travel to a loved one’s service. The streaming service goes beyond a simple video link-up—it enables and encourages remote attendees to interact, leaving comments and photographs that close family can save and cherish after the event is over.
Most public libraries are on board with changing times, keeping a strong collection of hard-copy books while also expanding into new territory by adding board games, escape rooms and digital offerings. Many have started to offer access to free streaming services to card-holding patrons in place of traditional DVD rentals. Library users of all generations are particularly interested in consuming documentaries for their educational and social content.
More than 1,500 library systems nationwide and in Canada subscribe to Hoopla, offering patrons free streaming of documentaries, popular TV and film selections and audiobooks directly to their computers, tablets or phones. Some library systems are offering Kanopy, which features a wide selection of popular films, or BookFlix, a service for children that offers a more curated alternative to YouTube and other less selective streaming services. Patrons benefit by having access to popular and current films in one place without having to pay for multiple streaming services.
3. News streaming services.
Already, the major networks quickly jumped on the mobile bandwagon to offer phone alerts connecting to live- and recent-news streaming, keeping viewers up-to-date on the global topics that are important to them. Now, they’re taking it to the next level with up-and-coming short-form streaming platforms such as Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi – a short version of “Quick Bites” – that will offer segments of the news to be streamed from any device. NBCUniversal plans to produce daily six-minute newscasts for Quibi, both for mornings and evenings, targeting the millennial set with world news.
While most popular streaming services like Hulu, YouTube TV and CBS All Access already offer connection to live news broadcasts to allow its viewers to stay up with current events, Quibi offers a concision that’s desirable in an increasingly busy and selective world.
Streaming services are here to stay and will continue to expand the ways people communicate and receive information globally. Expect to see more people tapping into this important way of sharing information at events, at work, at home and on the go.