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Exploring the Benefits of Live Streaming for Singaporean Companies

1. Introduction to Live Streaming

However, Singaporean companies seem to have largely disregarded the implementation of live stream service into their marketing and general operations. Many companies appear to prefer traditional business channels such as cold calls, hiring influencers, or running Facebook ads, while only a very small number consider live streaming Singapore practical or useful in their current business context. This research aims to explore the usefulness of live streaming for companies in Singapore, particularly the benefits that live streaming offers companies, the types of live streaming benefits companies care about, and the situation of companies that benefit the most and least from live streaming.

Recently, the use of live streaming has emerged as a novel and innovative method for businesses to connect with their consumers. At first, live streaming was primarily employed as a platform for entertainment, with the likes of Twitch and YouTube Live being popular platforms for gamers and other content creators. Asia has been particularly quick to embrace the full potential of live streaming. Companies in China, for example, have used this technology to sell millions of products in a very short period of time during live streaming events and create engagement with millions of viewers.

1.1. Definition and Types of Live Streaming

There are three different types of live streaming: 360 live streaming videos that let you look all around while the video is playing, VR live streaming videos that make use of virtual reality devices to make viewers feel as if they were really present while the video is being filmed, and 2D live streaming (also called flat video live streaming) videos. As the most widely available and easily accessible, 2D live streaming video will be the main focus throughout this article.

Live streaming is the broadcasting of real-time video to an audience over the internet. All it requires is a live streaming enabled device (like a smartphone, action camera, or webcam) to transmit a video signal to the internet, and live streaming software to publish your live video to a website or social media platform. Host websites or social media platforms allow that video signal to reach the audience over the internet. Since the signal is being sent over the internet in real time, viewers can watch the video while it is being recorded. They can also rewind, pause, and fast forward if that functionality is enabled. The term “live streaming” is often shortened to just “live stream.” The words “live streaming” are used as part of a verb, the process of transmitting live video.

2. Live Streaming Trends in Singapore

Following the Chinese model, Singapore digital live streaming platform vendors are transforming live stream viewers into bauhineas. Singapore social media influencers such as Mongchin Yeoh and Patricia, who have participated frequently in live streaming events to promote products and services using professional-grade equipment and multi-cam setups, have been the pioneers of the trend. Fashion brands and food and beverage outlets are producing regular live streaming shows. Fashion brand Love, Bonito is a trailblazer by pioneering the creation of high production value with a live shopping experience that combines the intimacy of personal shopping with the convenience of online shopping with programs tailored for each of the ASEAN countries.

In Singapore, live streaming was slow to gain the popularity it enjoyed in other Asian countries such as China and Japan, but has gained momentum in recent years. Driven by innovative solutions from digital companies including Shopmatic, advances in technology, changing consumer and marketing preferences, the rise of influencers and social responsibility, live streaming in Singapore has enjoyed higher visibility during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Increasingly, live streaming marketing has moved out of just selling and product launches, venturing into public service broadcasts, political debates, and virtual events including conferences. With changing social habits, live streaming is likely to continue to grow in importance as brands and consumers embrace the format.

2.1. Statistics and Adoption Rates

In 2019, the Singapore government implemented the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), which provided companies with financial support to adopt digital solutions and equipment, as part of a drive to encourage firms to integrate technology and automation into their operations. As a result, live streaming has seen significant spikes in adoption over the years. In 2020, multiple platforms reported spikes averaging 85%, and local courier companies also reported seeing live streaming-related delivery orders doubling over a two-year span. The company that manages a few of the largest suburban malls, Frasers Property Retail, expressed an increase in interest in live streaming from mid-sized local brands, including specialty retailers and beauty salons. Mediacorp and DBS Bank have also adopted live streaming to promote low-budget travel packages in Singapore. As of 2021, various companies in Singapore, including NTUC FairPrice, Amore Fitness, and H2 Hub, among others, have ventured into live streaming as a means to reach and engage with their clientele.

3. Benefits of Live Streaming for Companies

Unquestionably, human beings are capable of recognizing a face in milliseconds and making accurate judgments about a person’s character, competence, and even personality traits, including their honesty, emotional stability, and motivation, after seeing only a 39-second soundless video. With live streaming, Chinese companies need not rely solely on traditional formal indicators such as a good reputation. They can also use personalized data to build personality, helping them to understand and satisfy the tastes, desires, and behaviors of a customer of a specific type. Personalized data will create a key channel for China to establish customer loyalty in other countries, for example, by surprising customers with thoughtful behaviors and thus generating favorable word-of-mouth clues, convincing others to believe in a genuine company and actualizing loyal, authentic, and private customers.

In this section, we will explore the benefits of live streaming for companies. We argue that virtual live streaming has the unique potential to help companies improve and evolve strategies in the four core secret international business areas. First, live streaming can help companies not only to create, but also more importantly, to use more personalized data. The visual medium of live streaming enables companies to collect significantly more visual and personality data. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures. We are exposed to around 250 words in one minute, but we can process around 7,000 to 10,000 words and up to 15-40 megabytes of visual information in the same amount of time.

3.1. Enhanced Audience Engagement

For any speakers who are slightly nervous speaking (whether in front of a physically present or virtual audience), this can be an advantage as we have been convinced that this does help to mitigate our speaking anxiety. Dr. Jess proves that she can talk and engage with audiences at the same time. When she talked about specific parts of her research such as the ice age and droughts, people whose eyes have gradually shifted off their phones to perk up and ask questions. At such moments, the interaction is personable and engaging. All this is because live streaming can help to grow it in the first place. She believes that it is not Facebook which creates the most engaging experience but the content. Live streaming for Dr. Jess becomes so second nature that it prevents any of us from engineering a virtual participant, creating an anonymous ghost participation experience for the audience. It almost seems like an “inclusion” of somebody in the offline event.

When your audience is not only present but also engaged, it creates an amazing experience for everyone involved. Many events these days struggle to engage with the audience, with people checking their phones or perhaps using them to break the uncomfortable eye contact with the speaker. For those in the audience who are already engaged, the addition of live streaming can be the icing on the cake. When speaking to audiences today, we always recommend that they should focus on their message and not be overly concerned if their audience is looking at their phones. People almost always multitask today, and all that most speakers can do is to try and keep their message concise and to the point. Perhaps the message is very difficult or boring for us, but others are really trying to keep us busy at the same time from their side. With the introduction of more interactive platforms and question-driven sessions, the audience build and participation level will often raise the overall experience and engagement level of the room for everyone.

4. Case Studies of Successful Live Streaming Campaigns in Singapore

Case Study 1: Watsons – Livewire Beauty Show, 2017. Showcasing products and highlighting unique benefits of attending its membership event were plausible at its recent beauty or fashion event. Hence, Watsons, a personal care store chain, took to live streaming by engaging a celebrity host and notable Asia-based beauty blogger. The main objective of live streaming at the event was to drive Watsons membership sign-ups. To lure and encourage viewers to attend the membership beauty show event in person, physical and lucky draw prizes were offered to viewers who headed to the physical Watsons stores. The audience was encouraged to purchase beauty products and new beauty collections that were being featured during the show. Two live streaming sessions were conducted on a Sunday evening, coinciding with the actual event taking place in the afternoon. All the event information was excluded from the live stream, and only beauty tips and featured products were showcased. Viewers were given clear calls-to-action to visit stores or sign up for the membership program.

For companies wanting to embark on a foray into live streaming, understanding different types of formats and representations is a good place to kick-start the planning. Since live streaming is versatile in the sense that it encompasses different types of events and content formats, showing successful examples always helps to consolidate learning. In this section, we take a closer look at three case studies of successful live streaming campaigns in Singapore. The three case studies can be broadly grouped under sales or marketing events. These are essentially company-led events aimed at growing sales and/or brand presence and require the deployment of resources to organize the events.

5. Conclusion and Future Outlook

It is now easier than ever to host a live stream on a website. It has also become straightforward to stream live on social media with the introduction of Facebook Live. Apps like Periscope, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter also held the first live streaming events. The ease of use and ease of access to live streaming platforms and the ability to stream across various channels would benefit Singaporean brands. In conclusion, firms can benefit from using this form of fast content by learning about it and implementing these brand elements in live streaming via training, talking to current firms that conduct this type of advertising, and learning from or hiring a production company. As such, future research could focus on establishing best practices for businesses and exploring interactive content for contextual video analytics.

Singapore is at the forefront of digital innovation and can profit from the trends and technology changes that are happening globally. In order to be successful, companies need to think carefully about why they are incorporating live streaming elements into their communication strategies. Unfortunately, many firms jump on the bandwagon without taking the time to think about their goals. Those companies looking to increase reach and awareness use live streaming differently from those that are looking to drive leads. For example, those paying for live streaming content need consistency and assurance that their experience will be interactive and rewarding. Those creating content for lead generation usually have a completely different objective. Businesses need to be careful that they are using these tools correctly and in tune with their customers.

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