Sometimes change comes slowly. You hardly notice it. And sometimes it lands like a tornado and if you aren't watching carefully, one day you look out the window and find that everything has moved. Live video is landing like a tornado.
Brands are already trying to figure out how they can make the most of it. Some are putting their CEOs in front of the cameras. Others are taking people behind the scenes. The really smart ones are realizing that they can now create original content that has the appeal of a live television show but with real-time mass audience participation. It's a huge opportunity.
And now people in television are starting to see that opportunity. We recently saw the launch of the Internet's first live, interactive talk show, delivered online and with real live input from viewers. THE NEVER SETTLE SHOW goes out online and can also be seen on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon. It's the brain-child of Mario Armstrong, a fast-talking Emmy Award-winning talk show host who's been a regular contributor on the TODAY show, CNN, NPR, Dr. Oz, and a whole host of other shows. He's now applying that experience to his own content. But instead of creating another cable TV show, he's working with Al Roker's live streaming corporation to create a new kind of "social TV," a real meeting between social media and television.
That difference starts in the production meetings where the show's subjects are decided and the guests are fixed. Instead of the producers holding their meetings behind closed doors then delivering the results to an audience and hoping they like it, Mario and his team broadcast the meetings on Facebook Live. Viewers are invited to send in their comments, ask questions and make suggestions. They can vote on directions for the show. The audience has already decided that the show won't have celebrities talking about their new books or their new TV shows. They want to see real people who left their nine-to-fives discussing their experience and explaining how they managed to achieve their dreams. The audience gets a real say in the direction and the themes of the show. During the broadcast itself, Mario has a team of social media people who watch the comments and direct questions to a screen in front of Mario. He can then pass them onto the guest, making sure that the audience gets the information it wants. Viewers can communicate directly on Skype.And it's all done in a real studio, in front of a real studio audience, with multiple cameras and all of the production values that you'd expect from a professional television show.
This is an entirely new use of live video. It's also a revolution in entertainment. Until now, we've relied on other people to tell us what they thought we wanted to know. We've expected them to be able to guess our tastes and we've relied on them to give us the information and entertainment we want. Now we have a chance to make the shows ourselves. From the planning to the broadcast itself, live video is giving us a real say. It's the first wind of change. Pretty soon we'll be turning on the television and finding that everything has moved.
Listen to Mario discuss this ambitious project in the interview below.