Avr 4, 2020

The Changing State of Live During the COVID-19 Crisis

The latest LiveU data shows the steep increase in the use of live streaming and remote production to cover breaking news and shift to virtual events

Health and safety are now the number one priority globally with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantines have increased the need for remote reporting, fueling demand for live streaming, mobile apps, and live IP video sharing solutions. LiveU is today presenting an interim ‘State of Live’ report showing the trends over the last five weeks as the coronavirus continues to impact the world. This special LiveU report is based on data generated from its global customer base.

Live sessions via the LiveU Central management platform have more than doubled, with the number of users increasing by 30%. The average number of sessions by users has also doubled with TV crews, talk show hosts, and other personalities using HEVC bonded field units for round-the-clock reporting and productions from remote locations, including from studios set up in their own homes. The US saw the greatest increase in session duration, followed by Japan and India.

Mobile apps are in demand more than ever and there’s been a huge growth in the use of LU-Smart bonded transmission technology for smartphones. LiveU has seen a 150% growth in app units and sessions. Mobile journalists and others are covering live news and virtual events from home or other locations using their own mobile devices. The LiveU app is becoming a critical part of the broadcast workflow with TV show hosts transmitting video feeds to the studio via their mobile phones.

IP content distribution is also being deployed across the US for network-to-station and station-to-station sharing as broadcasters use LiveU Matrix for their local loops and pool feeds: shared feeds are up 35% over the same period last month. Governors in several US states are using LiveU Matrix to deliver their daily live briefings directly to stations and networks from remote locations.

News is just part of the picture. Live streaming is becoming an essential tool for other verticals to cover virtual events, such as churches reaching out to their congregants or musicians streaming live performances to social media. Remote at-home production (REMI) is coming into its own with the minimum number of personnel required on-site with just a camera or cameras and field units, and everything else handled back in the studio.

Samuel Wasserman, LiveU’s CEO, said, “Most importantly, we hope that everyone stays safe and healthy and that this pandemic passes as soon as possible. Now more than ever, LiveU is committed to supporting customers and partners during this difficult time, being flexible, answering their product requirements, and addressing their remote production needs. COVID-19 is certainly having a huge impact on the way we work and live. We’ve seen a sharp increase in usage of our cloud infrastructure as broadcasters increasingly adopt remote operations. We’re working hard to help our global customer base keep on operating as they use skeleton crews and adjust to the new reality. It’s rewarding to see how all our equipment, especially our Solo wireless encoder, is being used in many different ways to bring both comfort and information to people who are isolated in their homes with live coverage of virtual events.”

Wasserman continued, “As the market recovers, we believe that live streaming and remote production will continue to be a crucial workflow solution. Of course, together with sports fans around the world, we’re waiting for the return of live sports, with so many exciting productions planned.”