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Live from Your Desk

Homer Simpson held a live video Q&A session with his audience last week. Live broadcasting has become so prevalent, even cartoon characters do it. We’re used to thinking about live broadcasts in the context of TV or special events. Live broadcast used to be in the hands of professional production teams only. Things are changing…
As we look around today, it seems as though everything is happening live. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook all have live streaming offerings as part of their product. Periscope, YouNow, and Meerkat broke boundaries and placed live broadcast in the hands of consumers, right from their phones. Anyone can set up a live stream and report on news and events, become a talk show host, or share personal moments in real time. The expectation to receive immediate information and the ongoing need to share are expanding even more to the realm of live broadcast.
These are all well-known trends in the world of consumers. The real question is how will these trends translate to the workplace? Will these trends also affect the way we communicate at work? The answer is most likely. Almost every consumer trend made its way into the workplace and expanded how we communicate and collaborate at home to the office. Why should live video be different?
When thinking about how these trends will manifest when moved to the office, we need to dig deep and think about the need and motivation for live streaming. It’s not enough to think about it as a new way to communicate. The question is what is the need we’re trying to respond to with this new tool? Why do we crave live streaming so much? Immediacy is one answer. We want information fast and right when it’s happening. We don’t like to wait. However, this can be solved with messages, tweets, posts. Why do we need more?
The answer goes beyond immediacy. Live streaming offers another dimension – video. Usually when we think of video, we think of production, preparation, and setup. Turning on the webcam in conference calls is always another step, another hurdle. Even when recording video, we always think about editing it, starting over, and analyzing how we looked. From this perspective, you might think it makes no sense that live streaming would ever be successful!
Different angle on live enterprise videoLet’s look at it from a different angle. Live video is real, raw, and unedited. It’s shared in real time, unplanned, and unexpected. More than anything, live video is authentic. This is the heart of live video: an authentic experience we can connect with. This same idea is also the issue many executives are struggling with today. Authentic leadership, creating a real connection with employees around the globe and making them more engaged with the company vision and future, is not easy. Live video might be just the right tool, at the right time.
Use of live video in organizations is already rising. We see more and more executives using live webcasts to deliver quarterly updates. Audio webcasts or just slide decks are no longer enough. Live video is needed to connect with the audience. At Kaltura, our customers are telling us more managers and leaders are looking to use webcasting to engage their team. The number of webcasts per year has grown from four quarterly calls to hundreds of events a year. Webcasts are used not only to communicate internally, but also externally – with shareholders, investors, and customers.
As this trend continues, we should expect to see live video being used more and more at the office. Webcasts are kicking off this trend and facilitating real, authentic messages and an engaging experience for audiences.

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