The Future of Live Streaming

What’s next for Live Streaming?

Last year, 1.7 million streamers used Twitch each month to broadcast live video.

Even more impressive, over 100 million people watched those streams each month, with the average user viewing 106 minutes per day.  Think about that for a second. That’s nearly 2 hours on average from over 100 million people to a single website that your parents have probably never heard of. The entire television market reinvented itself around one very specific type of programming: live streaming video games.

That’s why Amazon  purchased Twitch for almost $1 billion and probably got an incredible deal. And that’s also why Google and Facebook have announced plans to take Twitch head-on, positioning Youtube Live and Facebook Live as direct competitors. Not only are games bigger and better than they’ve ever been, and the hardware more powerful, but gamers have never had more options to play, watch, or discuss their favorite games. We are now living in a gamer’s paradise.

But is Twitch a Streamer’s Paradise?  There’s no doubt that Twitch is a great platform for broadcasters to get in front of millions of eyeballs – especially if they want the bloodshot, Red Bull soaked eyeballs of serious gamers.  But while Twitch is great for streaming content as“one to many”, the interaction between the streamer and her or his audience leaves a lot to be desired. It’s far too difficult for streamers to get real-time feedback from their fans because it lacks a coherent “many back to one” channel.  The same is true of Youtube Live and Facebook Live, neither of which offers a coherent way for fans to talk back to streamers.

Sure, there’s text chat,where fans can type in comments and hope the streamer notices – but, as you probably know, for streams with more a few dozen viewers, the speed and pacing of makes effective communication nearly impossible. The text chat window becomes a barrage of incoherent text with a dismal signal to noise ratio.

These issues have led to the rapid rise in popularity of old school polls on Twitch, but nothing could be a worse fit for the Twitch demographic than the yellow pad Straw Polls. I mean, seriously. This is what a modern video game looks like:

And then this is what a Straw Poll looks like.  You might as well ask gamers to fill out a tax return or take their SATs.  Think about every stupid customer satisfaction survey you’ve ever taken. Simply put – taking polls sucks. And it’s even worse in comparison to the incredible experiences available to gamers on every platform. Surely streamers and their audiences deserve better than this:

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 11.30.34 AM

Nature’s already solved this problem, in way. Swarm Intelligence allows groups to think together in real-time, and now Silicon Valley startup, Unanimous A.I., is bringing that ability to humans. Using UNU, a new platform that replaces old-school chat and outdated Straw Polls with a gamer’s interface and true Swarm Intelligence. Best of all, it enables Twitch viewers to respond to the broadcaster, together, in real-time, expressing a single unified opinion.  It’s a fun and interactive experience that feels more like a game than a poll, and it’s way smarter, using A.I. algorithms that optimize the collective intelligence of the group.

I know that sounds complicated, but let me show you what I’m talking about.

Superjombombo is a streamer who broadcasts himself playing strategy games such as Bloons TD Battles and Bloons Monkey City.  SJB has a devoted following, but like all streamers it’s never been easy to ask a question to his fans and get a unified and coherent answer. Until now. That’s because SJB has been sharing his stream inside of UNU, allowing his fans to watch him live, and answer his questions together, in real time.

[youtube id=”XfDhvdkCxGY” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no” parameters=”rel=0&showinfo=0&theme=light”]

What we think you’re looking at here is nothing less than the future of Live Streaming. Now, for the first time, personalities and entertainers like SJB have the ability to truly interact with their audiences in a fun, meaningful way. In real-time. Think about the difference between SJB laughing as he goes back and forth with his audience in the video above, their answers surprising him at every turn, and the results he’d get from a Straw Poll. And now, think about your experience in taking a Straw Poll, versus the fun you can have in UNU.

So, if you’re a streamer — or a viewer –– on Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, or Periscope, we’d love to hear from you. It’s super easy to set up your own UNU just like SJB did – help us bring the fun of swarming to live streaming!