Why Do People Watch Livestreams?

I suspect the number one reason people watch is to connect. People don’t watch me because they care about me, they watch because they care about themselves and my livestream helps them better enjoy and understand their own lives. When I tell a story, nobody cares about my story except to the extent it helps them to better understand their own stories.

When you join a livestreaming community, you join a tribe. According to my video analytics, my audience is 98% male, 80% 25-44yo (about 15% are 44-54yo), 50% American and they also watch Keith Woods, Edward Dutton, and JF Gariepy.

According to this Quora thread:

* Live streaming clone is the evolution of live television. The reasons why live television made such a big impact was because it brought viewers up-to-date, informative and accessible content. Though it’s still popular, since online streaming, Television subscriptions have been in decline.

While on television, the content and accessibility are limited, on online streaming there is endless content accessible for free and with mobile devices. Even though viewers still have the time constraint on live streaming, it’s more flexible than on television. They can watch on their mobile phones and, most of the times, they can also watch the recorded of the live video later.

Beyond Live Television

One of the important reasons why live streaming is so important, for brands and individuals, is because of the level of interaction and engagement it offers. There is no other platform or marketing strategy allows for such an extent of interaction. Live streaming also has the highest rate of engagement for all types of contents.

The face to face live interaction brings your audience closer to you and opens a great communication channel. You can ask them questions to get to know them better and they can do the same. What’s more, when they interact with each other, it creates a sense of community and they will associate you with it.

3. The human aspect of Live Streaming

The genuine interaction that live streaming app clone allows and builds a relationship with viewers. Videos on demand simply can’t create the same feeling because there’s less room for viewers to identify with the presenters.

The fact of a live stream is actually live brings a human element to it. Anything can go wrong, at any time. If presenters make a mistake about something, viewers see the authenticity and identify with them. Unlike Live television News, where anchors seem stiff and emotionless. Why do you think people love to see them make mistakes on live TV? It humanizes them and it’s relatable.

4. Expand your reach as a brand or individual

One of the reasons why live tv streaming Php Script can help you reach more people is because platforms will favour live content. For example, if you go live on FB, the chance of your followers seeing it on their newsfeed is higher than if you share an image or a video on demand. YouTube will also favour live video on its searches, as will many other platforms.

5. Fastest growing industry

Online streaming is one of the fastest-growing industries. In fact, the live video streaming market is worth more than 30 billion dollars. It’s expected to be worth more than 70 billion dollars by 2021. More importantly, live video streaming is outgrowing video on demand. The year over year growth of live video is 113 per cent, while long videos on demand have grown 30% and short formats have grown only 9 per cent.

* Live Streaming is a real-time event. Whether it is a training session, a panel discussion, an interview or a product launch you become a participant of this show staying on your own location. You communicate with the presenter through Q&A and you can also take part in polling. You can watch live video streaming everywhere – on any location and on any device. There are no costs on venues and travels but you do attend this live event. So these compelling benefits of live streaming make people watch it and become a part of a live show.


Parasocial relationships are one-sided relationships, where one person extends emotional energy, interest and time, and the other party, the persona, is completely unaware of the other’s existence. Parasocial relationships are most common with celebrities, organizations (such as sports teams) or television stars.

Parasocial relationships expand the social network in a way that negates the chance of rejection and empowers individuals to model and identify with individuals of their choosing who naturally elicit an empathic response. For some, the one sided nature of the relationship is a relief from strained complementary relationships in their real life. Parasocial relationships are cultivated by the media to resemble face-to-face relationships. Over time, so many experiences are shared with John Daily or Justin Beiber or Jay-Z that we develop an intimacy and friendship with the ‘media user’ and feel that they know and understand us.

In the past, parasocial relationships occurred predominantly with television personas. Now, these relationships also occur between individuals and their favorite bloggers, social media users, and gamers. The nature and intimacy of parasocial relationships has also matured. Reality television allows viewers to share the most intimate and personal lives of television personas, and celebrities openly share their opinions and activities through various social media outlets such as twitter and Facebook.

Additionally, the Internet allows for 24-hour access to media users, and increased internet dependency may lead to increased parasocial interactions. While parasocial relationships still remain one-sided, they have transformed into more interactive environments, allowing individuals to communicate with their media personas, and increasing the intimacy and strength of the parasocial relationship.

Despite the one-sided nature of parasocial relationships, there are numerous similarities between these relationships and more traditional social relationships. Studies show parasocial relationships are voluntary, provide companionship, and are influenced by social attraction. Furthermore, viewers experience a connection with the media user and express feelings of affection, gratitude, longing, encouragement, and loyalty towards them.

Just as relational maintenance is important in sustaining a relationship with our real life friends and family, relational maintenance also occurs in parasocial relationships through events such as weekly viewings of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Blogs and social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, increase the ease with which viewers can express their feelings. Parasocial relationships are popular within these online communities, and this may be due to the increased sense of “knowing” the personas, or the perception of parasocial interactions as having a high reward and no chance of rejection.

Historically, parasocial relationships were viewed as pathological and a symptom of loneliness, isolation and social anxieties. However, one study found there was no correlation between loneliness and the intensity of viewers’ parasocial relationship with onscreen characters. Other research has decreased the stigma of such relationships and led clinicians to believe that such relationships can broaden one’s social network rather than restrict it.

Parasocial relationships are important to viewers, and in many ways advantageous because of the support that the viewer gains from the relationship. Many seriously ill people find afternoons with Oprah or Ellen the one chance in the day to see a friend without stress and gain strength from their relationship with the hostess.

Individuals with parasocial relationships often express appreciation towards their favorite personas for helping them to get through tough times. Additionally, some viewers perceive the personas as helping to significantly shape their own identity. The support that parasocial relationships provide is of substantial value to the viewers that engage in them, and with new social media techniques, these relationships are a viable way to expand individuals’ social networks.

NEIL PATEL BLOGS that online live viewers are more likely to feel excitement, immediacy and connection.

This 2017 paper from China says:

Proposed by Tajfel and Turner (1979), social identity theory posits that people hold various social identities along with their individual identities. It is assumed that our self-concepts are partially defined by certain social groups where we obtain the sense of oneness or belongingness, as well as involving values (Ashforth & Mael, 1989).

Hence, people tend to classify themselves into various social categories that they identify with, and develop social identifications which depict the oneness or belongingness to certain social categories (Ashforth & Mael, 1989). This social identification process is mainly served as a self-defining way to achieve self-consistency, selfesteem, and self-enhancement (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003). In consequence, to maintain their favored social identities, people’s
deep identifications with groups, organizations or other human aggregates lead to in-group favoritism and corresponding results such as enhanced commitment, intragroup cohesion, product and service preference, and group support behaviors…

H1. Identification with an audience group is positively related to continuous watching intention.

we construct the audience group identification as psychological attachment, emotional and social bonds a member shares within an audience group (Algesheimer et al., 2005; Füller, Matzler, & Hoppe, 2008; Hall-Phillips et al., 2016). Users from the same audience group interact with each other mainly via text-based dialogues (Hamilton et al., 2014). During their communication, audiences can exchange their ideas and thoughts about streams, broadcasters, and even issues unrelated to stream contents. Meanwhile, audiences will subtly deliver their identity-related information and perceive others’ identities in a form of collective group identity. In consequence, a member may identify with other audiences if he/she perceives the fit of values and beliefs between the group and him/herself. According to Keh and Xie (2009), identification is effective in promoting commitment to long-term relationship maintenances. Badrinarayanan et al. (2015) also indicate that identification with other members will lead to sustained participation and interaction on virtual
communities. Therefore, we infer that, with the increased identification of audience group, a member will feel stronger attachment to the group and choose to maintain their intragroup connections by continuous watching.

H1. Identification with an audience group is positively related to continuous watching intention…

Live video streaming service distinguishes itself from other social media forms via the existence of broadcasters/streamers (Smith et al., 2013). Accordingly, the individual-based identification aspect is manifested as identification with broadcasters on live streaming platforms. Kelman (1961) defines this kind of identification with an
individual as “classical identification” which means a person “attempts to be like or actually to be the other person”, and desires to “appease, emulate, and vicariously gain the qualities of others”.

Identification with a person is similar to identification with a group (Ashforth & Mael, 1989). However, personal identification incorporates other essences including liking and admiration, perceived similarity, attitudes and beliefs adoption (Basil, 1996; Brown & de Matviuk, 2010; Brown, 2015; Katz & Liebes, 1990). Accordingly, a viewer’s identification with a broadcaster takes place when a viewer takes a broadcaster as self-referential in belief, personality, competence, and other aspects.

According to recent studies on personal identifications, people tend to regard identified individuals as role model, and incline to maintain reciprocal relationships…

* Identification with a broadcaster is positively related to continuous watching intention.

…parasocial interaction is described as an illusive sense of mutual awareness and intimacy with media personas (e.g. celebrities, news hosts, characters). People believe they are engaged in a face-to-face interaction without technical possibility of reciprocal communication (Houlberg, 1984). People in parasocial relationship often report the feeling of
intimacy and closeness and define media personas as “real friends” (Stern, Russell, & Russell, 2007; Xiang, Zheng, Lee, & Zhao, 2016). In turn, this friendship-like relationship will increase personal attachment, relationship investment, and loyalty toward media figures (Labrecque, 2014; Xiang et al., 2016). Recently, studies have expand the scope of parasocial interaction from mass media into online context (e.g. Labrecque, 2014; Powell, Richmond, & Williams, 2011), especially in social media practices such as micro-blogs and Social Network Sites (e.g. Cohen & Tyler, 2016; Lee & Oh, 2012).

Interactions on live streaming platforms may possess the characteristic of parasocial interaction. The nature of social media implies viewers can follow another’s statues without reciprocal responsibility (Hargittai & Litt, 2011). However, the sense of parasocial interaction can be triggered if media performers perceive the existence of audiences, and adapt the conversational style or body gestures to create an illusion of two-sided communication (Dibble, Hartmann, & Rosaen, 2016). Broadcasters can adopt an interactive style in terms of addressing questions, show gratitude to praises, and self-disclosure in practice. Consequently, viewers who experience parasocial interactions may regard streamers as intimate
friends because they pay attention to viewers’ suggestions and care for the viewers’ feelings. Studies have suggested that viewers are inclined to be more emotionally attached to and identified with media personas that provide richer experience of parasocial interaction (Brown & Basil, 2010; Brown, 2015; Frederick, Lim, Clavio, & Walsh, 2012). In the same vein, we infer that experience of parasocial interaction a viewer perceived may increase the identification with the broadcaster

* H3. Experience of parasocial interaction is positively related to broadcaster identification.

Self-congruity is another factor that may influence broadcaster identification. Introduced by Sirgy (1982), self-congruity is defined as the extent to which the images of an object and a person are perceived as matching. People prefer to consume brands possessing the personalities which are compatible with their own self-concepts.

On one hand, a person tries to behave in a way which is consistent with his/her actual self-image and for self-expression; on the other hand, he/she also expect to build up ideal self-image that potentially extend and enhance his/her real self (Kressmann et al., 2006). These dual aspects of self-congruity are defined as actual self-congruity and ideal self-congruity (Sirgy, 1982). In marketing domain, recent studies have widely applied self-congruity concept to explain customer-brand relationship, brand attitudes, brand loyalty, and consequent purchase intention (Aguirre-Rodriguez, Boveda-Lambie, & Miniard, 2015; Koo, Cho, & Kim, 2014; Roy & Rabbanee, 2015).

Meanwhile, the application of self-congruity has been extended from brand research to more general referents such as media personas (e.g. celebrities, bloggers) (Boon & Lomore, 2001; Thomson, 2006; Wang, Hsu, Huang, & Chen, 2015).

Live streaming activities provide immediate opportunities and solid technical support for self-expression (Tang et al., 2016). Broadcasters can manage their own self-images directly in various ways such as articulating their interests and attitudes to life, showing talents or skills. According to social identity theory, identification processes as a two step self-defining way to first preserve integrity of self image, and later to reach selfenhancement and self-esteem (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003; Tajfel & Turner, 1979). On one hand, the aspiration for self-consistency of viewers can be satisfied if they perceive attitude similarity and like-mindedness of streamers, thus creating the sense of actual selfcongruity. On the other hand, the need for self-esteem can be possibly appeased when viewers reflect their ideal selves. Viewers may worship broadcasters and regard them as role models, if the broadcasters possess special skills and abilities, or have achieved goals that the viewers are pursuing. Several studies also imply that self-congruity affects relationship persistence, and leads to identification with referents (Tuskej et al., 2013; Wang et al., 2015).
Drawing on these findings, we infer that a viewer’s perceptions of actual and ideal self-congruity toward a broadcaster on live streaming platforms will increase his/her identification with the broadcaster.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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