YouTube Live Streaming App Rewinds Search, Authenticity

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced last week at VidCon that the Google-owned company will reboot services and roll out a live-streaming feature in its mobile app later this summer. That's great for content creators, but the real advantage for brands will come through product placement and the ability to tie the media to search advertising in real time. 

Products will become the star of live-streaming shows by allowing marketers to time the run of a search ad to the live stream of a product placement or YouTube live-streaming similar to the way cross-channel media buys occur for television and search advertising.

Not just any product placement, but the kind that advertisers crave — the authentic kind. The kind that gets fans to ask creators and production artists what type of camera they use — Canon or Samsung — in the comments section or during a live mobile chat.

Live streaming will bring authenticity deeper into the mix. "We want to work with creators who can authentically tell their stories as to why they chose the products, rather than someone who has a huge following and convert them to a Canon user," said Robert Altman, manager at Canon USA, during an interview with SearchBloglast week just prior to VidCom. "We want it to be authentic."

Through live, authentic responses, manufacturers hope consumers will take to search engines to seek out the name and model of the products. 

This represents an opportunity for YouTube, networks like DEFY Media, brands, and content creators to make money as viewership continues to move toward mobile devices.

A strong, authentic endorsement from a content creator builds an emotional connection with consumers that can create long-term brand loyalty -- not only in the immediate, but down the road. This especially is true during live television or content streaming because it puts the viewer in the middle of the event.

Nielsen suggests that viewers tuned in more often to live TV in 2015. With more dollars moving online, live streams should have the same attraction. 

Product placement is hardly a new strategy, but the practice continues to become more prevalent in an era of ad blocking, commercial-free streaming, and ad skipping.

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