Occupy Streaming: 2016's mobile news democracy

Tim Pool, Occupy Wall Street
Jonas Vig, co-founder, Bambuser
Opinion
February 17th 2016 at 12:30PM : By

Jonas Vig, co-founder of livestreaming service Bambuser, believes its going to be all-streaming future

When mobile live streaming was in its infancy, most established news organisations and broadcasters were nervous about adopting it. Although there this new wave of technology was being embraced by everyday users of Facebook and Twitter, convincing the businesses that provide us with our daily fix of current affairs was a different story altogether.

??It was understandable. If you've built a major organisation over decades, using slick camera crews, trucks carrying tonnes of expensive and high-end equipment, adopting new and untested consumer technology to complement what you already have - just because every day folk use it - seemed too big a leap. 

Nevertheless, they were still interested in how live streaming could add value to their services – they were just biding their time to make sure it was a risk worth taking After all, why wouldn't a news organisation want a cheaper, faster and more lightweight conduit to getting one over on their competitors?

?You don’t need me to tell you that technology evolves faster than anything else and as far back as 2011 the writing was on the wall that something massive was about to happen. When live streamer Tim Pool shared his live-stream marathon during the Occupy Wall Street protests (pictured), using nothing more sophisticated than consumer mobile technology, he really was breaking new ground. How else would we have been privy to that 21-hours worth of material if it wasn't for a man and his phone? 

?It didn’t start there, and it most certainly doesn't end there. Think back to more recent events caught by live streaming that would otherwise never have seen the light of day. Take the nerve gas attacks in Syria and the riots in Ukraine. None of these were televised - or should I say, caught by traditional media as we know it. Instead people aired them live via the internet on the ground with mobile phones.??

Here we are a few years later and live streaming has evolved from luxury to necessity. We are now in 2016 and the scene has changed dramatically. So many of the biggest players are getting on board that it’s becoming the mainstream. Accessibility, ease-of-use and increased quality is just a few of the benefits that are luring more and more professionals to embrace mobile technology for live reporting. What’s particularly interesting about the numerous news agencies using it is their size and kudos they have in the broadcasting arena. Associated Press, BBC, Aftonbladet, Bild and Al Jazeera's AJ+ are just a few using Periscope, Meerkat or the Iris platform created by us at Bambuser.

?The fear about broadcast quality is no more and the way in which we receive and publish the footage is seamless. I won't put my head on the block and say all major broadcasters will employ mobile live streaming before the end of the year, but by the end of the decade, more will than won’t.