We're living in a digital age where around 78% of the population use smartphones and a high percentage are on some form of social media. More recently social media platforms have worked hard to develop their video streaming services which can be seen with the rise of Snapchat, InstaStory, Twitter Live and Facebook Live. Livestreaming has become an increasingly popular tool for brands to engage with their audience with 80% of internet users saying they prefer live video to reading a blog. Live video is so popular with consumers because it’s visual and engaging, while at the same time providing instant feedback and user engagement for brands.
For those of you who aren’t sure what live streaming is – it’s the ability to broadcast video and audio as it’s happening.
Higher Education Institutions have also jumped on the back of this popular phenomenon and these days regularly use live streaming to engage with their current students as well as prospective students. It can be used for a number of purposes such as covering university events (Freshers’ Fairs, Graduation or SU events), student recruitment campaigns (campus tours or live Q&As) or even to live stream lectures or seminars for virtual or distance learning. Live video is a goldmine of content for HEIs; it’s easy to set up and can generate a huge amount of content that can be used throughout the academic year and beyond. It’s a great way for universities to show off and demonstrate what life on campus is actually like, with the added benefit that the live stream is available to anyone in the world with a smartphone.
Despite the huge range of benefits, universities and other higher education institutions need to be aware of the legal pitfalls involved in live streaming. Firstly, the ‘live’ nature of live streaming makes it hard to plan for – anything can happen during a live event that could end up being broadcast to a huge audience. Remember, you can’t edit live content. It’s also important to bear in mind copyright issues when planning a live stream – do you have the rights to any background music being played? Do you have permission for any visual content that could be seen in the video? Most social streaming platforms use content matching that will disrupt a live feed if there’s a potential copyright infringement, which can be a nightmare if your live stream gets interrupted after months of planning!
We’ve put together some tips for Higher Education Institutions to consider BEFORE live streaming an event:
- Be aware of any intellectual property or copyrighted material, such as music or video, being captured in the stream. Source rights free music or visuals, or make sure you obtain the necessary permissions ahead of the event.
- Consider individuals’ right to privacy. It’s good practice to put up filming and broadcast notices in the vicinity of the event on the day so that people can make a choice as to whether they want to be filmed or not.
- Think about the location – is it public or private?
- Have a contingency plan! Live streams can be unexpectedly interrupted for a number of reasons, regardless of how much you’ve planned – technical faults, weather or unexpected background music etc.
Livestreaming isn’t going away and it’s getting more and more popular among young people every day. By taking these steps into consideration universities can use livestreaming to their advantage in their marketing and engagement campaigns.