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Video: How Does Audience Interaction Dictate Content in Social Streaming?

Learn more about social streaming at Streaming Media West.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Mario Armstrong: This show is called The Never Settle Show. The whole idea of the show is to have interviews and segments and guests that really help people break out of their shell, build more confidence, pursue your passions, maximize your human potential, start that business, turn that side gig into a real thing. It's really focused on that niche, that audience.

It's a talk show format shot in New York City with about 50 people in an in-studio audience. The reason why we ended up doing this through Facebook Live and shooting it this way is because we shot a pilot, like most TV shows or most content creators will do, go out and try to pitch the pilot. Yeah you can see the audience right there, that's a great shot.

You go out and pitch to networks, and I'm a guy that's on the Today show and the execs would still say to me, "Mario, we love you but we don't really get this idea. We don't understand how you're going to do real time. Wait, you're saying you're going to do real-time social media, so people that are watching on their devices are going to be able to comment in your show while your show is happening, and then you're telling me while you're having a conversation with your guest, and you're going to be able to take information and incorporate it into the actual live show. This isn't pre-taped, this isn't post-edited. How are you even making sure that the content's not going to come in with a bunch of F-bombs and all these other inappropriate things?"

They had no clue as to the level of the innovation that's happening. This is going back a year and a half ago, and this show just wrapped up for six weeks last Wednesday. That's when we decided, "Okay, we're going to put it in our own hands," and we decided to do it with Facebook Live. At that point, then you start looking at distribution. For those of you who do not know, Facebook Live gives you an immense opportunity for huge distribution. Forget about your page, if you don't have the following then what you want to do is align your content with a page that has the following.

We aligned with Entrepreneur Magazine, made the most sense. They got it right away. It was a no-brainer. They had about three and a half million people on their Facebook page. You could stop there but you shouldn't. What you should do then is find other Facebook pages and other distribution that can also pick up the show. Now, whether you share that from the main show or whether you distribute it natively so that it appears, the point is you have Facebook distribution at your hands so you can create your own ad-hoc distribution model to really get massive scale and reach.

Then the interactive piece that we were doing is we would take your comments inside the Facebook chat and actually put those on air. So we could not only do lower-thirds and graphics with that stuff on the fly, but we could also do live voting. You could actually give keywords with hashtags and then actually have people vote.

One of the things that we would actually do on the show is say, "What do you want to see?" We literally ask people, “What do you want to see next?” We would give them three choices, maybe one's on tape and that's what everyone in production was hoping for. But then what gets picked is the conga line, and so now I've got to go out and do this damn conga line, and they're like, "Follow him and get the steady on him." It's real-time and the people are shaping that. We even took it a step further really quickly, before we even started the show, we really tried to do an open-source model to this. I appear on a lot of talk shows--Steve Harvey, Rachael Ray. All of them are great for what they do but the model has been the same model for years and it has not had any innovation. I wanted to disrupt the whole thing and do everything opposite.

When you come to our show you actually step on a red carpet and there's a step and repeat. There's a whole hour of networking and wine-tasting and vendors there. We treat the audience like the VIPs, not just the guests. That's a difference. The other big difference is we crowd-produce it, so even before the show started we would ask people, "What are the topics you want to see on this show?" We would live-stream our crowd producing meetings and strangers across the country would actually tune in and feel like they had a seat at the editorial desk. That just doesn't happen in TV; people don't want to relinquish that control, but we found out and learned so much through that and we had a ton of advocates that were already with us before the show even hit episode one.

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