Following Twitter’s announcement on Tuesday that it will work with Bloomberg to livestream the upcoming presidential debates, Facebook and YouTube have announced similar partnerships to simulcast the debates on their sites. Facebook is teaming up with ABC News to bring the network’s debate coverage to the social network, with the network creating Facebook Live content throughout the day on its Facebook Page. YouTube, on the other hand, will broadcast the debates as part of its #voteIRL campaign with some help from PBS, Telemundo, and the Washington Post.
In related news, NBC will broadcast the upcoming debates in virtual reality. Working with AltspaceVR, the network created an election-themed “Democracy Plaza” where interested viewers can watch the debate together virtually.
Why Brands Should Care
It will be interesting to see how these debate-related live streams stack up against each other in terms of viewership numbers and the user experience that each site delivers. Although it appears that neither Facebook nor YouTube will carry ads on their live feeds, brands still need to pay attention to how this plays out as it may offer some clarity on the ongoing platform war over live video content.
Livestreaming and VR content offer the kind of immediacy and immersion that brands can benefit from, and as mainstream consumers become increasingly familiar with these emerging formats, brands need to work with content creators and tech partners to develop engaging live and VR content.