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Why We're Watching Live Video at SXSW

By Motley Fool Staff – Mar 11, 2016 at 7:28AM

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One of YouTube's co-founders has shifted his focus to live broadcasting focused on an unusual niche subject for it, and we can’t wait to see what it might mean for the medium.

We've seen the trend toward more and more live video content -- and video content in general -- on social medial platforms like Twitter (TWTR), Vine, and countless others across the web. So where exactly is this taking us?

In this clip from Tech Industry Focus, Dylan Lewis tells Sean O'Reilly why he's so excited for YouTube co-founder Steve Chen's program, "Meet Nom: Food and the Future of Live Video," at the upcoming South by Southwest conference.

A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on March 4, 2016. 

Sean O'Reilly: All right, so Dylan, I've got to tell you: I was a little surprised at this last choice of yours for South by Southwest. Are you a foodie? What's the deal here?

Dylan Lewis: Yeah, so this last one, "Meet Nom," this is the name of ...

O'Reilly: Like nom, nom, nom, nom, nom!

Lewis: Yeah, this is the name of the speaker at the event.

O'Reilly: His name isn't Nom.

Lewis: No. "Food and the Future of Live Video." The person speaking at this event is Steve Chen, founder of Nom and co-founder of YouTube. That's part of the reason I really honed in on this one. I realize that when you have Kevin Plank, CEO of a highly successful company, and you have the director of Google's self-driving car project, the guy running a live food-based platform ...

O'Reilly: Food, YouTube thing?

Lewis: ... might be kind of a head scratcher. First off, yeah, a guy that co-founded YouTube, so a ton of insight into the world of video online, and what works, what doesn't work. That's one of the reasons I'm interested in attending this. I think really in their tag here, and what they're kind of trying to do, is: share your love of food live. That is Nom's mission I guess at this point.

Details are kind of scarce, so it might seem odd that I'm interested in this live food blogging type thing, but I'm less interested in this for the specific platform and more curious about what it means for digital media and live content specifically. If you remember correctly, and I think this might have been the first show we did together.

O'Reilly: Oh, I don't remember that.

Lewis: Yeah, we were doing a recap of I think private companies and the tech bubble.

O'Reilly: Oh, and the unicorns and all that. OK.

Lewis: Yes. At last year's South by Southwest, Meerkat kind of was the belle of the ball, which is a live broadcasting app.

O'Reilly: Right.

Lewis: Then Twitter bought Periscope and just rained on their parade, basically. That acquisition, a lot of people thought, "Oh, this is going to be huge for Twitter." The live broadcasting plays in so well to the news update kind of immediacy that you expect with that platform. Obviously it hasn't quite been the catalyst that people have expected yet, but I think Twitter is getting way better at integrating it into their product.

I think a recent update brought Periscope broadcasts into Twitter seamlessly so you don't need Periscope's app. You can just be scrolling through your feeds, see someone that is live recording something, click into it and you're watching it as a broadcast. Other public companies are making use of live content so far, and I'm curious to see what someone that is clearly an innovator in the video space is going to be doing.

Also I think when you look at some of the product changes that Facebook has undergone, they are pushing, pushing, pushing video content. The reason they're doing that is because people respond to it. The engagement rate is incredible on video content. Live content is a really cheap and easy way to feed that hunger, right? We can sit here in the studio and put together well-produced shows with Austin behind the glass and have it be well recorded and well lit and have this nice backdrop and everything, but people are also going to still click on live videos of maybe people like Jason Moser does the Periscope's every now and then ...

O'Reilly: I was about to say we should do Periscope here.

Lewis: Yeah.

O'Reilly: Anyway ...

Lewis: I just think from a digital media standpoint it's going to be very interesting to see what happens with live video in the next couple years. Nom itself, not the platform to be watching for investors, right? They're private, they're small, whatever, but you are going to see live video on all of these huge platforms like Facebook, like Google, like Twitter, probably LinkedIn as well. So, feeding that appetite for video content and how they're going to do it I think is very interesting. That's kind of why I honed in on this one.

Dylan Lewis has no position in any stocks mentioned. Sean O'Reilly has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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