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Technology: Could Livecasting Become A New Advertising Model?

For months now I’ve had friends tweet on Twitter about watching Justin.tv, a live video streaming network founded by Justin Kan, who started the service by wearing a webcam attached to his cap 24 hours a day, every day. That was back in March 2007. Since then, Justin has garnered media attention and has grown the network to about 30 channels of livecasting entertainment, featuring 30 different personalities.

For months now I’ve had friends tweet on Twitter about watching Justin.tv, a live video streaming network founded by Justin Kan, who started the service by wearing a webcam attached to his cap 24 hours a day, every day. That was back in March 2007. Since then, Justin has garnered media attention and has grown the network to about 30 channels of livecasting entertainment, featuring 30 different personalities.

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It’s about 3:46 am ET right now and I’m logged onto, “24/7 with Ronald Lewis,” where a topless African-American man is sitting near his bed with a boom microphone in hand, with a microphone filter affixed to the microphone as if he’s in a recording studio. He appears to be viewing a computer screen, and after a short while of looking at the chat window on his live stream page I realize that’s exactly what he’s doing — because he’s seductively speaking into the microphone, responding to the comments being posted in the chat.

I’ve got an excuse for watching this though, I’m a terrible insomniac. I don’t know what to say about the 1,707 users that are currently logged into Justin.tv or the five to ten consistent chatterers watching Ronald’s channel. I lost my original amusement for the livecast a while ago, but I’m still sitting here with it open trying to figure out the possible business implications.

Sure there are ads to be interspersed, or pre-rolled within these videos, but imagine, if you will, Victoria’s Secret 24/7. Picture it: a bevy of models prancing up-and-down the stage, all day and all night. Each one stopping at the end of the stage, and peering into the webcam to talk about what they’re wearing, and to interact with customers who are watching and chatting. There’d be sponsors of course, but I envision another layer as well. What about shopping? A Victoria’s Secret shopping experience could be embedded onto the Web page where the video and chat are housed, with customers being enticed to click as each new outfit or item appears in the live video. The shopping experience would contain search functionality so that a customer could look up whichever item the current model is wearing and talking about.

It might sound like a crazy idea. The programming and production would be major tasks. And where would VS get all of those models from anyway? Yeah, I know I’m coming at this with a lack of sleep, and Ronald Lewis now has his shirt on again. But if Victoria’s Secret does this — I want my consulting fee.

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About the author

Lynne d Johnson is a Content + Community Consultant developing content and community strategies that help brands better tell their stories and build better relationships with people toward driving brand awareness, loyalty, and purchase intent. She has been writing about tech and media since the Web 1.0 days, most recently about how the future of consumer interactions will be driven by augmented reality and wearable tech.

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