The Potential and Perils of Live & Live-Streamed Entertainment

Posted by Brand Safety Institute • Jun 9, 2023 8:30:00 AM

Brands are increasingly aware of the opportunities in live and live-streamed entertainment platforms to connect with their audiences. While these platforms offer tremendous opportunities for engagement and brand exposure, they also present unique challenges in brand safety. As brands approach live events or live-streamed content, they must carefully consider the potential risks associated with inappropriate or controversial content that may arise during these unscripted moments.

Elijah Pysyk, Creator-in-Residence for the Brand Safety Institute, told us about the importance of managing one’s own awareness when producing live content saying, “the difference between edited and live content is creators need to be hyper aware of what they’re saying and doing because in a live stream setting, they can’t just re-record or remove it later.” This naturally flows into a discussion around managing expectations, for example Marketing Interactive pointed out in a recent article that, “brands will never have 100% control over a livestream - there might be negative comments in the live chat, or expletives and unscripted commentary that are uttered by the streamer.” Additionally, Elijah warns us that, "being vigilant is especially important when it comes to opening up links from chat. There have been instances of creators clicking of a seemingly innocent link but it's actually from a malicious troll who sent them pornographic content.”

This is where preparation, knowing your partners, and really understanding the framework comes into play. Maintaining brand safety starts with partnering with reputable and trusted platforms and content creators. Brands should conduct thorough due diligence to ensure that the platforms they collaborate with have strong content moderation policies and practices. A prime example is Twitch, one of the most widely used live-stream platforms. In a recent open letter, the Trust & Safety team outlined four major areas that the platform would be focusing on throughout 2023: deterring harmful behavior, empowering communities with flexible tools, improving safety education & communication, and finding ways to balance content that may not appeal to all audiences. The extensive open letter closed out by saying, “So much of this change stems directly from community feedback, so thank you as always for pushing for a safer, fairer, and better Twitch.” Measures and outreach, like that showcased by Twitch, includes verifying the platform's ability to monitor and filter content, as well as their commitment to swiftly addressing any brand safety concerns that may arise during live events or live-streams. Implementing technologies that analyze real-time content, sentiment, and audience engagement can help brands make informed decisions about where and when to display their ads.

In the dynamic world of live and live-streamed entertainment, brand safety is truly harrowing and difficult. Brands must be diligent in their efforts to protect their reputation and ensure that their advertising messages align with suitable content, while taking advantage of real-time engaged audiences. There is much work to be done to create a safer and more trustworthy live-stream space for both advertisers and audiences. By creating a response plan for live-stream well ahead of your campaign activity, the focus on brand safety should help enhance engagement and value in your presence on live and live-streamed entertainment platforms. 

Topics: Brand Safety, Brand Suitability, live-streaming, content creators, digital advertising