Mashable reports that, given the tens of thousands of dollars required to pull off a competent Fashion Week livestream, let alone a really souped up one, the views aren’t even really worth it. Livestreaming runways last February amassed about 14,000 views each, on average, yet it costs about $12,00 to stream a show (and taking the video is more). That’s almost a dollar per view. So what’s the point?
Well, because the viewers tend to be a high-quality audience, tuning in for between 12 and 25 minutes (average online video viewership peters out around 5.2 minutes), they count as brand superfans, and subsequently, their data is pretty significant. As it stands, brands can usually glean the age, gender, general income, and location of their viewers, all of which is key for marketing down the line. It’s also pretty non-invasive (a key facet of smart digital data collection); Marc Jacobs, for instance, gets new email addresses by asking potential livestreamers to sign up before watching.
Beyond customer data, the way to get more out of livestreaming is to go interactive. Topshop, which made it possible to immediately share looks from the runway last season, captured invaluable data from the subsequent 200,000 styles captured from the stream and spread across viewers’ social media. While making runways immediately shoppable provides the same information (and turns fashion’s inexplicable, entrenched timeline on its head), simply making it possible to capture and save individual styles from a livestream will do the same thing, without having to re-work a relationship with all one’s factories.
Of course, all of this is a moot point if shows don’t start on time. Unsurprisingly, the already low viewership drops off even more when an event starts late, and they often do.
And if you’re looking to livestream, check out Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s stream, which almost always has something up this week, even if it’s just the pit getting organized.