LinkedIn will launch live video capabilities this week, only 18 months after the platform first started supporting video. The product, branded LinkedIn Live, will begin in the United States as an invite - only beta but is expected to eventually begin accepting sign ups through contact forms on LinkedIn. Pete Davis, Director of Product Management at LinkedIn, told TechCrunch that "Video is the fastest growing format on our platform right now, and the most likely to get people talking." LinkedIn Live is expected to focus on earnings calls, conferences, product announcements, Q&As and other professional subjects in line with what is already available on the platform today. LinkedIn reportedly has around 600 million users globally.
Microsoft reported during its last quarterly earnings report that LinkedIn revenues were up 29 percent and LinkedIn sessions grew 30 percent to hit record levels of engagement. Much of this growth is attributed to LinkedIn's recent foray into video. At the moment LinkedIn's only form of monetization around video is video advertising, but there is a clear opportunity for LinkedIn Live to provide other ways of monetizing content.
LinkedIn will partner with several third-party live streaming developers (Wirecast, Wowza, Media Systems, Socialive, Switcher Studio, Brandlive) to help creators put out more polished live videos and Microsoft, through its Azure Media Services, will provide the encoding needed.
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