Why do humans prefer live events vs. recorded ones, even though recorded, tape delayed or on-demand events provide the same sensory experience?
The 2018 Winter Olympics have begun and even though it is happening on the other side of the world in Pyeongchang, South Korea, (17 hours ahead PST), NBC will be doing its coverage live this year instead of on tape delay. The ratings for the 2016 Rio Summer Games were down by double digits as the complaints flooded in that there was no suspense or excitement to them because the results were already known, online, before NBC had broadcast them. So, will mixed doubles curling fans really stay up until 2am to watch it live, rather than watch the tape delayed primetime broadcast of the same event? The answer, it seems, will be yes.
The shared community experience of the event is a large factor. Being able to share the same experience with hundreds and thousands of people at the same time is meaningful and exciting. Also, we know humans have an innate drive for information. And being among the “first to know” something increases its perceived importance. So even if you hid in a cave last weekend and missed the Super Bowl and had avoided the outcome, but watched it recorded hours later, most of the excitement would have been dissipated because the event had already transpired hours earlier and the outcome was known to millions of people.
Then there’s the amazing story and success of Peloton. Peloton sold $170 million dollars of exercise bikes in 2016. But their exercise bikes aren’t superior to the competition. Even Peloton’s CEO knows that. “We’re not a hardware company,” Peloton’s CEO, John Foley has said. “We don’t compete with those companies. Those companies are yesteryear.” Touting the ability to live-stream exercise spinning classes directly to the TV screen mounted on a Peloton bike has exploded their business. Why are these “live” streamed classes (also known as live exercise webinars) that you need to schedule around, far more popular than recorded “on-demand” classes like the old Jane Fonda videos or the more recent 6-minute abs or P90X content? How has this subtle difference perpetuated hundreds of millions on dollars in exercise bike sales?
In technology, proper user training and insightful demos are often keys to user success. It is far more convenient for users and IT administrators to watch recorded videos of these training sessions and demos. The recorded versions are usually crisper, shorter, and presented by refined experts with editing to clean them up. Those seeking training or demos, can simply select the specific topic, and watch anytime.
But wait, recorded training videos are rarely watched, in comparison to live webinar events.
Let’s test this out with those interested in learning more about the power of e-signatures. E-signature technology offers much more than just the ability to get a document signed remotely. E-signature technology also provides businesses with the opportunity to completely reinvigorate decades-old business processes, enhance productivity, and automate mundane work flows. E-signatures are perfectly legal with the right technology. And, every business professional needs them some of the time.
So, let’s try this experiment. Let’s measure what percent of our hundreds of thousands of Tech Essentials readers prefer to learn more by:
Is Peloton onto something? Are P90X and 6-minute abs videos dead? Will people really watch live Olympic curling at 2am instead of tape-delayed in primetime?
Will more people read, watch, or participate in learning more about RSign, a top rated e-signature platform? We will let you know next week.
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