August 12, 2021

The future of live streaming is participatory and it’s here now

Live streaming has been a one-way street. Most streams restrict interactions between creators and their audience to a text box or reaction icons in a limited area of the video screen. OZ is here to change that.

Live streaming in OZ is a two-way interactive experience where the audience can jump in, rather than lean back. From micro to mega communities, creators can instantly launch experiences where their audience is engaged in a shared live stream via any connected, video-capable device or streaming platform.

Any participant can influence and interact with the one-to-many broadcasted stream in real-time, and appear as a personalised 3D avatar of their choosing. They can even impact the visual environment and the live audio of the stream.

From sports fans and gamers, to musicians and beyond, experiences in OZ are hosted by creators who can engage and connect with their communities by taking them to brand new destinations. Creator-hosts receive revenue shares, collecting the majority of any instant purchases made by their communities during the live experience, with no barriers or special affiliate status required.

“Anyone can launch an experience and start earning revenues under our free-to-play model. By putting participatory media into the hands of creators as instantly launchable experiences, we give them access to free-to-play revenues, where they are traditionally reliant on advertising, sponsorship and donations only”, said Tom Redman, CFO. Tom spent six years at DAZN, launching and growing the world’s leading over-the-top sports subscription video streaming service, before joining OZ in 2020.

OZ hosted the world’s largest fully virtual New Year’s Eve concert and were blown away by the appetite for participation in the experience. The special event saw the audience transform themselves into 3D avatars as they danced the night away to the music of Sigur Rós and Kaleo, and other artists. Guests were able to immerse themselves into another world thanks to the brand new interactive technology innovation which fuses Directive Games' immersive virtual scenes with the fun and accessible Bitmoji avatars from Snap.

“We offered some very basic participation features, with a limited selection of avatar dances and the option to buy a green firework for the midnight finale. To say the experience exceeded our expectations is an understatement. Over 70K people watched the live stream, with $25,000 of fireworks purchased during the 20 minute experience. It’s not a big step to imagine how exciting this experience will become with expanded participation features and being made available to the 50 million creators all over the world to host their communities.”

 Since then, OZ has selected over 100 creators from around the world to collaborate with, and the feedback from them has been overwhelming.

 “We’ve spoken to sports and gaming communities, musicians, fashion brands - even a participatory animated TV experience series. Creators all tell us the same thing: they want to get closer to their communities, and engage their audience in new and interesting settings. We have worked with them to create some fun and entertaining environments, and we recently developed the OZ Emotion Engine based on creator feedback, which converts audio input (speech) into avatar movements.”

 OZ has also worked with more than 50 3D artists to develop the OZ Builder Kit, software which allows any Unreal Engine environment to be transformed into a participatory experience. The artists build the destinations and OZ populates the experiences with real users as customized avatars, and layers interactivity into the environment.

 “Builders earn life-time revenues for experiences they build with the OZ Builder Kit. Participatory experiences are uploaded to the OZ marketplace, and builders take revenue shares from all in-experience purchases by creators and their communities across the world.”

 Find out more about the OZ Builder Kit here.

 The future of live streaming is here. Let’s go.